Violence must not be tolerated in health care: CUPE
A poll by Oracle Research for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) makes it clear that preserving and sustaining Canada’s public health care system must include funding to boost staffing so no one works alone, and to increase beds to make a dent in ending hallway care.
“Under the heavy workloads, low staffing, and violence risks, many RPNs, PSWS, porters, cleaners, clerical hospital staff are sadly making the choice to leave their hospital jobs.”DAVE VERCH, FIRST VP OF ONTARIO COUNCIL OF HOSPITAL UNIONS
Conducted among 2,300 CUPE members working in Ontario’s hospitals, the poll shows increasing rates of violence – including sexual harassment and assaults – against a mostly-female workforce (frontline registered practical nurses (RPNs), personal support workers, porters, cleaners and others).
“The poll found that 63 per cent of respondents experienced physical violence; 53 per cent report an increase in violence targeting them or a co-worker during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a statement from CUPE. The union is a member of the CHC, with representation on the Board of Directors.
The statement adds, “This surge in violence against women, much of it racially motivated, comes against a backdrop of severe unprecedented staff shortages and vacancies in Ontario hospitals which have fewest staff and beds to population of any developed economy.
“The public waits for access in overcrowded hospitals, patients are sent home while still acutely ill or turned away without care.” says Dave Verch, a veteran RPN and first vice-president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions-CUPE. “Under the heavy workloads, low staffing, and violence risks, many RPNs, PSWS, porters, cleaners, clerical hospital staff are sadly making the choice to leave their hospital jobs.”