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NPCA workplace is unhealthy: survey

Welland – More than 85 per cent of Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) workers say their workplace is harmful to mental health, according to a stress survey conducted by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), in co-operation with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW).

Almost 90 per cent of NPCA employees completed the survey, which asked them to evaluate the psychological climate in their workplace. Two-thirds of NPCA employees indicated they have experienced workplace bullying, while 70 per cent say they have witnessed “offensive behaviours.”

OHCOW’s survey was modelled on the internationally recognized Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. It was conducted anonymously to identify psychosocial factors in the workplace that affect the stress levels and health outcomes of workers. The results were presented to NPCA management on May 29.

“Our members at the NPCA have been telling us for a long time that their workplace is unhealthy,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “These survey results would seem to back that up. Unfortunately, the NPCA refuses to acknowledge there’s a huge workplace problem.”

When OPSEU presented NPCA managers with the survey results, the union asked management to work with them to improve labour relations and address outstanding issues. However, management has not responded, and labour relations continue to deteriorate.

Thomas noted that one of the biggest issues remains at an impasse.

“The local’s highest-ranking steward was laid off without cause on Valentine’s Day,” he said. “As the members’ duly elected representative, reinstating her would generate a climate of goodwill and help both sides work towards improved labour relations and a healthier workplace.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931