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Waypoint workers speak out about dangers in new video

Penetanguishene – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is releasing a dramatic new video today as part of its campaign to demand a safe workplace for staff at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.  Patient attacks on staff are increasing in severity and workers say management isn’t doing enough to prevent it.

In the video, Waypoint workers describe their fears about their safety in their own words.  “My biggest fear is that I am not going to be able to leave at the end of my shift and go home to the people I love,” says one worker.

The identities of the workers have been concealed for their protection, but their compelling stories reveal the dangers of working in the hospital’s provincial forensic unit.  The unit is home to patients who are found not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial by the courts.

Workers at the facility say there should have been more consideration for their safety when the new building, which opened in 2014, was constructed.

“This new building is made of drywall,” says a worker in the video.   “They (patients) have been able to rip parts of their rooms apart to make weapons,” says another.   A third worker says, “the technology that was supposed to make things simpler fails quite often, makes things more dangerous.”

“We are committed to getting these stories out in the open so people can understand what’s going on inside Waypoint,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.  “Management isn’t doing anything about it.  Our government isn’t doing anything about it.  They both need to take action – before somebody gets killed.” 

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For more information:  Pete Sheehan, 705-209-9050

Stay Safe, Be Safe Campaign Page