For the past year, OSSTF/FEESO has continued the work of the Violence in the Workplace Task Force. We have completed a survey and small focus group interviews with front line members who have experienced the upsurge of violent behaviour in our schools. Too many members have been seriously injured due to preventable incidents of workplace violence, and our goal is to address the issue and reduce the number of incidents.
At our Lobby Day in March 2017, where we met with 93 of the 106 sitting MPPs at Queen’s Park, we focused exclusively on the issue of violence in our schools and workplaces. Our message was clear: we need more mandatory training, we need an increase in qualified and trained staff, and we need consistent reporting free from coercion. Seventy-one MPPs and all three party leaders stood with us to stop violence in our schools.
The Ministers of Education and Labour did not make a commitment to create an education sector regulation under the Ontario Health and Safety Act, but have now produced a “workplace violence in school boards” guide to the law in Ontario. The guide is available here. Ministry of Labour visits to schools continue to target the issue of violence in our workplaces.
A new reporting poster has been sent to all worksites, items have been purchased to raise the visibility of the issue, and resources have been made available through our OSSTF/FEESO website. OSSTF/FEESO will continue to lobby and advocate for increased training, violence prevention resources and simpler reporting processes.