Significant Announcement Regarding the Issue of Violence in the Education Workplace
Greetings EAA Members,
Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter and Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn attended the June 2, 2017 meeting of Provincial Council and made a significant announcement regarding the issue of violence in the education workplace. Attached you will find the official letter from the both Ministers offices to the Provincial Working Group on Health and Safety of which we have representation from the EWAO. Please also note that the Ministry of Labour created and references a working group facilitated by the PSHSA that is looking at violence in education which myself, Colleen Dietrich Sisson and Kathryn Pittman are a part of.
The announcement has four key components:
An enhanced enforcement initiative will begin this fall, specifically targeting workplace violence in schools. Ministry of Labour enforcement teams will be visiting every school board in the province to review the boards’ obligations under the OHSA. In total, more than 70 district school boards across the province will receive a visit in 2017-2018 from ministry officials.
With input from the Provincial Working Group on Health and Safety, which was established through the central bargaining process, the Ministry of Labour will be creating education sector specific guidance documents which will have the same authority as those produced by a Section 21 Committee under the Ontario Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The guidance material will be completed and published during the 2017-2018 school year. This work will be supported by a secretariat led by MOL and by the Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA)
Keeping in mind that highly sensitive and privileged information may be contained in a student’s Ontario Student Record (OSR), the government is committed to ensuring that all education workers have access to the information they need to protect themselves and maintain a safe and inclusive classroom for students and other staff. Next steps will be predicated on advice from the Working Group, whose experience and expertise will inform next steps to expand access to information by the spring of 2018.
A full review of reporting requirements for violent incidents will be undertaken, with the goal of creating a simple, standardized reporting process that is accessible online, and will facilitate the collection of accurate data with implementation in the spring of 2018.
Your Educational Assistants Association and the EWAO are committed to advocating strongly for a safer working environment for all members. We are actively involved and observing the reporting processes that will be put in place to ensure that violence in our workplace is finally being addressed!
What can you do?
|▪||Report in writing, all hazards, and concerns to your Principal (supervisor)|
|▪||Complete HR-05-770 Incident reporting forms for all incidents and near misses|
|▪||Know your worker rights and responsibilities|
|▪||Support the EAA Ribbon Campaign|
|▪||Reach out to your EAA for any questions or support|
I will continue to update you on any new information as it becomes available.
All my best for a safe and happy summer!
Lisa Weiler Haskins
Health and Safety Officer
Educational Assistants Association