October 27, 2016 3:13 pm
Updated: October 27, 2016 4:32 pm

Legislation needed to prevent workplace violence: NB Nurses Union

WATCH ABOVE: The New Brunswick Nurses Union says despite meeting with labour ministers five separate times, little is being done to ensure safe conditions for their members, and all workers in the province. Global's Jeremy Keefe has more.

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At their Annual General Meeting, the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) took time out of their schedule to call on the provincial government to create legislative protection against workplace violence.

Despite meeting with government on five separate occasions since 2012 the NBNU say their concerns have been outright ignored and all workers in the province remain unprotected.

READ MORE: Union calls for changes to NB legislation to combat violence against nurses

“The threat of physical and emotional and verbal violence exists every hour of every day in our health care system,” said Marilyn Quinn, NBNU’s Out-going President. “There must be a positive obligation on employers to protect their workers, account for these ever-present hazards, and take responsibility for minimizing risk to workers.”

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Although the NBNU has worked with employers to develop violence prevention programs they view the current situation as not acceptable as it’s limited to cooperative employers only.

They want the provincial government to enact legislation that will ensure safety for all workers in New Brunswick, similar to what other provinces have done in the past.

“Does this government believe that New Brunswick workers are less worthy of protection from all forms of workplace violence than our counterparts from all across the country?” NBNU President Paula Doucet questioned at a media conference.

“Workplace safety cannot be limited to the cooperative or magnanimous employers, it must be for all workers in this province,” said Quinn.

“The department of Human Resources will be creating a corporate health and safety unit that will be better equipped to improve the safety of government workplaces. Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour Minister Donald Arsenault said in a statement “the unit will set policy, programs and initiatives for three main areas including Occupational health and safety (to reduce workplace injuries).”

The NBNU represents 6900 registered nurses and nurse practitioners in the province.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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