What work does SEIU Healthcare do to protect health and safety?

As a collective of over 55,000 workers, together we have a role to play to ensure employers are accountable to health and safety laws and respect the rights of all healthcare workers.

Provincial committees
We bring the voices of healthcare workers to the government on health and safety issues by being present as a key stakeholder for consultations and policy work.

Since 2008, the Ontario Ministry of Labour's Occupational Health and Safety Branch has been meeting with the public on how to improve its enforcement efforts and help the system to deliver on the priorities set out in the Healthy and Safe Ontario Workplaces strategy.

SEIU Healthcare attends the Safe at Work Ontario consultations annually. The Ontario Ministry of Labour consults with the public to discuss proposed changes to the law and the implementation of new programs and services to reduce occupational illness and injury in Ontario.

We participate on the Ministry's Vulnerable Workers Task Group and Section 21 Committee, which provides advice to the Minister on the Occupational Health and Safety Act via guidance notes.

We also sit on the PSW Advisory Committee on Health & Safety, and on the Public Services Health & Safety Association Prevention and Management of Workplace Violence Project Steering Committee and Focus Groups.

Regular meetings other unions
We meet quarterly with other healthcare unions including ONA, OPSEU, Unifor, and CUPE on health and safety issues because we all have the same goal: to hold employers accountable for respecting health and safety laws and protecting the people who spend their working lives taking care of others.

Workplace health and safety committees
As part of the union structure there are health and safety committees in each workplace made up of members (your co-workers) with assistance from union staff representatives. If you want to help defend the health and safety of your fellow workers, consider joining your Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). If you're not sure how to contact someone on the committee, get in touch with the union's member resource centre.

In late 2015 we submitted a proposal to the WSIB on changes to its model which may have significant implications for members. Read our blog post on the submission for an overview of this important issue.

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