Ontario Shores’ activists win awards

The Workers Health and Safety Centre, the Durham Labour Council and the Ontario Federation of Labour has honoured OPSEU’s campaign for workplace safety at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences with two awards.

Local 331 President Yvonne Lewis has won her regional health and safety award for her tireless advocacy on behalf of staff at the Centre.

Norma Gunn has won the OFL’s disability rights award after sharing the story of her struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. Norma was the subject of a recent video by Operation Maple.

Ontario Shores was fined $37,500 in September after a worker suffered a serious injury while cleaning ventilation hoods in the kitchen.

The hospital is also under major investigation by the Ministry of Labour following numerous complaints about workplace violence.

Lost time injuries are almost double the rate of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and total paid sick time hours are higher than the other three major stand-alone psychiatric hospitals in Ontario.

The hospital is beginning to respond to concerns raised by Lewis, Gunn and others. A number of recently announced initiatives are welcome. Some appear to have been prompted by Ministry of Labour orders and suggestions.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Port Hope on November 15.

7 responses to “Ontario Shores’ activists win awards

  1. Alex Toulevesoon

    A well deserved honor to both of these extraordinary individuals. Their hard work has become recognized, but of course not by their heartless employer.

  2. Congratulations to Yvonne Lewis and Norma Gunn for their well deserved awards. For people who bash Unions, this is a perfect example of why Unions are needed. If it wasn’t for local 331, Ontario Shores would not be responding to concerns prompted by the MOL. Also, staff would be too afraid to speak up for themselves for fear of being fired. I know people who work at non-unionized workplaces and put up with horrible things, including getting paid only for 40 hours a week when they put in 60 or more hours. They don’t complain because they fear losing their job and don’t have a Union to protect them.

  3. Something's Fishy

    Congrats to both ladies! Keep up the hard work!

  4. Congrats to both!
    Saw the video. Brought me to tears. Norma’s courage is inspiring.
    This story restores some of my faith but I will truly celebrate when I hear that some higher authority has stepped in and sent this hospital administration packing.
    Why hasn’t it happened?
    Who is responsible for letting these terrible things continue?

  5. You both are very deserving of these awards. Standing up for the rights and safety of workers is a selfless act. Your courage may save many from workplace injuries and give others the strength to have a voice in the rights to their safety at work. Congratulation ladies!

  6. Hey Diablogue! Whatever happened with the follow up of some of the past ridiculous Ontario Shores “goings on” that you have revealed? Like that awful “Circle of Trust” video shown to workers in a staff meeting to scare the “you know what” out of them? (From what I understand of this hospital administration I have to wonder if this manager was promoted?) Or to the worker who suffered a 3 day disciplinary suspension for dinner conversation with their spouse? Or to the staff who stood and watched their co-worker getting assaulted and did nothing? (Did they too get promoted?…understand one of them did.)
    And what about the Local’s story about the manager that wrote a “little book” on how to manage employees where he writes that participants in his management classes (management classes…oh help me, about to fall off my chair laughing) who (according to him) describe problem employees (after he has given participants prepared scenarios) as middle aged, female, union stewards, high seniority and suffering from undiagnosed mental illnesses? (Stop it, my sides are aching from laughing.) Has he too been promoted?
    I’m not sure if this place is a House of Horrors or a lost segment of Saturday Night Live. (Wonder if the CEO looks like Gilda Radner?)
    Bravo again to those staff who are standing up and going public and revealing what is happening in that workplace. DON’T STOP.
    Maybe the OS administrators don’t want to prevent all of these violence related horrific assaults on the workers.
    Rather, keep the workers broken and subdued and too exhausted from fighting for their lives to notice or rebel against all of this managerial craziness and incompetence.

  7. It is interesting….such wonderful awards have been won by these 2 women and their employer (except 1 manager) has not even acknowledged their accomplishments,
    So very sad on the side of the employer….Shame on them. One would have thought that the facility would be run by more professional people…..once again they have proved the public wrong to have been so blinded. Huge Congrats to both these Women

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