Annual Healthcare Conference returns in-person after two years
On May 12th and 13th, after two long years, the annual conference for Healthcare and Community Health Stewards was held in-person and virtually. The conference kicked off with a welcome from UFCW Local 175 Recorder and RN Karen Vaughan followed by a message to our healthcare workers from President Haggerty. HOPE Sector – LTC/Retirement Director Sandra Ashcroft spoke to our members and was the MC for the event.
Ministry of Labour, OH&S Inspector Sherry Sima gave us an informative presentation on Workplace Violence and Harassment Policies, and the Right to Refuse Unsafe Work. Sherry reminded everyone that Ontario law spells out three rights that give workers the power to protect their health & safety, the right to know, the right to participate and the right to refuse. Sherry encouraged everyone to go back to their workplace and make sure there is a copy of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.
The Canadian Mental Health Association also spoke to us and they discussed: Addressing Occupational Stress and Creating Space for Mental Health in the Workplace. The presenters reminded everyone that it is ok to put yourself first and there is no health without mental health. The three-gear approach was discussed which helps to create space for mental health in the workplace. We explored how to have difficult conversations but remember, you are not expected to diagnose, you are not expected to fix anything but, you can help to create a safe space.
We held a town hall forum where the in-person and virtually attendees could ask questions of the Union. On hand were members of our in-house legal team, Union Reps, WSIB Specialists and H&S Rep. We had a great conversation and a lot of questions were fielded.
We closed the conference off with inspiring and motivational speaker Jam Gamble who told us that there is strength in honest and once again we were reminded to put ourselves first. When you wake up in the morning, acknowledge who you are and be grateful. Don’t forget the importance of self-care and make a plan. Invest in your mental health and well-being.
Thank you to everyone for attending and to all our stewards for advocating for working people everyday.