Violence in schools is a reality many educators face. The issue is further complicated as there are various reporting requirements directed by different Acts and laws. Educators are governed by:
- Ministry of Labour (MOL; Occupational Health and Safety Act – OHSA);
- Ministry of Education (MOE; Education Act);
- Workplace Safety Insurance Act (deals with WSIB);
- Bills 157, 168, 132
- Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) 120, 128, 144, 145.
This is not an exhaustive list – although it may make you feel exhausted thinking about figuring out what needs to be done!
As a Worker, you have:
- A Right to know – a right to information and instruction about hazards (including the risk of violence) that you may be exposed to in the workplace and the protocols in place to control exposure.
Exercise this right by asking for more information or clarification.
- A Right to participate – Workers participate through representation on the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) which is provided with additional information, the power to identify hazards and make formal recommendations.
Every TLDSB workplace has a worker Health and Safety Representative (ETFO or CUPE in elementary). If you have concerns, speak to the school Rep, or contact your Local!
- A Right to refuse unsafe work – Workers have an individual right to refuse unsafe work if you have a “reason to believe” your work is “likely to endanger” your health and safety. There is a proper process to follow for refusing work. Please contact the Local if you believe this step is required.
ETFO has a great Health and Safety Resource Website for members. Please take a few minutes to browse this wealth of information!
Information about the Workplace Violence and Reporting Forms, and your legal obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Education Act can be found on the Reporting Violence and Injuries Page.