National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is important to New Brunswick Nurses Union

On December 6, all Canadians are asked to remember the horrible happenings in Montreal on December 6, 1989 when 14 young women were killed at the École Polytechnique Massacre.

This day also serves as a way to commemorate 16 days of action as associations and unions focus on raising awareness of the continued violence against women in many workplaces.

“Members of the New Brunswick Nurses Union pause in remembrance of this day because the nursing profession is a female dominated workforce and continuing to highlight the occurrences of violence in the workplace and advocate for change, is very important,” said Paula Doucet, President of the NBNU.

Through recent surveys, the NBNU has confirmed that instances of violence directed toward nurses in their workplaces continue to rise. Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Nurse Practitioners are often victims of violence inflicted on them by clients and family of clients. The Covid-19 pandemic only served to augment instances of violence with restrictions and isolation from family and friends becoming common-place and frustrations growing because of this social isolation.

The Canadian Labour Congress commissioned a study that found that seven out of every ten workers have experienced harassment and violence in the last two years at work. One out of every three of these incidents were perpetrated by a third-party. Despite the rampant rates of third-party violence, existing legislation and regulations on workplace health and safety still fails to adequately cover third-party violence.

On this day, as we remember the 14 female lives tragically lost, we call on all levels of government, employers and unions to work together to ensure safety in workplaces and educational institutions is a priority moving forward.

The New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) is a labour organization of approximately 8900 nurses who are employed in various healthcare facilities throughout the province of New Brunswick.