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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

A National Anti-Workplace Violence Strategy for Public Service and Not-For-Profit Employees

Resolution No. 67
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

Workplace violence is primarily a safety and health issue; and

Workers need to be trained on job hazards that increase the potential for violence; and

The training should give the worker the ability to assess potential dangers in the office and in the field; and

In April 2006, Homecare Local 389 lost a New York City member, Syndia Jean-Pierre Brye, a homecare worker with three young children, to a shocking act of violence which left her and three others murdered in a home that should have been registered as a “difficult-to-serve-client”; andWHEREAS:
Backup support and education/training on these issues have not been increased for not just homecare workers, but direct care workers, foster care workers, workers in residences and those who give supportive care to individuals with special needs, developmental disabilities, children and the elderly; and

These employment situations are ticking time bombs that will again explode and take additional lives with them; and

Workers do not go to work to be placed in peril, but to earn a living and go back to their families after their shifts are completed.

That AFSCME and its affiliates create and begin sharing information on workplace violence episodes across the nation and begin to deliberate action to engage state and local legislators on realistic legislation that begins to hold employers responsible, to punish offenders with increased criminalization and penalties that protect workers and allow employees to report and document all incidents without prejudice or retaliation and to create a client/patient/consumer/inmate to staff ratio that is realistic and can be used to protect workers.  AFSCME and all affiliates should create an action protocol that councils and locals can utilize to lobby state and local legislators; to prepare grievances using OSHA and local safety laws; to plan for engaging employers and training members by shop or local levels to create conditions to fight workplace violence in their shops and lastly, in contract negotiations, to fight for management to provide legal assistance to workers who have been wrongly accused of violence and to press charges against assailants.

SUBMITTED BY: James Feliciano, Executive Board Member and Delegate
AFSCME Local 253, Council 1707
New York