At a rally held yesterday morning at WorkSafeBC headquarters in Richmond, BCGEU members sent a message to WorkSafeBC that something needs to be done to address the increasing violence in BC’s prisons.
Prior to 2001, the inmate-to-staff ratio in BC’s correctional facilities was capped at 20:1. The ratio is now as high as 72:1 and recent statistics from Corrections BC show that assaults on officers and inmate-on-inmate violence continues to rise. BCGEU urges WorkSafeBC to tell the provincial government that the current staff-to-inmate ratio should be brought back to manageable levels. Unless changes are made, BC’s correctional officers will continue to be put at high risk.
“Our officers feel exposed and vulnerable,” said Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice President, Corrections and Sheriff Services. “Assaults are happening almost daily. WorkSafeBC must address the dramatic increase in violence inside all nine of our province’s jails or it is only going to get worse.”
BCGEU Component 1 executive members met with WorkSafeBC senior officials in February, but despite the increasing assaults on our officers, WorkSafeBC has failed to address our safety concerns.