Immunize our front-line corrections staff, OPSEU tells McGuinty

TORONTO, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - Staff working in Ontario's correctional facilities should be a priority for H1N1 immunization, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

OPSEU recently learned that offenders in the province's jails, detention centres, youth centres and treatment centres are being immunized against swine flu, while correctional staff working in the same facilities are not being afforded the same protection.

"Offenders being admitted to our facilities can carry a wide range of infectious diseases, including the swine flu virus," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "Other than front-line health care workers, this group of employees is at the highest risk of contracting the disease due to the closed quarters they are working in."

Thomas is urging the McGuinty government to re-think their decision not to hold immunization clinics for the staff in adult and youth facilities.

"Our members have to be on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Thomas said. "An outbreak of H1N1 could seriously jeopardize operations in these facilities, so it only makes good sense to take precautions now."


For further information: For further information: Eddy Almeida, Corrections Division Chair, (289) 439-2135

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