Second nurse a victim of workplace violence in past six days

Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, a union representing over 60,000 frontline healthcare workers including over 7,500 nurses, is demanding immediate action by Southlake Regional Hospital, including a meeting with key stakeholders, after a registered practical nurse (RPN) was attacked Thursday evening by a patient, just six days after another nurse suffered severe workplace injuries.

The most recent violent attack comes after the hospital was fined $80,000 on Friday, October 16 in connection with a January 2019 incident when a 21-year-old male patient violently assaulted a registered nurse (RN) and a security guard in the emergency department.

SEIU Healthcare is demanding that Southlake CEO Arden Krystal initiates an urgent meeting with the union, frontline staff members, Ontario Minister of Health and local MPP Christine Elliott, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Additions, Michael Tibollo, and representatives from the mental health and addictions sector to create an action plan that will ensure safety for everyone at the hospital. On Monday, October 26 at 3:30 p.m., there will be a rally held in front of Southlake Hospital to demand an end to workplace violence and a meeting to fix a system that is failing to protect people.

What: Rally Against Workplace Violence
When: October 26, 2020
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: In front of Southlake Regional Hospital, 596 Davis Dr, Newmarket, Ontario


“The most recent fines that Southlake received were a slap on the wrist that didn’t line up with the seriousness of these incidents. The continued violence happening at Southlake Regional Hospital is sickening, heartbreaking and alarming, and it is clear that whatever actions they have taken since the horrendous incidents last January have not been enough. We are demanding Southlake hold an emergency meeting with us to ensure the protection of our frontline healthcare workers.” – SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart

“Nurses across Ontario are already putting their lives on the line each day as they fight COVID-19. Violence in the workplace is something nurses should not have to worry about. If Southlake’s leadership can’t solve the ongoing violence taking place in their hospital, and it’s evident at this point they can’t, then the government should immediately step in to fix an underfunded system that puts all hospital workers at risk.” – SEIU Healthcare Nursing Division President Jackie Walker


SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union’s members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province.