11/19/2009

AMO supports the goals of the Bill, in working towards the elimination of violence and harassment in Ontario workplaces and valuing strong and effective policies to reach this goal.
AMO supports a one year implementation process to allow municipalities to comply with the legislation should it become law. Our members believe that a six month period would not be enough time to implement policies in all areas of municipal organizations in order to effectively comply with the proposed amendment to the Occupational Health & Safety Act. Municipalities currently face regulations that involve a host of changes which affect small municipalities in particular. Requirements to develop training programs take time to develop and implement, particularly in our employee groups where training time must be balanced with the need to maintain schedules for employees who provide important public services. One year would provide adequate time for this process.

Bill 168 also provides for the right of employees to refuse work on the basis of workplace violence, except under certain circumstances. In order to ensure that these provisions can be managed effectively, it is recommended that the Bill define the threshold for employees to refuse work and set out clear expectations, especially in sectors where the public depends on employees being present, such as within public transit and community centres.