Improving workplace safety at ELMHS — August 24, 2017

At labor-management meetings, our union team sits down with management regularly to talk about problems like safety, staffing, and ways to retain those of us that work in the more dangerous units in our facility. Labor-management meetings work. Recently, we won $.75-an-hour hazard pay for coworkers in the more hazardous unit called ASSA. We also changed a policy that put more distance between us and our more dangerous patients -- because at arm's length, many of us were getting hurt.

Allowing some space between ourselves and our patients helps ensure we all go home safely to our families.

-- Philip Newton, member of AFSCME Local 1695 at Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System (ELMHS). Pictured here with Ladonna Etheridge, Local 1695 president and registered nurse at ELMHS