Joint Health and Safety Committees
SLC Faculty Local 417 members serve their fellow union members and the college community as a whole by participating on the Joint Health and Safety Committees.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) is tasked with ensuring that the employer’s Health and Safety program is effective at ensuring the safe work environment for all the workers in the workplace. Each campus, Brockville, Cornwall, and Kingston, has its own JHSC and committee members participate in the monthly committee meetings and perform workplace inspections.
Worker Representatives for SLC Faculty Local 417 are either elected or appointed (depending on interest) to sit on these committees for a two-year period. Full-time Faculty serving on the JHSC are allotted time on the back of the Standard Workload Form (SWF) for work on the Committee. Partial Load Faculty are paid their hourly faculty/teaching srate for their JHSC service.
As with any role for union members, the members of the JHSC have to be educated on issues of health and safety, be responsible to their fellow union members, and not hesitate in speaking truth to the employer.
From the Occupational Health and Safety Act:
“The committee is an advisory body that helps to stimulate or raise awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace, recognizes and identifies workplace risks and develops recommendations for the employer to address these risks. To achieve its goal, the committee holds regular meetings and conducts regular workplace inspections and makes written recommendations to the employer for the improvement of the health and safety of workers.”
From OPSEU, the role of Health and Safety Committee members includes
- Building health and safety activists
- Influencing the health and safety system
- Leveraging strength in the workplace so joint health and safety committees and health and safety representatives are focused on health and safety prevention
- Working with other unions in health and safety
- Supporting and enforcing our members’ health and safety rights in the workplace
Current JHSC membership, committee meeting agendas and minutes, and other supporting documents are available on the St. Lawrence College Intranet.
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