In 2014 alone, there were 425 reported assaults against staff who work at the Worcester Recovery Center. Over the last two years, 189 staff members have been out on Industrial Accident Leave due to injuries suffered from these assaults, resulting in more than 5,600 lost work hours. During that time, the MNA has been advocating with the state to address this crisis, yet all efforts have been rebuffed, with total disregard for the impact on patients and staff. In fact, in response to our calls for help, the state has cut staffing at the facility. Understaffing at this and other facilities is the root cause of this outbreak of violence.
The special report features interviews with MNA members from the facility who have been assaulted, comments by MNA Vice President and Taunton State Hospital nurse Karen Coughlin, and State Rep. Patricia Haddad, who has sponsored MNA-filed legislation to create special units to handle “difficult to manage patients” in the hopes of protecting staff and to provide appropriate care to these patients.
On July 21, there will be hearing at the State House in room A2 at 1 p.m. about another MNA bill that would require this employer and all health are employers to have a plan in place to prevent workplace violence.