Last week, threats of violence were called into several DCF offices throughout the state. Your Local 5094 leadership takes these threats seriously and we have been in contact with our Reps and Liaisons, CHU Administration, and CWA in an attempt to better understand the nature of the threats and to ensure that proper response protocols were followed.
Based on what we have learned so far, we have serious concerns over the gaps in communication, the lack of uniformity in response protocols, and the insufficient violence prevention training provided to our members.
We have called on Rutgers to:
- convene a meeting with the Commissioner’s Office, CHU Administration, NJ State Police, CWA and HPAE in order to debrief all stakeholders on the threats including a review of the response in each office and the status of the investigation into the threats;
- provide clear and uniform communication regarding the response to and investigation of threats;
- ensure that workplace violence response protocols and procedures are clearly explained to our members including “shelter in place” and “lockdown” procedures;
- make workplace violence prevention training mandatory for all employees;
- notify all employees immediately of any threats of violence made against DCP&P and/or CHU staff as they occur;
- advise Union officials of any and all threats of violence made against DCP&P and/or CHU staff as they occur, including information on how they and DCF are responding to the threats (ie. communications to employees, “shelter in place, “lockdown”, suspension of home visits, police protection, etc.); and
- work with the Union to develop a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program in accordance with OSHA guidelines for Healthcare and Social Service workers.
We take all threats of workplace violence seriously and are working to ensure that every worker is informed and prepared when these incidents arise.