September 16th, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Joe Baessler, 503-319-1912
Landmark PTSI Reform Bill Prioritizes Public Safety Workers
Following a signing ceremony for the Post Traumatic Stress Injury Reform Bill (SB507), Oregon AFSCME released the following statement:
“At a time when the stigma around mental health continues to discourage public safety workers from obtaining the mental health services they require and deserve, members of Oregon AFSCME introduced and worked to pass the Post Traumatic Stress Injury Reform Bill. Corrections workers reached out to other public safety officers, including police, firefighters and 911 dispatchers to work on passing this reform.
“Over 95% of claims for PTSI were rejected from correctional workers and this had to change. By creating the assumption that the PTSI suffered by police officers, firefighters, 911 operators, EMTs/paramedics and correctional officers occured on the job for the purposes of workers’ compensation claims, employees suffering the effects of PTSI will have greater opportunities to get the help they need when they need it.”
Jeff Coffman, a Correctional Officer and Oregon AFSCME member from the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute added “AFSCME members who experience trauma on a daily basis courageously stood up and testified to the inordinate stresses they face every single day they go to work, and the need for changes to how Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI) sustained on the job are handled.”