Wednesday, May 5, 2010


May 6, 2010

Greetings Division,

Your MCSCS MERC team has been busy with a full agenda, attempting to address site issues as well working to create better working conditions for our members. Here are some of the items we have worked on and continue to work on.


Rollovers and Laterals

Your MERC team was successful in negotiating with management approximately 260 rollovers and 40 laterals across the province with all sites receiving some rollovers – 40 more than what was specified in the Collective Agreement. We continue to request more rollovers for those members that still remain in the fixed term ranks and hope that some day that all our fixed terms will be given a regular (full-time classified) job and any new hires from that point on will be hired as full-time classified Correctional Officers. In our opinion, this is a step in the right direction of legitimizing Correctional Officers in the law enforcement community. At the same time we remain cognizant of the need to allow our members to move around the province.

Regional Labour Relations Forums

We continue to have our regional forums with Brother Paul Johnstone chairing the Western and Northern Forums and Brother Dan Sidsworth taking the lead at the Central and Eastern Forums. We believe it is a good way of having dialogue amongst our union leaders and management to try and address regional issues. In the North, we have come up with some novel approaches, i.e. a subcommittee on best practices for searches. The next scheduled meeting for the Northern Forum is June 15th and 16th in Sudbury so please forward any issues to MERC lead Paul so we can add to the agenda. Western dates to follow. Same goes for the Central and Eastern Region Forums, any issues please get to Dan ASAP.

Toronto South and Southwest Detention Centres

We continue to work on being involved on these two new Jail projects, with Brother Dan chairing for the MERC at the Toronto South and Brother Paul spearheading the Southwest site. The union continues to request of management that executives of locals and union members participate in the development of these projects on an ongoing basis.

Training and Development

The committee continues to work towards having training rolled out for Correctional Staff across the province. MERC lead is Paul Johnstone and other members are Dan Marshall (TWDC); Shari Archdekin (Vanier); Jim Mitchell (North Bay Jail) and David Kerr (St. Thomas P&P). Our long range goal is to get senior members back to college for in depth training on Guns and Gangs, Stress Management, and Working with Mentally Ill Offenders.

Fixed Term (unclassified) Correctional Officer Sub-Committee

Dan Sidsworth is leading this issue. The committee continues to meet with Fixed Term members and management. The terms of reference are almost finalized. Composition on the union side is being changed now due to the last members on the committee being rolled over into classified full-time jobs.


The employer committed to rewrite their policies subsequent to the issuance of Vice-Chair Keller’s Award that was handed down on February 5, 2010. What we have seen is a softening of their position, however they have not gone far enough and we will be returning in front of Vice-Chair Keller in the near future for firm direction from the Board. Specifically, the employer continues to waffle on clear direction to the field to not include absences that stem from a bona fide disability under the Ontario Human Rights Code. That would also include WSIB absences. We have already moved the employer back a fair distance and we remain confident that at the end of the day, our position will prevail.

Absenteeism Target Incentives

The calculation under Absenteeism Target Incentives will be based on two per cent of the employee’s straight-time hourly rate as of December 2009, for the period from March 12, 2009 through to December 31, 2009. Overtime hours worked between March 12 and December 31, 2009 will be included in the incentive payment calculation as straight time.

Just a reminder that the ASMPP target incentives are scheduled for payout on May 13, 2010.

JASIC (Joint Attendance Strategy and Implementation Committee)

The list below is the number of members who are at the various attendance levels as reported recently to the JASIC Committee. Many of the members who are included in these figures have NOT been reviewed by the Attendance Support Management Office (ASMO). In many instances, once ASMO reviews a case that member is moved down one or two levels.


Level 1 1,286

Level 2 214

Level 3 30

Level 4 11


Level 1 110

Level 2 6

Level 3 0

Level 4 0

The committee continues to press that management and union look at positive ways to address issues that create high sick time in our division. These issues include violence against staff, overcrowding and understaffing, drugs, weapons and security threat groups.

Committee on Health and Productivity (sub-committee of JASIC)

Dan Sidsworth for MERC and Emidio Casullo for the Provincial OHSC have been working on this issue. The committee is a sub-committee of the JASIC and was formed to assist in reduction of sick credits, assisting members through sick time process, to reduce grievances relating to sick time as well as review accommodations as required.

The Terms of Reference for this pilot have just recently been signed and the pilot site of Maplehurst has been chosen by the sub-committee.

Policy Grievances

Some of the outstanding policy grievances are:

» CTO – unilateral removal of compensating time off across the province

» Police Escorts – outstanding issues of police doing correctional officers’ work.

» Inmate Court Transfers – Ministry pays municipalities to transfer inmates to court, work should be with our members

» Use of Force Instructors – managers being used to do bargaining unit work

» Fixed Term Employees – Not being compensated for hiring errors

Security and Inmate Management Initiatives

Many of the recommendations of this committee to management are being rolled out. Items include canine units and standardized security equipment

We are encouraged by management’s move to address the issue of drugs, weapons and gangs in our work sites by piloting institutional security teams. This initiative is currently in MWDC and CNCC, and will soon be at the Toronto Jail. If it continues to be a success we are hoping that the ministry will be given resources for future teams for other sites.

Pride and Profession

Dress uniforms should be available in near future. Management is in the process of finalizing the procurement of a uniform.

Enhancing our public profile is an important piece of building community support for our struggles. Public presentations to the community from our members continue to be something we are looking forward to have in place.

We continue to encourage our locals to participate in their community and forward your stories to MERC so we can place your community work on our web site.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Paul Johnstone with members Tom O’Neill, Quinte Detention Centre, and Sarah Harries-Jones, Toronto Jail, are working on a process to begin doing a study on PTSD in corrections. Thus far there has only been one study regarding corrections done in Canada by a student in Saskatchewan. We are looking forward to the results of the study which should assist our understanding of what is affecting our members in the field. This in turn will inform our discussions on recommendations to mitigate these factors. We are currently drafting Terms of Reference for this Committee

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Staff Safety

This morning one of our Officers was followed home by someone well known to us. As a result of his awareness, this individual was immediately apprehended and charged.

Staff are reminded to exercise extreme vigilance coming and going to work. It is of utmost importance, that should you be followed to NOT go home and to call 911. Identify yourself and follow Police direction. Contact Union and Management ASAP.

Your safety, and that of your family is of utmost importance. Please check your home email for further information.

An emergency membership meeting will soon be called to address some ongoing safety issues.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GSB Decision

GSB Decision ASMPP

[1] The Union filed a number of grievances, on behalf of its members, dealing with the Attendance Support and Management Pilot Program. Given the number of grievances, and the importance of resolving this matter as expeditiously as possible, the parties agreed on an expedited process to deal with the grievances. Essentially, it was agreed that the parties would provide me with whatever materials they considered relevant, and would then make submissions on the matter. I was asked to, after considering the materials, as well as the submissions. issue a bottom line decision, without reasons. I was requested, as well, to issue the decision in point form, for ease of understanding based on the parties submissions. After considering the submissions of the parties, as well as the documents submitted, I hereby make the following Orders:

1. The Attendance and Support Management Office of the Ministry of Government Services shall exercise reasonable discretion to deal with nonculpable absenteeism on a case-by-case basis at progression through levels of the program.

2. The Employer shall give proper consideration of implications arising under the Ontario Human Rights Code and preclude the consideration of absences that flow from a Disability as defined by the Code.

3. The Employer shall preclude the consideration of WSIB absences in making any determination at Level 4 of the ASMPP.

4. In the event of a declared pandemic by the World Health Organization or the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Employer will consider whether to suspend the ASMPP, and notify OPSEU of their decision.

5. The Parties shall meet to negotiate a dispute resolution process to deal with
grievances arising out of the ASMPP.

6. All of the grievances identified in Appendix A are hereby dismissed.

Dated at Toronto this 5th day of February 2010.

Brian M. Keller, Vice-Chair

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2% Bonus.

As you are aware, the 2009 absenteeism target has been achieved.

As a result, lump sum incentive payments will be issued in accordance with the language set out in Appendix COR7, paragraph 5a(i) of the Correctional Bargaining Unit Collective Agreement.
The target incentive payments will be calculated at two (2) per cent of an employee's straight time salary for hours worked from March 12, 2009 (ratification date of OPSEU Correctional Bargaining Unit Collective Agreement) to December 31, 2009. As the incentive payment calculation is based on hours worked during this time period, it does not include paid or unpaid leaves (including sick leave). However, overtime hours worked during this period will be included the incentive payment calculation. For example, one hour of overtime worked will represent one hour worked for the purposes of calculating the target incentive payment. Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact your manager. Congratulations on the achievement of the 2009 absenteeism target.
David Logan
Assistant Deputy Minister,
Employee Relations Division, HROntario
Ministry of Government Services

Friday, January 29, 2010

JASIC targets met!

Your MERC Teams have learned that the attendance targets set out under the Joint Attendance Strategy and Implementation Committee (JASIC) have been met. Our congratulations to all Youth Services Officers and Correctional Officers in the Corrections Division.

As a result, outstanding overtime payments for all members should be processed imminently. As well, the employer will shortly provide the agreed additional lump sum payment of 2 per cent of your straight-time hourly rate as of December 31, 2009 for all hours worked in the period from the date of ratification to December 31, 2009.

To achieve the 2010 absenteeism target incentives, the attendance average for Youth Services Officers and Correctional Officers must be 176 hours or less as indicated in Article COR15.1 and COR 18.1.

Your MERC Teams thanks you for your continued support.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

OPSEU Help for Haiti

Dear 135 Members...below you will find the most recent post from the MERC site. As you will read some OPSEU members are in need of assistance as they have travelled to Haiti to help. We will be discussing our options as far as what we can do to help our brothers and sisters out, who in turn are doing what they can in Haiti. We anticipate some 50/50 and perhaps a BBQ in an effort to assist. Updates to be posted soon. Thank you. 135 LEC

Dear OPSEU Members,

Ten (10) OPSEU members who are Medics have headed to Haiti to give a helping hand, doing not only Canadians proud, but our proud union of OPSEU.

Brother Seamus O’Connor and president of one of our OPSEU locals has stated that he would be keeping us informed of what was going on in Haiti with our members and we look forward to regular updates from him we hope to have it posted on our region #2 web site and maybe even the main OPSEU web site.

Here is Brother Seamus’ request;

I am Seamus O’Connor President Local 207 Halton Paramedic. I am e-mailing asking if OPSEU and/or OPSEU Locals can donate to assist some of our members who have left for Haiti.

OPSEU in the past has donated $5000 dollars to help ship an Ambulance to Haiti were one of our Medics, with his family have gone to live and help for the next year, prior to the devastation. As many of you are aware the area has just been devastated by an earthquake. Brother Grant (the brother who went with the ambulance) and his family are fine but the clinic they are staying at is being overwhelmed by the sick and injured.

We are hoping that through OPSEU, the Regions, the Locals and our own Local 207, to organize some financial assistance for a number of our medics that have left to go to the clinic in Haiti to help. There has been a personal cost in airfare and the use of their own time. If there is a way that OPSEU members can assist to help offset some of the costs to the Medics it would be greatly appreciated. Any funds that are donated will go towards these requirements, if there is anything left over, and the local will donate to a relief fund to assist the people of Haiti in the name of OPSEU.

Thank you and In Solidarity, Seamus

Please make cheques payable to;

Local 207


55 Frid St.
Suite #1
Hamilton, ON
L8P 4M3

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

General Membership Meeting

Monday, February 8th. 1930hrs, Union Hall. Presentation of budget and new By-Laws. Pizza and refreshmments provided.