Friday, December 11, 2009

Contact Info Please

All members are encouraged to send their updated contact info to the new LEC. Please send contact number and home email to the follow address:

All information will be secure and only be used for union business should we need to contact you.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


There has been some confusion regarding the new sick policy regarding its anniversary date. To clear up all confusion we have posted links to the actual policy. Have a read for yourself and feel free to direct any questions or comments to Rob, Randy or any other LEC member.

Click me for an introduction to the policy

Click me for the policy

click me for common questions and answers

Rob Schussler

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

From MERC re: Arming Officers.

Dear Corrections Division,

We are asking the Corrections division to write the Minister either by snail mail or personal email (not work email) on your thoughts on inmate escorts, CCing Smokey, Brian Chauvin or Eddy Almeida, as well as your local MPP.

Ask Mr. Bartolucci to give the workers proper protection and training, not only for the workers themselves, but also to ensure that public safety is preserved.

In sol., Corrections

Premier Dalton McGuinty,

I am writing you this letter due to the situation that occurred on November 24, 2009 at Hamilton General Hospital. I will also be sending this to Mr. Bartolucci. As you may be aware two Correctional Officer’s that work for Hamilton Wentworth Detention Centre were held at gunpoint and assaulted while escorting an inmate to the hospital. This inmate had previous escape attempts and was in custody for pointing a loaded shotgun at a Toronto Police Officer. This resulted in a very dangerous inmate escaping custody and the general public being put in danger. The inmate still remains at large as I write this letter. Also the two Correctional Officer’s involved were not able to protect them self and are lucky to be alive.

I was looking online today at and noticed Mr. Rick Bartolucci made the following comment to the media regarding the escape:

Province not ready to arm jail guards who escort inmates

“Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci says he doesn’t want more guns in situations like that. He says that could create other problems.”

“At this point in time, I would not be in favour of having jail guards carry guns,” Community Safety Minister Rick Bartolucci said outside the legislature Wednesday.

“They are in very, very close proximity to prisoners (and) carrying a gun brings about a whole other set of circumstances that may have to be dealt with.”

I have serious concerns and am very insulted in the Province of Ontario especially Mr. Bartolucci for not taking the lives of Correctional Officer’s serious. Also I would like to inform our Minister that we are Correctional Officers, NOT jail guards! Goes to show the amount of respect he has for us. I would also like to ask what experience does Mr. Bartolucci have in a jail? None that I know of, so how would he know about the dynamics when escorting an inmate? The Province has an obligation to protect its employees and the community. Correctional Officer’s are put in danger everyday and not given the proper equipment to do our jobs. Officers to this date are still not even issued handcuffs as part of the uniform equipment. One question I would like to ask is, why are armoured car drivers armed, yet us as Peace Officers in Ontario transporting dangerous offenders are not? We escort inmates who are murders, terrorists, gang members and escape risks everyday. Recently Border Guards were armed for their protection, yet we remain unarmed. Correctional Service Canada’s Officer’s are armed, but the Province of Ontario does not arm its Correctional Officer’s for community escorts such as hospital visits. Every inmate that is in a Federal Penitentiary came from a Provincial Institution, we have the exact same inmates as they house, yet we are left to stand alone when it comes to our safety. We also hold Federal inmates who are sent to our custody for court purposes. I know at the Toronto West Detention Centre, we have had escapes that could have been prevented and also have had Officer’s held at gunpoint. I am asking you to please consider this request to arm Correctional Officer’s in the Province of Ontario for the purpose of out of the institution escorts. It is for the safety of the Officer and the community. How can the Ministry be called “Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services” when they are obviously not concerned with safety at all? I hope to hear back from you in the near future.

Kyle Davis

Correctional Officer

Toronto West Detention Centre

Link to Ministers comments and story. CLICK HERE


As many of you may or may not know, there continues to be numerous investigations occurring in the field around allegations of IT/internet abuse, resulting in workplace discrimination and harassment complaints, human rights violations, suspensions, criminal charges, resulting in grievances, mediation and other strains on labour relations, this continues to this day to be an issue.

The parties are working to mitigate the outstanding issues around alleged abuse and hope to have an agreement/process to allow all to move forward in a positive manner.

Thank you.

In Sol., eddy
Memo regarding internet usage: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

From MERC Team

November 23rd, 2009

Greetings Presidents and Division,

We are happy to announce that we have come to an agreement regarding rollovers/COR 9 in the MCSCS Division.

We understand that there is much anticipation over this agreement, please be patient and details will follow soon.


Man escapes custody at Hamilton hospital

Two armed men wearing hospital masks overpowered two prison guards and helped a third man escape custody from Hamilton General Hospital today.

Police alerts were issued throughout the GTA following the morning escape from the hospital at Victoria Ave. and Barton St. at around 11:30 a.m.

Police identified the escaped prisoner as Fawad Nouri, 24, a man who was shot by Hamilton Police in January following an armed robbery of a Tim Hortons on Stone Church Rd. and Upper James St.

Six years ago, Nouri was accused of pointing a sawed-off shotgun at a Toronto Police officer and reaching for her gun following an armed robbery at a flea market.

The prisoner was taken to the hospital for undisclosed care by two guards who were overpowered by two men armed with handguns. Police said the suspects wore green surgical masks during the break-out.

The three men were seen leaving the hospital in a silver-coloured Hyundai Tiburon.

Police also said they may also have a scanner capable of monitoring police calls.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From MERC Team

November 16th, 2009
Greetings Presidents and Division,

Rollovers For MCSCS unclassified (Fixed Term)

The MCSCS MERC met with management on November 12th to further discuss potential numbers and rational on Rollovers. We were unable to come to an agreement as of yet but have scheduled another meeting for the 23rd of November and we remain optimistic.

***IMPORTANT***: We are asking all locals/presidents to confirm with the MERC that all local hour disputes have been resolved around hours regarding appendix 24. Please confirm before 1000 hours on Monday, November 23rd, 2009. If they have not, please provide details as to numbers of outstanding disputes and forward said disputes to us.


We have retained counsel for this policy grievance and the union is providing a team of two, one whom we have relied on many times in the past with great success as well as the other being the lawyer who represented the London city workers against their employers punitive sick program. First date is February 22nd, 2010.


Even though Correctional workers are now part of the group who should be given the vaccine, the employer still has not moved to having on site clinics, except for CNCC where public health declared an outbreak of this flu. We are filing a H&S Policy Grievance on this issue as well the fact that the employer failed to provide employees with protection may be another argument in regards to lack of resources provided to our members.

Court Transfers

Policy grievance has being initiated regarding the court transportation of inmates, as we believe this to be an inclusion issue.


It has come to the unions attention that inspections of our correctional facilities and potentially other inspections are being done by managers out of the Ministry of Labour. The union is moving on a policy grievance on this issue.

In Sol., Corrections Executives

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

H1N1 flu shot

The Ontario government is expanding the list of people who can get the H1N1 flu shot. The province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Arlene King, said Tuesday that first responders — firefighters and police officers — can now get inoculated. Correctional workers and senior citizens living in nursing homes are also eligible to receive the vaccine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The Local Executive would like to thank management for fixing all the radio issues. Having requested reports from its members in order to deal with the problems appropriately, no such reports have been submitted...therefore the radios and all their issues must have been resolved by management.

Friday, October 23, 2009

President's Message

Fighting the coming attack

October 23, 2009

Dear sisters and brothers:

The wounded global economy came home to roost at Queen’s Park yesterday.

Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced that Ontario’s budget deficit this year will hit $24.7 billion. The news, while not surprising, was shocking just the same. It’s a big number. It has big consequences for every OPSEU member.

The Minister promised a “sweeping review” of government spending. Premier Dalton McGuinty would not rule out unpaid days off for the million Ontarians who earn their bread in the provincial public sector. And the spectre of privatization now looms over every public service worker.

The Liberals’ plan is to make us pay.

There is no question that the deficit is real, and it’s big. It’s about $1,900 for every living person in Ontario. Put another way, it’s equal to all the money the province collected from Personal Income Tax last year.

As a province, we will have to address this deficit. The question is, who will pay?

Dwight Duncan won’t have much luck looking for waste in public services (except, of course, for the hundreds of millions he’s throwing away on private consultants). We already had a “sweeping review” from 1995 to 2003. It was called the Common Sense Revolution, and public services still haven’t recovered from the brutal trauma of those years.

As far as unpaid days off, a lot of us remember Bob Rae’s “Social Contract” all too well. But much has changed since the Rae days.

For one thing, the Social Contract would be struck down by the courts today. In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell was wrong to tear up the collective agreements of health workers in that province. Since then, collective bargaining has been recognized as a protected right under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

McGuinty can’t legislate his way out of this. If he wants to use public employees to buy Ontario out of the recession, his two main options are a) privatization; and b) mass layoffs.

Privatization is a stupid idea. It cuts services, it destroys jobs, and it usually comes with major cost overruns. And from a budget standpoint, selling off assets like the LCBO – which right-wingers are already barking for – would kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

As for more layoffs, they can only weaken local economies, destroy the services people need, and generate headlines the Liberals really don’t want to see.

So what’s their plan? My guess is, they think that just the threat of layoffs and privatization will force public employees to agree to the wage cuts or “Dalton Days” he wants.

In other words, it’s a New Social Contract.

The problem with the 1993 version of the Social Contract was not that it tried to pay off the deficit that all Ontarians owed. The problem was that it put the responsibility for doing so on one group only: public sector workers.

How is it fair that a part-time secretary at a community college, who makes maybe $27,000 a year, should be the one paying off the deficit when the Bay Street banker is not?

Which is more important, providing professional help to a child with a mental illness, or giving income tax breaks to profitable corporations and obscene bonuses to their CEOS?

Public services aren’t just for public employees. They exist because we all need them. And that’s why saving them is not the responsibility of public employees alone.

We chose careers in public service not to get rich, but because we care – for people, for families, for communities. It’s time our commitment got the respect it deserves.

We are already planning a bold strategy to fight the coming attack. It will take courage, commitment, brains, resources, and leadership. The good news is, there is no organization in Canada that is better equipped to lead this fight than our union, OPSEU.

Working together as we have done so many times before, I know we will do whatever it takes.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Monday Oct 26, 2009 at 2000hr at the union hall..... Nominations and elections will take place for the following positions:
1. L.E.C
2. E.R.C
3. Scheduling committee.

No more Bitching, come out and have your voice heard! !

Monday, September 14, 2009

Radio Issues--Reports Requested

As we are all aware Management has often informed us to rely on our less than reliable Radio System for Emergency Transmissions. However we all know that these radio's fail nearly as often as they work. Your local Union Executive are requesting you take a couple minutes at the end of your shift to report any and all issues with your radio use throughout the radio. Please take note of poor transmissions, dead/dying batteries and the frequency of such. Submit one report to Management and one to either Paul, Jason or Randy. Yes this takes work, but just a few minutes worth, but this work will assist your Health and Safety Committee affect change for all of us.

It saved his life

'It saved his life'
A protective vest is credited with saving the life of a veteran correctional officer who was among six guards attacked by two convicts at Kingston Penitentiary Wednesday evening. "It saved his life," said Jason Godin, regional president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. He spoke to the officer yesterday, two days after the attack. "He said, 'If I hadn't had the vest, the guy would have sunk 12 inches of blade in my kidney,' " Godin said. The officer became involved in a scuffle on a cellblock of the maximum-security federal prison. One inmate became very aggressive, Godin said, and at some point produced a large-bladed knife and jabbed it into the officer's torso. "It felt like a real solid punch and then he realized (the prisoner) tried to stab him," Godin said. He said the officer has some bruising. The knife used in the attack -- or shiv, as it's known in prison -- was recovered. Godin said police took the officer's vest as evidence. The assaults happened around 10:30 p. m., when convicts were being locked in their cells. The incident began when one inmate smashed a fluorescent light tube in his cell and began hurling the pieces of broken glass at two officers. The officers suffered cuts. Four other officers were attacked by the inmate with a homemade weapon, according to Corrections Canada. The prison service did not disclose that the weapon was a knife. Three of them suffered cuts to their hands, wrist and back and one suffered a pulled muscle. Corrections will not provide any additional details. "I know that the officers were wearing stab-proof vests and they're very good pieces of safety equipment that CSC has provided to the officers who are working in the units," Brian Joyce, an assistant warden at Kingston Pen said yesterday. "I can't speak specifically about whether that was a life-saving event or not but it certainly is a mitigating factor." are still being assessed. One officer may have suffered an injured eye from flying glass. Joyce cited privacy laws in refusing to provide any information about the status of the staff. The two inmate attackers have been transferred out of the prison and could end up in a special handling unit, a super- secure facility for convicts who pose a threat behind bars. All of the roughly 400 convicts at KP remain confined to their cells and all visits and programs were cancelled to allow a prison-wide search for weapons and contraband. "We're going to take our time and do what's necessary to make sure every-thing's safe before we open up," Joyce said. He could not predict when the search would be completed and the institution's normal routine would be restored. Godin said the incident could have been defused, with fewer injuries, if correctional officers were permitted to carry OC, a form of pepper spray. He said staff could see the incident spiralling out of control. "If we had [OC spray], we could have prevented further injuries," he said. The union has been battling senior management for some time, arguing that prison guards should be permitted to carry small canisters of the spray so that they can swiftly respond to violent incidents. At the moment, OC spray is available, but staff must go to a locked, central command post and ask permission from a supervisor for its use. Godin said staff often don't have time to fetch a weapon. "Eighty per cent of the use-of-force incidents that happen in our institutions are spontaneous," he said. Two years ago, guards at maximum-security Kent Institution in British Columbia briefly refused to work and filed a health and safety complaint under the Canada Labour Code over the failure of prison bosses to issue OC spray. A tribunal hearing was held in July to examine the complaint. A decision could take six months. "It is frustrating," said Gord Robertson, regional president of the union based in Abbotsford, B. C. "It's difficult when we know that these things actually protect staff, they actually save staff's lives and in the case of OC it can definitely help in protecting inmates' lives because we can break up fights." Robertson said the union faced the same resistance from senior Corrections bosses over demands for handcuffs and vests to be standard issue, at least in maximum-security prisons. Corrections initially resisted union demands for cuffs and vests, arguing they would provoke or intimidate prisoners. In 2004, Corrections Canada agreed to allow correctional officers to carry handcuffs. Vests were issued to staff in maximum-security prisons and to some staff in medium-security facilities about two years ago. Robertson said Corrections is facing a serious budget crunch and money may be a factor in the resistance to give OC spray to all staff. He notes that Corrections spent nearly $25,000 to hire an expert to appear at the tribunal in July to argue against the union. "Twenty-four thousand, nine hundred dollars would buy enough OC spray for an institution for years," he said. Robertson said staff inside prisons face a growing threat of violence. "CSC realizes that these inmates are becoming more and more violent all the time," he said.

From The MERC Team - September 2/09

Dear Corrections Division
ASMPP - policy grievances are moving forward on managements program, we have yet to get answers to our well....we have a second stage meeting coming up in near future, September 8th, 2009.
Roll Overs - no information as of yet around "Rolls" is due to the fact that there is no news to report.There are loads of rumours, but as our last Lock Talk indicated....that's all they are.....we are still in negotiations with management on the issue of rollovers...(and many other items) as well management is in the process of going through calculating all the hours of Fixed Term/Unclassified/Contract Employees across the province.The numbers per institution are not agreed upon...we have given management our suggested formula...but they have yet to come back with their suggestions or recommendations.When something is agreed upon...we will send it to your local presidents...& then we will post it on here, it is usually up within a day after notice is sent to local Presidents.The Union has no desire to hold up serves the members in no positive manner...we are continuing to push for a speedy and fair process to gain stability for our members.
Meeting with Deputy Minister and ADM's - There was a meeting called September 1st, 2009 at OPSEU Head Office with representation from the president's office, staff services and the grievance department as well Brothers Gord Longi and Eddy Almeida. Deputy Minister, Mr. Jay Hope, ADM's for Institutions Mr. Steven Small and Community Kevin Cowie also attended, Dr. Ralph Agard, ADM of OED was not in attendance....We had the opportunity to speak frankly with the deputy and ADM's as what we believe are our common goals as well as what we see as barriers to moving forward in a positive manner. Primarily we want to be included in the law enforcement community, treated with the same respect and discussed how to work together to get there....we are hoping the recommendations that come out of the Security and Inmate Management Committee as well as other MERC/POH&SC/SAROCSC committees and sub committees assist in outlining methods to reach these goals over time, as well as deal with outstanding Labour Management issues. We understand that we still have some major hurtles a head of us....but we are hoping that with dialogue we should be able to come to some agreements and then actions that are in the best interest of all.
Committees - We have brought the MCSCS committees up to date on our web site, they and the members attached to said committees can be found under Information, but may be moved under stand alone heading of committees in very near future. As in all other aspects of our web site, this is a work in progress.
Any other it comes available, we will post ASAP.
Thank you for your continued work in protecting the good citizens of Ontario.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MERC letter to Mr. Hope RE: ASMPP

Letter to Mr. Jay Hope from your MERC Team
August 12th, 2009

Greetings Corrections Division

Attached is a letter we have sent due to management refusing to provide us with any information regarding their program.

In Sol., MERC
To view the letter: Click Here

Security Provisions and Inmate Population Management Committee Memorandum and Questionnaire

Local Union Executive is encouraging all staff members to complete the following questionnaire when circulated.

From Brother Almeida, MERC

August 12th, 2009
Dear Corrections Division

Please see the attached memo and questionnaire for distribution to all staff and managers in your facilities.

Thank you for your assistance.

In Sol., eddy
Memorandum: Click Here
Questionnaire: Click Here

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009
The London Free Press - August 7/09
Unions have role in cutting high city hall absenteeism
It's disappointing, but not unexpected that an arbitrator has ruled against a policy at London city hall aimed to reduce high worker absenteeism. Arbitrator Wesley Raynor, a former dean of the University of Western Ontario's law faculty, said the policy could be used to intimidate employees to come to work even when they're legitimately sick. Raynor noted the policy's repeated threat of termination and "the limited explanation of the need for discretion . . . create a definite tone of intimidation." The ruling leaves the city without an attendance policy for the next six months and chief administrative officer Jeff Fielding said management will draft a new policy in consultation with city hall unions. The policy was adopted after it came to light administration wanted to hire an attendance manager to help cope with an unusually high absenteeism rate among city workers. A review by an accounting firm concluded city hall employees missed an average of 19.4 days of work, more than double the national average of 9.7 days for civic workers compiled by Statistics Canada. The policy developed by management flagged employees who missed six days or more in either half of the calendar year. Managers were to work with employees with serious illness while others were also offered help but told to find ways to reduce sick days or face an escalating set of six meetings which could lead to termination. It sounds convoluted, possibly unfair and open for abuse and Raynor ruled it was. Unless the unions representing 2,200 inside and outdoor workers are involved in developing a new policy, it is almost bound to fail. That way the employees have a stake in its success. Clearly, the language and process will also have to be simplified. There's no question absenteeism has improved in recent years. For instance, absentee rates among London firefighters dropped 18.5% compared with 2007, and are significantly lower at Dearness Home for the Aged. No one can blame the administration for trying. They've had success. But all of us expect even more improvement now that the unions will be involved.
Those of you sitting in the ivory towers, you should take a look at the highlighted sentence. See you at the GSB.....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Obese Texas man hides gun between rolls of fat

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An obese prisoner in Harris County, Texas has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm after he was discovered to be hiding a 9mm pistol in between his rolls of fat, local media reported Saturday.

George Vera, who weighs around 500 pounds (225 kilograms) was originally arrested last week for selling counterfeit CDs, according to the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

A police spokesman told the Chronicle that Vera was searched three times over the course of his arrest and booking at the jail but managed to conceal the handgun with his rolls of fat until it was discovered in the shower.

Vera has been charged with possession of an illegal weapon in a correctional facility, which carries a penalty of two to 10 years in prison, but is currently free on bail of 10,000 dollars.

Stage 2 Request from Management

Any members with outstanding grievances are being asked to contact Local Union Executives in the event that they have received a letter from Management relating to Stage 2 Hearings.
Thank you.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Lock Talk…
August 5th, 2009

Lock Talk

A publication of the OPSEU Corrections Division

August 5, 2009

Welcome to ASMPP
(Another Slipshod Ministry Pilot Program)

Starting Aug. 10, 2009, the employer will implement their new Attendance Support Management Pilot Project (ASMPP) to replace the Attendance Support Program (ASP).

The MCSCS and MCYS MERC teams met with the employer on July 29 as part of the new Joint Attendance Strategy and Implementation Committee (JASIC). However, the employer representatives appeared to be powerless and without the authority to make any type of decisions.

Both the MCSCS and the MCYS MERC Teams and OPSEU are extremely concerned with much of the content of the new ASMPP. We are also very aware of the overwhelming negative response and the many concerns expressed by corrections bargaining unit members when this program was announced.

Eddy Almeida, MCSCS MERC Chair says that so far their questions have gone unanswered. “We have raised a litany of questions around the shortcomings of this policy, Almeida said. “We are still waiting to hear management’s rational and justifications for putting in language that is only beneficial to the employer…criteria that only appears to enable them to dismiss members from their jobs.”

“Once again, the employer has put into motion a knee-jerk policy without any research to support the policy’s purpose or objectives,” said Glenna Caldwell, MCYS MERC Chair. “Clearly, there are a multitude of factors that are involved with attendance problems over and above the terrible conditions within our work environments. The employer admitted that they did zero research to understand the factors behind sick time usage in the corrections bargaining unit.”

The employer’s policy speaks to assisting employees in maintaining positive attendance rates, yet they have allocated zero resources to meet this objective. They could not identify any resources besides the 3.5 sessions of EAP (which was cut down some time ago from 10 sessions) as a mechanism to assist employees.

Meanwhile, the employer continues to raise the issue of sick time with the union, while doing nothing to improve conditions that are the major factors behind attendance issues. Instead, they appear to be doing exactly the opposite. OPSEU has tabled and is emphatically addressing all of the concerns that have been raised about this punitive program, and we are awaiting responses from the employer. We also fully intend to put this policy to the test at the GSB and any other forums where it can and should be challenged.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said that the government should re-think the ongoing battle they are waging against members in the OPS, especially those in Corrections.

“Our Corrections members do not throw in the towel at the first sign of a fight,” Thomas said. “The employer has learned this time and time again. If the employer needs another lesson in how strong our members can be, we are more than willing to show them.”

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ASMPP - Manager’s Guide.

Follow the link to see the managers guide to the new attendance support and management pilot program.


Members are reminded to check Corrections Merc Site for updates and are encourage to check out other Local Websites for information.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Direct Supervision In Remand Centre

Direct Supervision In Remand Centre - July 1/09
Remand centre guards up in arms over plans to station them among prisoners with no partitions
Mere weeks after a guard was attacked by a prisoner and hospitalized, staff at the notorious Edmonton Remand Centre are about to be thrown in with the inmates.
"There will be no protective glass between us and them," said one correctional peace officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We'll be at a desk right in the units, where we're totally exposed and vulnerable." The locked, secure observation decks where the CPOs oversee the prisoners, known as "bubbles," are being phased out in favour of "direct supervision," where staff work alone or in pairs right alongside the prisoners in the cramped, overcrowded units. The new system begins experimentally in a single unit on July 8 and will be phased in over the next year. It will feature rewards for inmates who behave. If prisoners obey the rules and co-operate, they get extra privileges. If they cause trouble, privileges are taken away. One source said the privileges will include flat-screen TVs and fridges full of goodies in common areas. The head of the guards' union is calling for a hazard assessment of the plan. Alberta Union of Provincial Employees president Doug Knight said direct supervision at the Edmonton remand is "ludicrous." 'COMPLETELY DIFFERENT' It might work in other jails, he said, but "the atmosphere in a remand centre is completely different from a longer-term institution." Remand centres hold prisoners still awaiting trial. They don't yet know their fates and are often tense and edgy. Some are extremely violent and, once sentenced, will be sent to maximum-security prisons. Many come into the remand with "street beefs" and end up face-to-face with their enemies from the outside. Add to that the Edmonton centre's gulag-like overcrowding -- there are more than 800 inmates in a facility built for 340 -- and you have a powderkeg of tension, anger and hostility, Knight explained. "This will put the inmates at risk, too," said another union member, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. "What you need in there is more control, not less." Solicitor General spokesman Sharon Lopatka said studies in the U.S. have shown that direct supervision actually "reduces tensions." "It allows (CPOs) to quickly deal with problems before they escalate," she said. "Because they're better able to observe the inmates they get to know the habits, what's going on, what the inmates are saying." BETTER RAPPORT Because they spend more time with the prisoners, the guards can build a better rapport with them, Lopatka added. A new, $620-million, 2,000-inmate remand centre will open in 2011 at 127 Street and 186 Avenue. Lopatka said the new facility is designed with direct supervision in mind, and imposing it now will give staff a chance to learn the new system. But a lot of staff at the remand don't buy it, said one staffer. They're skeptical of the system in a new facility, but feel they're being thrown to the wolves in the old remand. Last month, a guard was hospitalized after a prisoner managed to slip into a secure office and attack him while the CPO did paperwork. A week earlier, another guard had to fend off an attacker with pepper spray after he tried to break up a fight between two inmates. One staffer warned that tough economic times could make things even more tense in the remand. "They don't get as many programs as sentenced prisoners get," he explained. "And, with the overcrowding, they're not getting as much as they should anyway. "During a recession, one of the first places the government cuts back is programs for prisoners." He added ominously: "A busy offender is an offender who's not making shivs."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leadership Training on Ministry Initiated Investigations

Local Union Leadership and Stewards will be attending training this coming August to assist our members in the event of any type of Investigation including such under Article 22.

Members are encouraged to make use of email addresses provided to contact your local executives for non urgent situations.

Thanks, Randy

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Members are encouraged to continue with their responsibilities for their own respective grievances(collection of evidence, adhering to time lines etc..). Please provide a copy of Stage 1 to Slinger. If/when you choose to proceed to stage 2 (In the event the grievance is not satisfactorily settled by the supervisor) please ensure proper forms are forwarded to Slinger within time frames governed by Article 22 of the Collective Agreement. Should you have any questions regarding the filing of grievances, please refer to new Collective Agreement Hard copies will be available by the fall. I can be contacted at my home email or on my cell should you require an help.

Upcoming Educational in London, Sept 26/27 if anyone is interested. Info can be found here. Thanks, Randy

Thursday, July 2, 2009

News Update From The MERC Team - July 1/09

We met with the employer on June 29th regarding Security Issues and Inmate Management.
We tabled numerous agenda items for discussion at this table, as well as requesting information pertinent to topics, much of what has/is presently on provincial tables. Items we felt needed to be included in any recommendations report that is forwarded to higher ups. This report is to be completed by the end of September.
It is a work in progress and there are more items to add, as well as more research required. Once the finial document is completed, we will ensure it is posted on our web site and sent to the local executives the same time it is released.

Meeting with the employer on June 30th regarding the Rollovers.

The Employer advised that they will be requesting that all adult institutions start to calculate the straight time hours of all fixed-term Correctional Officers from the beginning of their first contract up to and including June 28, 2009.The parties agreed in principle thus far to the following:

1. All fixed-term Correctional Officers will be provided the opportunity to receive and dispute the hours which will be used in this roll-over exercise.
2. This will be the last time fixed-term Correctional Officers will be provided the opportunity to dispute their hours (beginning from their first contract up to and including June 30, 2009). These hours may be used in future roll over exercises without a dispute process.
3. Upon receipt of their hours, fixed-term Correctional Officers will be provided five business days to dispute these hours. It is the responsibility of the fixed-term Correctional Officer to provide documentation to support their dispute (i.e. Pay stubs, etc.).
4. Should the parties not agree on the disputed hours, the dispute will be referred to the MERC Implementation Committee.
5. An Expression of Interest will be drafted and forwarded to all adult institutions asking all fixed-term Correctional Officers to "express their interest" in becoming classified, if the opportunity is available.
6. These "Expressions of Interest" will be posted for ten business days.
7. To be eligible to apply for this process, fixed term Correctional Officers must have been employed at their current institution for a period of at least one year.
8. Should the fixed-term Correctional Officer NOT have been employed at the institution for a period of one year, they may be considered for roll over at the last institution they have worked (as long as there was no break in service longer than 13 weeks) if they were employed at that institution for a period of one year.
We are also encouraging locals executives to make their own lists of vacancies and other pertinent numbers with rational. Suggestions have been sent to local presidents
Local 135 has presented our MERC team with our vacancy list.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters

The following document was “leaked” by management recently.

This is a management document and was not negotiated by the union. It falls under managements rights to come up with such a program and in so much, it is no different than the previous program, in that we have the right to grieve this management program.

The ASP committee has yet to meet, MERC has sent dates to management and we are waiting to hear back. I am sure that is where management first intended to present this document to us.

click anywhere on this line to view the document.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rezoning OK'd for 'urgently needed' jail

WINDSOR, Ont. -- Council has approved rezoning for construction of a new jail site at the south end of Walker Road.

The decision was made at the end of a marathon six-hour special meeting at City Hall on Thursday night.

The motion passed by a vote of 8-2.

Councillors Ron Jones, Drew Dilkens, Fulvio Valentinis, Percy Hatfield, Alan Halberstadt, Caroline Postma, Bill Marra, and Jo-Anne Gignac voted in favour.

Councillors. Ken Lewenza Jr. and Dave Brister were the opposition votes.

"We talk about NIMBY," said Jones before the votes were taken. "Some people say it means 'Not in my back yard.' Others say 'NOW in my back yard.'"

Rezoning was the last obstacle to the controversial project, which will be located west of 8th Concession Road just north of Highway 401.

Although Jones said he was "astonished" by the lack of involvement by local MPPs, he said rezoning for the jail is the right choice.

"We do require a new facility. We have to put people to work. We have to do what is right for the City of Windsor, not just one community."

More than 40 delegations — from concerned residents to provincial representatives to a correctional officer — signed up to speak on the issue.

Residents who crammed council chambers reacted with dismay to the decision. One irate attendee clapped loudly to interrupt Halberstadt's speech.

Ward 4 resident Antun Peakovic said he was shocked by council's decisions, and called the public input process "a sham, a joke."

Peakovic said the jail will always have an "inherently negative" image, and many of his questions about the facility remain unanswered — such as whether it will serve only Windsor, or all of southwestern Ontario.

"We are the taxpayers, and yet you don't seem to care," he told the mayor and council.

Ana Peakovic, Antun's mother, called the jail a "monster."

"There are too many hidden agendas," she said. "Dwight Duncan and Sandra Pupatello have no excuse. They have turned against us."

Rob Pattison, vice-president of Infrastructure Ontario, construction is hoped to begin in the fall of 2010.

Indicated as a red zone on planning maps of the area, the site for the jail is an area of 30 acres. The main building will have a capacity of 315 inmates, but is limited to a height of no more than 14 metres.

There will be two sets of fences, including one 20 feet high topped by razor wire.

Paul Prsa of the Croatian Sports Club said the new jail will be a direct neighbour to his club's long-standing soccer facilities. He predicted that the jail will cause permanent upheaval to the club.

"Our membership is largely made up of families with young children, and in some cases, grandchildren," he said. "Quite frankly, we were there first."

Prsa alleged that the consultation process "has been largely rigged to produce a favourable outcome for the major private players in this game."

"We've been bullied by the big guy in the school yard, so to speak."

In an emotional speech, Ward 4 resident Martha Belleperche said she and others have been stressed for months by the prospect of the jail.

"We have been lied to from the beginning by (the Ontario Realty Corporation), and the provincial government."

But community supporters of the site pointed to the employment it will generate, and the need to replace the current outdated facility on Brock Street.

"This project will create a number of good-paying jobs for our members," said Rob Petroni, president of a local labourer's union. "We understand that if it gets turned down here, it will probably go somewhere else."

Paul Petroni, a correctional officer who has worked at the Brock Street jail, pointed out that the current facility is more than 80 years old, and is subject to overcrowding.

"It is time to build a new jail, and the outcome would not only benefit my members, but also Windsor," he said.

Petroni said he believes the old jail has had a positive impact on its community, which includes a nearby church, elementary school and west end businesses.

But his comments drew mocking interjections from some residents, prompting the mayor to call for decorum.

"No more outbursts," Francis said. "If there are any other outbursts, I'll ask you to leave the chambers."

Steve Small, assistant deputy minister of the Ministry of Community, Safety and Correctional Services, said a new jail in Windsor is "urgently needed."

He said there have been no escapes at any of Ontario's modern jail and correctional facilities, and no security breaches in the past decade. "Safety and security is paramount," he said.

Hugh Handy, speaking on behalf of the Ontario Realty Corporation, noted that Windsor police support the new jail's location.

"We believe it is compatible with existing and proposed land uses," Handy said. "It will be integrated into the future urban fabric."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Grievance Process

Members are reminded to review Article 22 and their responsibilities in the grievance process. Time lines are important, and grievors must adhere to them. Grievors must do their part, as governed by Article 22. Should you have any questions feel free to ask.

135 Executive

New Doe Law Shields Correctional Officers

New Doe law shields corrections officers
Backers say it will reduce frivolous suits
By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel
Madison — Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill Friday that supporters say will stop prisoners from launching frivolous lawsuits against correctional officers. "This law allows corrections officers to properly do their job protecting our communities without having the constant threat of being sued for unfounded reasons hanging over them," said Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), a sponsor of the bill. Anyone can file John Doe complaints with judges that require them to take testimony, even when there is no evidence of a crime. Correctional officers say inmates have abused the system, leading to meritless complaints that tie up courts and force officers to pay legal expenses. Under the law signed by Doyle at Waupun Correctional Institution, judges would forward complaints to district attorneys to investigate. If the district attorney does not file charges, the complaint would go back to the judge to decide if he or she wanted to launch a separate investigation. Judges would have more discretion than they do now in deciding how to conduct those inquiries. Judges would still have to convene hearings if they are requested by district attorneys. The 170-year-old John Doe law is most often used by district attorneys, who consider it a valuable tool for drug investigations and other complex matters. Some judges have interpreted the law to mean that they have to issue felony charges against officers even when they lack evidence. In a 2007 case, a Dodge County judge charged Waupun officer Gabe Umentum with mistreating an inmate, relying on nothing more than the inmate's word. Umentum has said the case turned his life upside down and cost him $4,618 in legal bills. A special prosecutor eventually dropped the case, and the state repaid his bills. Officers say cases like that have led some officers to be overcautious with prisoners.

Ontario needs this kind of law to protect our members from frivolous inmate lawsuits!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

OPSEU This Week

Your guide to the OPSEU website - - June 15, 2009

Can't view this page? Click here
Be ready to strike if need be, team says
Bargaining Bulletin, Issue 12: Bargaining between the LCBO and OPSEU resumes June 15 and if necessary will continue right up to the strike deadline of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24. Other news: LBED radio ads hit the airwaves on Sunday; Telling our stories: DOs and DON'Ts for writing letters; LBED member Vicki Baier featured in upcoming film with Mary Walsh. more...
Hear the LBED radio ads
Radio ads feature the voices of real members of the Liquor Board Employees Division - and Dalton McGuinty! more...
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath rises in support of Court Reporters
Andrea Horwath, MPP for Hamilton Centre and Leader of Ontario’s NDP, addressed the government during Question Period June 1, 2009, regarding Ontario’s court reporters. more...
MPP blasts Upper Canada Village changes
'Historic' Showdown: MPP Jim Brownell says he's 'appalled and ashamed' by modernism movement at tourist attraction. more...
Uproar over changes
What people are saying: residents speak out against changes at Upper Canada Village. more...
It's Our Nature to Care
Sector 8 Long Term Care has introduced a new newsletter. more...
International Youth Day event to be held this August
On Aug. 7-8, 2009, the Provincial Young Workers Committee will be holding its second International Youth Day Event at the Wellesley Membership Centre. If you are a young worker and would like to attend the event, please apply! more...
H1N1 Flu Watch
H1N1 Influenza Update: On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the global pandemic level from Phase 5 to Phase 6 signaling that a global pandemic is underway with sustained human to human transmission in several WHO countries. more...
New OPSEU job postings
- Secretary, Membership Benefits
- Senior Accounting Clerk
- Education Officer
- Building Security
- Resource Centre Representative
- Staff Representative Guelph
- Organizer

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Provincial Overtime Protocol

Click hear to download your copy of the new Provincial Overtime Protocol Revised June/09.

Click hear to download your question and answers on the new protocol Revised June/09

News on NEW JAIL

City Council Members scheduled to vote on proposed new jail site June 18th/09. Local Union Executive will be in attendance and will keep you updated

Unclassified Rollovers are in the works.

See MERC link for updates and check back often to that site for any new information. This MERC site contains any and all information which the Local will receive

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lock Talk

Corrections braves the weather to greet McGuinty

The cold, wet and grey weather did not deter members of the Corrections Division as they paid a visit to Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty’s fundraiser in Ottawa on May 28, 2009.
The weather provided a suitable backdrop that mirrored the treatment of the Corrections Division both during negotiations and following the contract ratification.
Dozens of hardy members from both the community and institutions attended the event to bring attention to the deplorable working conditions and lack of human and financial resources that exist at the ground level of Corrections in Ontario.
While members were peacefully demonstrating on the information picket line, Brothers Gord Longhi and Eduardo Almeida were able to conduct an inside lobby of the actual event.
Given that this was the Premier’s fundraiser, there were many MPPs on site. Gord and Eddy had the opportunity to address a number of Ottawa and area MPPs and explain that although the Corrections Division may have a contract, significant steps would still be necessary to get labour relations back to some semblance of stability.
Brothers Longhi and Almeida had an opportunity to spend a few moments with the busy Premier and explained to him that neither he nor his ministers are being given all the facts about what is happening in the correctional institutions and community offices. McGuinty was told that his senior management group is so disconnected with what is happening on the shop floors, that when they report on issues they give finely filtered information to suit their own needs, not the needs of the actual ministry or what would best suit community safety.
Although the time was brief, Premier McGuinty was advised that senior bureaucrats within MCSCS have violated signed agreements and retracted verbal promises on such a scale that signed documents are now seemingly not worth the paper they are written on. “So what’s next?” we asked. “Tear up the collective agreement?”
The Premier thanked OPSEU for supporting his fundraiser and asked for a summary of what is happening in Corrections so he can review our concerns. McGuinty wants to know what the workers are seeing as issues on the front lines from both community and institutions.
We ask that members forward their thoughts to their local executives and the MERC Chair.
We also informed the Premier that we would provide a synopsis for him and all the MPPs as the issue was relevant to almost every community and constituency in Ontario. We look forward to speaking with the Premier and Liberal MPPs once again throughout the summer.

Parties agree to normalize labour relations

In an effort to improve labour relations, the employer and union met and have agreed to work more cooperatively toward solving issues that have been plaguing Corrections for a number of months.
To that end, the union has signed an agreement that will allow all locals to rescind all notices recently served to their local superintendents, and we encourage them to do so.
The employer has also agreed to accept the locals’ intent to rescind their notices of withdrawal from Compressed Work Week Agreements.
Members are encouraged to make themselves reasonably available for HPRO and participate in all activities within their workplaces, including acting assignments. Management has assured us that they will be looking into all management vacancies with intent to fill all vacant positions.
The MERC has also agreed to a Terms of Reference with respect to a Security Provisions and Inmate Population Management Committee. This committee is being formed to make recommendations concerning current security provisions at provincial correctional facilities and the management of inmate populations within those institutions.
Corrections MERC Chair Eddy Almeida is “cautiously optimistic” that the Division can move forward on its concerns.
“We have agreed with the employer that it is in everyone’s best interest to try to normalize labour relations in Corrections,” Almeida said. “However, it takes two parties to make this work. We will certainly do our part.”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

OPSEU This Week

Union team sets strike deadline of June 24
Bargaining Bulletin, Issue 10: The LBED bargaining team has set June 24 as the strike deadline in contract talks with the LCBO. more...
TCHC Community Safety Unit reaches tentative agreement
OPSEU Local 529 at the Community Safety Unit at Toronto Community Housing has reached a tentative agreement. more...
Kids Matter Campaign raised at Queen's Park
The ongoing funding crisis in children's mental health was raised in the provincial legislature by NDP MPP France Gélinas. more...
Bargaining scheduled
Labline: The bargaining team is scheduled to meet with the employer on June 23 - 26 to begin bargaining. more...
Court Reporters Campaign ramping up
It’s about the integrity of the record. OPSEU is fighting to maintain the function of transcript production for court reporters. more...
The Living Wall and new biographies of Workers of Colour
The "Living Wall" tracks participation of workers of color at OPSEU convention from 2004 until 2008. "Colouring our Path" is a series of biographies of Workers of Colour in all sectors of OPSEU. New biographies include: Tony Weekes, Jennifer Reid and Cory Bryan. more...
H1N1 Flu Watch
H1N1 Influenza Update: As of May 26, 2009, the total number of H1N1 flu cases in Ontario is 371. more...
OPSEU to McGuinty: Stop destroying Corrections
Corrections members from across Ontario converged in Ottawa at a Liberal fundraiser to protest recent actions and inactions by the McGuinty government. more...
Auditor General must fast-track eHealth investigation
The Auditor General should fast-track his investigation into questionable spending at eHealth. more...
Urgent call to stop Bill C-23, a bill to implement the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
OPSEU calls on members to step up e-mail and letter writing campaign to stop the Canadian government from pushing through this agreement. more...
First annual golf tournament held
The First Annual OPSEU Enterprises / Live and Let Live Fund Charitable Golf Tournament was held Monday, May 25, with 144 golfers playing the Meadowbrook Golf & Country Club. more...
For more information please visit:

News Update From The MERC Team - June 1/09

Here is what the employer is offering at this point for a solution to the CWWA…..Would you have your MERC sign this??? To view this document: Click Here We are supposed to meet with employer June 1st to discuss this document, some presidents have responded back already that if the employer wants peace and normalcy within the work place, then the only thing that should be in any agreement is point number 1…..and the employer should start to deal with the issues that are at the MERC, POH&SC and LERC tables….that’s how we move forward.
Regarding Rollovers
Some questions have come from the field around Rollovers;
When might this happen?
The two original MERC dates were not enough to get through our agenda…as well, other factors around labour unrest postponed our meetings. So we had another date added last week….we have named the people we want on the MERC sub-committee to deal with this, we are waiting for managements names.
What steps to accomplish this?
We need a formula to ascertain what each institution is entitled to….we have to sit as the Roll over sub committee yet and discus this….but we have submitted our suggestion for a formula to management.
What are the numbers going to be?
See last Q&A….until we have the formula, we would only be guessing…..but would say given the recent agreements out of London and Maplehurst due to OLRB issues….that the bench mark is far over the 220 base…..which management has agreed to in “principle” during meetings that it is a base….the only problem, they have agreed to other things in the past and reneged (please see CTO agreements and soon you will hear about them breaching the numbers around management/union “Guns and Gangs Unit” for institutions). From the unions stand point we want these Rolls done ASAP….there are many negatives attached to having long standing unclassified lists….No need to get into that portion…as the list would be long and we don’t have to tell unclassified members or anyone that was unclassified for even a small amount of years, the hell it puts people through, including those that are attached to that person on the peripheral, we know first hand. Your MERC, along with all the local executives are committed in getting as many rollovers as soon as possible and bring some normalcy to as many members as we can in our division. We are now awaiting the MERC minutes to be reviewed and then signed off, once done we will post. In Sol., Eddy

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tori Stafford's mom wants her daughter’s ‘killers dead’

WOODSTOCK, Ont. -- The mother of Victoria (Tori) Stafford has told a local newspaper that she wants the accused suspects in the killing of her eight-year-old daughter dead.

“My daughter’s not coming home.I want the killers dead,” Tara McDonald told the London Free Press Friday, the first time she has spoken to the media following the arrests of a man and woman earlier this week.

Michael Rafferty, 28, of Woodstock, faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of abduction.

His girlfriend, Terri-Lynne McClintic, 18 also of Woodstock, has also been charged with abduction and accessory after the fact to murder.

Tori went missing on April 8. Her body has yet to be found but police resumed their search on Friday.

According to court documents, it is believed the young girl was killed the same day she went missing.

Ms. McDonald said that she has not been able to think about what her Grade 3 daughter must’ve suffered following her death.

“To think someone took my daughter and then ... I can’t even think about it,” she said. “I know there are sick and twisted people in the world but I had no idea. I don’t want to sound selfish and I wish this on no one, but I sometimes think, why did it have to be my daughter?”

Ms. McDonald told the Free Press that she was also very angry with how police dealt with her daughter’s abduction, and outright accused investigators of pinning the blame on her.

“One officer came into my house and said, ‘You are my prime suspect.’ He said, ‘I have been doing this job as long as you have been alive and I have never seen a mother behave like you.’ I said, ‘You should have dropped off the mother’s handbook to me so I would know how I’m supposed to behave’.”

She said the police also made threats to her son, Tori’s older brother, Daryn, who is 10.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do about it, but I’m going to do something about it,” she said. “I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.”

Meanwhile, the search for Tori’s remains continued in an area near Fergus, Ont., about 90 kilometres northeast of Woodstock.

Tori’s father, Rodney Stafford said that he hopes his daughter will be returned to the family.

“(I’m) a little less optimistic I guess of where it (the search) is,” he said Thursday. “(My) hopes are still there but they’re fading. Only now that they have Terri-Lynne helping with the search -- that kind of puts a damper on things.”

Three canine units were seen descending on the rural Ontario town early Friday.

On Thursday, the Ontario Provincial Police had taken Ms. McClintic out of jail to be their guide in the search for the little girl’s remains.

A short distance away, another group of investigators hauled away a large garbage bin that sat near the end of a property. Ontario Provincial Police Const. Steven Starr would not comment on what led police to the large green Dumpster.

With files from National Post

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CUPE striker breaks ankle in melee

A striking outside city worker said he suffered serious injuries after a confrontation with a private contractor who was trying to mow grass on Kildare Road, according to a union statement and a police report.

The union member, who remains at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital awaiting surgery Saturday, suffered a broken ankle after he fell to the ground. He also had cuts to his nose and face, said Jim Wood, president of CUPE Local 82, which represents about 400 outside city workers who have been on strike since April 15. Another 1,400 inside city workers joined the picket lines on April 18.

According to police, around 4 p.m. Friday a private contractor, who does landscaping for Windsor Regional Hospital, was asked by a hospital official to mow a city median on Kildare Road because it was very overgrown, said acting Staff Sgt. Steve Cincurak.

When the private contractor was unloading his truck, union picketers arrived. There was a confrontation, then a face-to-face argument, Cincurak said.

"Someone threw a punch, the striker fell to the ground and scraped his elbow, allegedly," Cincurak said reading from the police report from officers who arrived at the scene. "The story is conflicted."

Police filed no charges and the case is to be followed up, Cincurak said.

Wood said the hospital erred when it asked the contractor to mow the median. When strikers confront people mowing city property or picking up garbage, they are supposed to be friendly and not have an angry face, Wood said.

"Regardless of whether it was risky, you can't go around beating people up," Wood said.

City workers are on strike to preserve retirement benefits for new hires.

© Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

Health And Safety - H1N1 Flu Watch - May 15/09

As of May 14, 2009, the total number of H1N1flu cases in Ontario is 155. All of the cases are mild; one person with H1N1 flu has been hospitalized for other medical reasons. MOHLTC has released a new fact sheet "Occupational Health and Safety Requirements for the Health Care Sector" which describes duties and responsibilities [MORE] of employers, supervisors and workers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations. All of hese obligations continue during the current influenza outbreak. The Occupational Health and Safety Act is available at the following link: A worker who is required by his or her employer or by the Regulation for Health Care and Residential Facilities ( ) to wear or use any protective clothing, equipment or device shall be instructed and trained in its care, use and limitations before wearing or using it for the first time and at regular intervals. Employers are encouraged to document that workers are trained, dates when training was conducted and materials covered during training. A worker must work in compliance with the Act and its regulations and use or wear any equipment, protective devices or clothing required by the employer. The other new document, "Information on the use and fit-testing of N95 Respirators" is specifically aimed at the healthcare sector, but provides useful guidance to any workplace where N95 respirators may be required. N95 respirators filter out tiny airborne particles when the respirator fits and is properly used. Individuals who are required to wear N95 respirators must be fit tested at least every two years to ensure a proper fit. Please continue to watch the OPSEU website and the links below for updates on H1N1 Influenza:
New Occupational Health and Safety Requirements for the Health Care Sector
New Information on the use and fit-testing of N95 Respirators
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care H1N1 Flu Virus (Human Swine Flu) site has regular updates and links to other useful sites
Ontario’s Agency for Health Protection and Promotion provides regularly updated information on H1N1 Flu (Human Swine Flu)
OPSEU’s “A Healthcare Workers Guide to Pandemic Influenza”

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lock Talk

Local presidents to meet in Ottawa

Local presidents will come to Ottawa on May 21 to discuss the ongoing labour relations problems in the Corrections Division.
The meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the OPSEU Ottawa Resource Centre at 1793B Kilborn Ave. The purpose of the meeting is to bring local presidents up to date on what has been happening across the division with respect to CTO and other issues, reports from the MERCs and legal counsel, as well as a strategy session on next steps.
For more information, please contact your respective Corrections or Children and Youth Services MERC Teams.

CT-NO? Or CT-Depends?

Since the Ministry decided to unilaterally back out of long-standing mutual agreement in the OPS contract, CTO has become “CT-NO” for Corrections Division members.
However, rumour has it that managers in our adult and youth facilities are still able to earn and use compensating time off for working overtime.
Next time you see a manager, ask if he or she can still earn CTO. If yes, we’re sure the Minister will have a good reason for this elitist inequity.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Introducing PC Tim (The Weasel) Hudak

TORONTO — Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Tim Hudak is calling on the McGuinty government to tear up wage agreements with the public sector and reach new deals designed for hard times. In his first major speech to a business audience since announcing his leadership bid, Mr. Hudak said the government should renegotiate more affordable agreements. The government signed agreements with public sector unions that include wage increases of 3 per cent a year over three years even as the economic downturn was looming, Mr. Hudak told the Economic Club of Canada. "By any reasonable standard, they were rich agreements," he said. "That's simply irresponsible." In releasing some of the economic policies in his campaign platform, Mr. Hudak said the interests of middle-class families are front and centre. He vowed to turn to the private sector to create jobs - something he says the governing Liberals have ignored. Mr. Hudak said the government should eliminate, for one year, payroll taxes and the land transfer tax on home purchases to stimulate job creation and help middle-class families. He also said the government should freeze wages of MPPs and non-unionized employees in the public service for the duration of the recession. Mr. Hudak, 41, was first elected as an MPP in the 1995 sweep that ushered in the Conservatives under premier Mike Harris. Many veterans of that era hope he can steer the party back to the small-c conservative policies that were a hallmark of the Common Sense revolution. His campaign has the support of Mr. Harris. The government sought yesterday to link Mr. Hudak to the dramatic funding cuts to health care and education that were part of the Harris era. "We respect the bargaining process," said Greg Dennis, a spokesman for Government and Consumer Services Minister Ted McMeekin. "We are not going to return to the Conservative approach of firing nurses by the thousand and firing our teachers and water inspectors." Mr. Hudak also said he would fight the McGuinty government's plans to harmonize the provincial sales tax with the federal goods and services tax. But he would not say whether he would repeal it, in the event he wins the leadership and the Tories form the next government. John Tory kicked off the leadership race after he stepped down from the helm in March after losing a by-election race. He is returning to the public spotlight as a talk show host on CFRB. The Progressive Conservatives also announced that veteran MPP Bill Murdoch was returning to the caucus after sitting as an independent since September. Please feel free to contact the Weasel at Phone: 647-367-2300 or E-mail:

Health And Safety - H1N1 Flu Watch - May 6/09

As of May 6, there are 49 lab-confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in Ontario. Travel to Mexico or contact with a person who has H1N1 and who traveled to Mexico remains the most frequent source of the illness. Because laboratory testing capacity has been increased, cases of H1N1 are now being confirmed faster. New guidance has been released for the management of influenza-like-illness (ILI) in Long Term Care facilities. Unfortunately, the health and safety/infection prevention and control guidance for workers is not as protective as OPSEU believes it should be. OPSEU takes the position that the precautionary principle, which states that action to reduce risk need not await scientific certainty, should be applied as we establish protective measures against this new virus. The three main weaknesses in the document are as follows:
1. There is no recommendation that persons entering a LTC facility be screened by a person (active screening) for ILI before entering the home. The guidance note advises that signs be posted reminding people not to enter if they have ILI symptoms. This is known as passive screening or self-screening. Self-screening may not be effective if people are determined to enter despite having ILI symptoms or if they do not understand the questions on the sign. Advice: OPSEU takes the position that active screening of people entering the facility is more protective of worker health and safety.
2. Healthcare workers are advised to wear an N95 respirator when directly caring for a resident with ILI symptoms who has had contact with a person with a confirmed case of H1N1 flu. OPSEU does not believe that this advice is protective enough. If a visitor with ILI enters the facility, they may not know if they have H1N1. If the visitor later is diagnosed with a confirmed case of H1N1, this information may not be communicated to the LTC facility and workers may not be protected adequately. Advice: OPSEU believes it would be prudent for healthcare workers to wear an N95 respirator when in direct contact with residents with ILI who have been in contact with a person with confirmed or possible H1N1 influenza.
3. Healthcare workers are advised to wear a surgical mask to care for residents with ILI and a fit-tested N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedures such as tracheal or oral suctioning. This is confusing advice and does not reflect the application of the precautionary principle. It is reasonable to advise the use of an N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedures. However, requiring workers to wear a surgical mask when caring for residents with ILI in some circumstances and to wear an N95 respirator when caring for residents with ILI who have had contact with a confirmed case of H1N1 will confuse workers and may not be protective enough. Advice: OPSEU believes it would be prudent for healthcare workers to wear an N95 respirator when in direct contact with residents with ILI who have been in contact with a person with confirmed or possible H1N1 influenza.
4. OPSEU continues to advise its members on Joint Health and Safety Committees, and Health and Safety Representatives, to meet to review and update their pandemic influenza plans. In particular, JHSCs in LTC facilities should meet to review this new guidance and to determine what precautions to implement.
Please continue to watch the OPSEU website and the links below for updates on H1N1 Influenza (Human Swine Flu).
New Guidance for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) Management in Long-Term Care
Guidance for Clinical Care of Patients: Ambulatory Settings – provides important infection prevention and health and safety information
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care H1N1 Flu Virus (Human Swine Flu) site has regular updates and links to other useful sites
Ontario’s Agency for Health Protection and Promotion provides regularly updated information on H1N1 Flu (Human Swine Flu)
OPSEU’s “A Healthcare Workers Guide to Pandemic Influenza”

Five Guards Hurt In Northland Prison - May 5/09

Five guards hurt in Northland Prison Fifteen prisoners overcame five guards at Northland Prison near Kaihohe today, Parliament has been told. One prison officer suffered a suspected fractured shoulder, Parliament was told. Labour's corrections spokesman Clayton Cosgrove quizzed Corrections Minister Judith Collins over the incident, in which which he claimed bones were broken and other serious injuries were received. Mr Cosgrove linked it to prisoners sharing cells, but Ms Collins played down the incident saying it was sparked by a change in routine at the prison. Prisoners had been made to eat meals in the dining area rather than in their cells. "Unfortunately, a number of staff received minor injuries. The most serious injury is a suspected fractured shoulder," Ms Collins said. TVNZ reported that the five guards, including two women, were lucky to be alive after they were attacked for five minutes. They said the unit housed 60 prisoners and the fighting broke out after one inmate was found trying to smuggle food back into his cell. It reported that one of the female guards dislocated her shoulder and fractured her arm after she was pushed into a bunk. Mr Cosgrove said another female officer was kicked and punched. "Three other male officers were also attacked in this incident, they talk of trying to fight their way to freedom and protect their fellow officers." Mr Cosgrove said. "As they fended off one prisoner another would attack. All three officers were overwhelmed and knocked to the ground. They received serious bruises and cuts from the attack. It is believed that one has a broken nose."Mr Cosgrove said the Government was not doing enough to protect prison officers. The Corrections Association called for its guard members to be armed. Meanwhile, Ms Collins welcomed a clampdown on razor blades in high-security units, saying it would improve safety and save lives. Prisoners would be issued with a safety razor on request, which they would be allowed to keep for up to an hour. It would then be collected, checked and disposed of. Action would be taken if a razor was not returned, or it was returned with missing blades. "At least two prisoners have died from razor blade injuries and many more prisoners and corrections officers have been hurt by razor blades," Ms Collins said. "This commonsense new policy restricts access to razor blades by prisoners who are most likely to use them to inflict injury on themselves or others."In 2007, there were 272 razor blade incidents in prisons.
Wonder how many razor incidents we had in Ontario jails?

Friday, May 1, 2009

CBC News Swine Flu - April 30/09

Canada doing all that's needed to respond to swine flu: PM
Canada is doing "everything that is necessary" to deal with the outbreak of swine flu, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday. "I think we are doing everything that is necessary to respond to this situation at this time," Harper told reporters during a news conference in Toronto. By Thursday afternoon, there were 32 confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada, all said to be mild. Harper said the growing outbreak, which is believed to have started in Mexico, is a "serious situation."At this time, to avoid confusion among our readers, CBC News will continue to use the term "swine flu" despite a decision by the World Health Organization to call the disease by its technical scientific name, "H1N1 influenza A.""I can assure the people of Canada that governments around the world are responding in an appropriate and co-ordinated way," he said. Harper praised the "excellent co-operation" among federal and provincial governments, as well as among national governments around the globe. He advised Canadians to closely follow any health warnings to help prevent the flu's spread. "We are encouraging everyone to comply with the warnings that have been given and the advice provided by health-care officials during this period," he said. New cases confirmed Harper spoke as Nova Scotia and Alberta each confirmed four new cases of swine flu, while British Columbia confirmed three and Ontario and Quebec each confirmed one. The Quebec case is the province's first confirmed instance of the swine flu. The person is from the Montreal area and is recovering at home. Robert Strong, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer, said the new cases in his province are related to an original cluster of four cases among students attending the King's Edgehill School, a private boarding school in Windsor, N.S. Strang said only one of the students who has contracted a confirmed case of the virus had been to Mexico. "It has then spread through the larger population of the school," he said. In Alberta, the provincial chief medical officer of health, Dr. André Corriveau, said the four new cases confirmed there were all mild. They involve four young people from Calgary who went on a trip to Mexico together. Three are male and one is female. "They came back and had a mild course of illness and were managed at home and are all recovering," Corriveau said Thursday in Edmonton. The four have been advised to stay home for a week — the period when people are infectious, Corriveau said.

Management has taken away our ability to accumulate and use CTO. Now we will be forced to come to work even though we may have flu like symptoms. Way to go management team!

Current WHO Phase Of Pandemic Alert

Current WHO phase of pandemic alert
Current phase of alert in the WHO global influenza preparedness planPandemic preparedness In the 2009 revision of the phase descriptions, WHO has retained the use of a six-phased approach for easy incorporation of new recommendations and approaches into existing national preparedness and response plans. The grouping and description of pandemic phases have been revised to make them easier to understand, more precise, and based upon observable phenomena. Phases 1–3 correlate with preparedness, including capacity development and response planning activities, while Phases 4–6 clearly signal the need for response and mitigation efforts. Furthermore, periods after the first pandemic wave are elaborated to facilitate post pandemic recovery activities. The current WHO phase of pandemic alert is 5. In nature, influenza viruses circulate continuously among animals, especially birds. Even though such viruses might theoretically develop into pandemic viruses, in

Phase 1 no viruses circulating among animals have been reported to cause infections in humans.
Phase 2 an animal influenza virus circulating among domesticated or wild animals is known to have caused infection in humans, and is therefore considered a potential pandemic threat.
Phase 3, an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus has caused sporadic cases or small clusters of disease in people, but has not resulted in human-to-human transmission sufficient to sustain community-level outbreaks. Limited human-to-human transmission may occur under some circumstances, for example, when there is close contact between an infected person and an unprotected caregiver. However, limited transmission under such restricted circumstances does not indicate that the virus has gained the level of transmissibility among humans necessary to cause a pandemic.
Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.
Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
Phase 6, the pandemic phase, is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one other country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5. Designation of this phase will indicate that a global pandemic is under way.
During the post-peak period, pandemic disease levels in most countries with adequate surveillance will have dropped below peak observed levels. The post-peak period signifies that pandemic activity appears to be decreasing; however, it is uncertain if additional waves will occur and countries will need to be prepared for a second wave.
Previous pandemics have been characterized by waves of activity spread over months. Once the level of disease activity drops, a critical communications task will be to balance this information with the possibility of another wave. Pandemic waves can be separated by months and an immediate “at-ease” signal may be premature.
In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza. It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus. At this stage, it is important to maintain surveillance and update pandemic preparedness and response plans accordingly. An intensive phase of recovery and evaluation may be required.

Email To Management Bargaining Member

From MERC Website:

To: Buhagiar, Rose (JUS)
Subject: Article COR13 - Holiday Payment
Sent: Apr 29, 2009 10:32 AM
Mrs. Buhagiar,
I am writting you this email as it pertains to your memorandum to Regional Directors AIS regarding Aticle COR13 - Holiday Payment. This email will serve to notify you that you have made an error in the section COR13.4. You made a point to BOLD and UNDERLINE the word AND. You memo reads as follows:
- COR13.4 requires employees in the Correctional Bargaining Unit to work his/her full scheduled shift before and after a holiday, as well as the holiday itself, in order to qualify for holiday payment or compensating leave, as per the provisions of Article COR13.2.
If you take a look at the correct information which was settled at bargaining you will see how it is worded, it reads as follows:
-COR13.4(NEW) It is further understood that the employee has no entitlement under COR13.2 if he or she fails, without reasonable cause, to work all of his or her last regulary scheduled day of work before a holiday included under Aryicle 47 (Holidays) of the Central Agreement OR all of his or her regularly scheduled day of work after that holiday.
I am not sure how you can change the wording of the bargained Collective Agreement after it is settled, but no where does it say we have to work both before and after. It clearly states before or after. I trust this information will be helpful to you.

What To Do When Being Ordered Back . . . . .

From Local 234 website:

As for the questions about being forced to stay past your shift, I offer these words:
1. If you are too ill to work past the shift, say so! Let your manager know and if you are asked for a report write that you are compelled to write it and wish to have a steward present as you are being harassed for being sick. Also inform the manager that it is a health and safety issue for you to work in this manner. Also inform your fellow staff that they should be aware you are sick and the imminent danger to your health and their safety. All members are affected at this point and should assist the sick member.
2. If you are too tired to continue working past your shift, say so! Let your manager know you are too tired to continue. If you are asked to write a report do so stating you are being compelled to do so. Also ask for a steward and inform your fellow staff that your fatigue is a health and safety concern that could be dangerous. All members are affected at this point and should assist the tired member.
3. What do I do if I have childcare issues, a dependent family member or legal requirements such as custody arrangements? Speak up clearly!! Voice your requirements and issues. You have legal issues and the employer has the duty to accommodate! Ask for a steward and contact the police for clarity if you are being withheld from providing the legal needs of a child, dependent or court ordered custody arrangements.
4. What do I do if I am at home and work calls? Good question? Are you sick? Are you having alcohol? Are you tired? Do you have babysitting needs? Do you have to answer the call...if you do just be polite and don't say anything you will regret!!
In the meantime, keep yourself up to speed...
Remember management created this mess by taking away our CTO! Management we wish you luck during the summer months.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inmate Dies In Custody - April 27/09

Inmate dies in custody
The death of an inmate at the Elgin Middlesex Detention centre is under investigation by the London police Major Crime Section, police said Monday (April 27).The man, identified as Randy Drysdale, 46, of London, was transported to the London courthouse at 80 Dundas St., April 16 when authorities realized "he was in medical distress," police said, adding he was then taken to hospital for treatment.Drysdale died as a result of his injuries Saturday (April 25). An autopsy conducted Sunday (April 26) showed Drysdale had suffered head injuries "which contributed to his death," however, police said the investigation is ongoing as the cause of his death is unknown at this time.Anyone with information is asked to call the London Police Service Major Crime Section at (519)661-5670 or contact Crime stoppers online (see link) or call 1-800-222-TIPS

The Chatham Daily News - April 14/09

Delays affect court process
By Erica Bajer The Daily News
Long waits at a London detention centre are causing some delays at the Chatham-Kent Courthouse. “It’s ridiculous,” local defence lawyer David Jacklin said of recent prisoner delivery backups from the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre. “The problem is you have people in custody, usually females, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. court and not arriving until after 1 p.m.,” he said. “The whole court system comes to a halt while we wait for these people to arrive.” Jacklin said he’s heard that the delays are a result of job action at the detention centre. Rick Kennett, vice-president of the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU) Local 108 that represents guards at the London jail, denied suggestions last week's delays were an intentional display by OPSEU members unhappy with recent changes to overtime compensation. Kennett said overcrowding at the London jail, a building designed for 300 inmates, caused the delays. The overcrowding means five inmates often share a cell designed for three, he said. Though the courts expect inmates to arrive promptly, Kennett said it takes a significant amount of time and "a lot of manpower" to get the prisoners to the courthouse, causing the backlog. "Our process is safety first," he said. "As far as I can tell, everyone who was scheduled to go to court went to court. Whether they went there early or late, they got there." Frequent remands also crowd the facility, Kennett said. "If the lawyers keep remanding the inmates into custody, the jail gets more and more crowded, and everything takes that much longer. "The reality is it takes time and we do what we can." Sgt. George Vieira, head of security at the local courthouse, said his officers started noticing the delays on April 2. He said delays of two-and-a-half hours picking up and dropping off prisoners have been fairly consistent since then. He noted local police don’t attend the EMDC daily but do transport prisoners a few times a week. Vieira is documenting when the delays occur and said local judiciary and Crown attorneys are aware of the situation. “We’ve made every effort, when we know we are going to be late, to contact our partners at the courthouse,” he said. “We have no control over it, it’s a corrections issue, not a police issue.” The sergeant said the issue results in overtime costs when there are long waits when prisoners are returned to the facility. Jacklin said clients have expressed frustration with the waits. “It causes a great deal of anxiety for the accused people because they don’t know why they are being held up,” he said. Defence lawyer Gudrun Mueller-Wilm said waits at the detention centre have only impacted one of her clients so far. She’s concerned about the issue, hoping it is resolved quickly. Mueller-Wilm said a local justice of the peace announced last week that delays should be expected because of job action involving EMDC. Ontario's Attorney General Chris Bentley, who represents London West, said he's aware of the issues locally and has passed them on to Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci. "I'm concerned about any delays in the courts and hope that any issues between parties get resolved as quickly as possible," Bentley said.