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 GĂ©linas. 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