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.