May 6, 2010
Your MCSCS MERC team has been busy with a full agenda, attempting to address site issues as well working to create better working conditions for our members. Here are some of the items we have worked on and continue to work on.
Rollovers and Laterals
Your MERC team was successful in negotiating with management approximately 260 rollovers and 40 laterals across the province with all sites receiving some rollovers – 40 more than what was specified in the Collective Agreement. We continue to request more rollovers for those members that still remain in the fixed term ranks and hope that some day that all our fixed terms will be given a regular (full-time classified) job and any new hires from that point on will be hired as full-time classified Correctional Officers. In our opinion, this is a step in the right direction of legitimizing Correctional Officers in the law enforcement community. At the same time we remain cognizant of the need to allow our members to move around the province.
Regional Labour Relations Forums
We continue to have our regional forums with Brother Paul Johnstone chairing the Western and Northern Forums and Brother Dan Sidsworth taking the lead at the Central and Eastern Forums. We believe it is a good way of having dialogue amongst our union leaders and management to try and address regional issues. In the North, we have come up with some novel approaches, i.e. a subcommittee on best practices for searches. The next scheduled meeting for the Northern Forum is June 15th and 16th in Sudbury so please forward any issues to MERC lead Paul so we can add to the agenda. Western dates to follow. Same goes for the Central and Eastern Region Forums, any issues please get to Dan ASAP.
Toronto South and Southwest Detention Centres
We continue to work on being involved on these two new Jail projects, with Brother Dan chairing for the MERC at the Toronto South and Brother Paul spearheading the Southwest site. The union continues to request of management that executives of locals and union members participate in the development of these projects on an ongoing basis.
Training and Development
The committee continues to work towards having training rolled out for Correctional Staff across the province. MERC lead is Paul Johnstone and other members are Dan Marshall (TWDC); Shari Archdekin (Vanier); Jim Mitchell (North Bay Jail) and David Kerr (St. Thomas P&P). Our long range goal is to get senior members back to college for in depth training on Guns and Gangs, Stress Management, and Working with Mentally Ill Offenders.
Fixed Term (unclassified) Correctional Officer Sub-Committee
Dan Sidsworth is leading this issue. The committee continues to meet with Fixed Term members and management. The terms of reference are almost finalized. Composition on the union side is being changed now due to the last members on the committee being rolled over into classified full-time jobs.
The employer committed to rewrite their policies subsequent to the issuance of Vice-Chair Keller’s Award that was handed down on February 5, 2010. What we have seen is a softening of their position, however they have not gone far enough and we will be returning in front of Vice-Chair Keller in the near future for firm direction from the Board. Specifically, the employer continues to waffle on clear direction to the field to not include absences that stem from a bona fide disability under the Ontario Human Rights Code. That would also include WSIB absences. We have already moved the employer back a fair distance and we remain confident that at the end of the day, our position will prevail.
Absenteeism Target Incentives
The calculation under Absenteeism Target Incentives will be based on two per cent of the employee’s straight-time hourly rate as of December 2009, for the period from March 12, 2009 through to December 31, 2009. Overtime hours worked between March 12 and December 31, 2009 will be included in the incentive payment calculation as straight time.
Just a reminder that the ASMPP target incentives are scheduled for payout on May 13, 2010.
JASIC (Joint Attendance Strategy and Implementation Committee)
The list below is the number of members who are at the various attendance levels as reported recently to the JASIC Committee. Many of the members who are included in these figures have NOT been reviewed by the Attendance Support Management Office (ASMO). In many instances, once ASMO reviews a case that member is moved down one or two levels.
Level 1 1,286
Level 2 214
Level 3 30
Level 4 11
Level 1 110
Level 2 6
Level 3 0
Level 4 0
The committee continues to press that management and union look at positive ways to address issues that create high sick time in our division. These issues include violence against staff, overcrowding and understaffing, drugs, weapons and security threat groups.
Committee on Health and Productivity (sub-committee of JASIC)
Dan Sidsworth for MERC and Emidio Casullo for the Provincial OHSC have been working on this issue. The committee is a sub-committee of the JASIC and was formed to assist in reduction of sick credits, assisting members through sick time process, to reduce grievances relating to sick time as well as review accommodations as required.
The Terms of Reference for this pilot have just recently been signed and the pilot site of Maplehurst has been chosen by the sub-committee.
Some of the outstanding policy grievances are:
» CTO – unilateral removal of compensating time off across the province
» Police Escorts – outstanding issues of police doing correctional officers’ work.
» Inmate Court Transfers – Ministry pays municipalities to transfer inmates to court, work should be with our members
» Use of Force Instructors – managers being used to do bargaining unit work
» Fixed Term Employees – Not being compensated for hiring errors
Security and Inmate Management Initiatives
Many of the recommendations of this committee to management are being rolled out. Items include canine units and standardized security equipment
We are encouraged by management’s move to address the issue of drugs, weapons and gangs in our work sites by piloting institutional security teams. This initiative is currently in MWDC and CNCC, and will soon be at the Toronto Jail. If it continues to be a success we are hoping that the ministry will be given resources for future teams for other sites.
Pride and Profession
Dress uniforms should be available in near future. Management is in the process of finalizing the procurement of a uniform.
Enhancing our public profile is an important piece of building community support for our struggles. Public presentations to the community from our members continue to be something we are looking forward to have in place.
We continue to encourage our locals to participate in their community and forward your stories to MERC so we can place your community work on our web site.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Paul Johnstone with members Tom O’Neill, Quinte Detention Centre, and Sarah Harries-Jones, Toronto Jail, are working on a process to begin doing a study on PTSD in corrections. Thus far there has only been one study regarding corrections done in Canada by a student in Saskatchewan. We are looking forward to the results of the study which should assist our understanding of what is affecting our members in the field. This in turn will inform our discussions on recommendations to mitigate these factors. We are currently drafting Terms of Reference for this Committee