Corrections fights back In the wake of the government’s repugnant and idiotic move to stop allowing employees to take compensating leave in lieu of overtime payments, Corrections Bargaining Unit members are fighting back. Correctional leaders met via conference call this week, and after much discussion have decided on a plan of action, a plan endorsed by both the MCSCS and MCYS MERCs. Effective immediately, locals are asked to do the following: 1. Serve their local employer 30 days notice on their intent to stop participating in the HPRO (overtime protocol) agreement. 2. Serve their local employer notice to withdraw from their local Compressed Work Week (CWW) agreement. The length of that notice is specific to that local’s agreement. 3. Demand that all acting managers who are members of the Corrections Bargaining Unit immediately step down from their positions. These actions, while extreme, are an appropriate response to the employer’s complete lack of respect for the elected MERC teams, and the employer’s attempt to subvert a newly-signed collective agreement. “Both ministries knew the protocol on withdrawing from any agreement means they notify the MERC chairs in advance,” said Eddy Almeida, MCSCS MERC chair. “Up until now, we have always operated on the basis of mutual respect. This move, which the employer has still not provided any reason for, is a slap in the face to the MERC teams, and an even bigger slap to our local presidents, as it cancels all of the local agreements. It is completely disgusting.” MCYS MERC chair Glenna Caldwell says she is both shocked and angry at the complete disregard shown by the employer. “This goes to the very foundation of labour relations,” Caldwell said. “The employer has now blown any goodwill and trust they may have generated over years of meetings. To completely ignore the elected MERCs is unprecedented, and indicative that there are bureaucrats in the Ministries that are accountable to no one.” Beyond the lack of respect is a larger issue of the employer immediately trying to sabotage a new contract before the ink has even dried. A significant component of the new Corrections Bargaining Unit agreement is incentives for improving sick time. By removing the compensating time off (CTO) option from the contract, the employer has eliminated one of the methods in which sick time could be reduced. “Our members could have had the option to take CTO instead of a sick day to keep the average down,” Almeida said. “By taking that option away, the employer has just confirmed they will do everything in their power to make sure our members never meet the targets set out in the collective agreement. It also removes an option our members have to get away from the horrifying working conditions in our facilities, even for a day or two. This is not just underhanded; it also shows the distaste the ivory tower bureaucrats have for our front-line staff.” The actions, agreed to by almost all the local leaders across the province, are to send a strong message to the employer: If you aren’t agreeable, neither are we. “The employer depends on our members to work overtime in order to keep facilities running,” Almeida said. “HPRO makes the employer’s lives easier. That is a two-way street. And it looks like the employer only wants to make our lives worse.” Withdrawing from CWW agreements is also a serious move, one that will hopefully give the employer pause, considering all of the facilities are set up to run on 12-hour shifts. But Caldwell assures the employer this is not an empty threat. “If the employer wants to play hardball with us, we are ready to come right back at them,” she said. “They are playing games with our lives. Well, this isn’t a game. We promise to make the employer’s lives just as hard as they’re making ours.” Lastly, the Division hopes that ALL actors will step down from their positions. Both Almeida and Caldwell agree that as long as members continue to act as managers, the employer will never hire permanent managers. And that prevents unclassified members from getting full time jobs. Both MERC chairs said they are proud of their members for coming out loud and strong on this issue. “We don’t know why they want to go to war with us, but Corrections never backs away from a fight,” said Caldwell. Almeida agrees. “We will see who is still standing at the end,” he said. “I’m putting my money on our members, men and women who actually protect this province. Not mindless bureaucrats who push pencils and look down their noses at those of us on the front line.” Original authorized for distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president, Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, MCSCS MERC Chair, and Glenna Caldwell, MCYS MERC Chair. Published in LOCK TALK
24 March 2009
Just weeks after ratifying the new Corrections collective agreement, the employer has unilaterally decided to stop allowing employees to take compensating leave in lieu of overtime payments.
In a memo dated March 18, Lori Potter, Director of the Management and Operational Support Branch, intimates that formal notice of this move was provided to the bargaining team during contract negotiations. The Corrections Bargaining Team disagrees.
“The employer came to us and said they were planning on withdrawing from the agreement on compensating leave,” says Dave Kerr, team chair. “Since they were not proposing a change to the collective agreement language, we told them that this was not a bargaining issue.”
Under Article COR8.5 of the Collective Agreement, compensating leave can be accumulated if there is mutual agreement between the parties to do so. Normally, the employer will provide advance notice in writing to the OPSEU President at least 60-90 days before if they intend to withdraw from such an agreement.
“The Corrections Bargaining Team in no way negotiated an end to compensating leave,” Kerr says. “We told the employer two things. First, that if they decided to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement in COR8.5, it wasn’t a bargaining issue…it was a MERC issue. Second, we told them, in no uncertain terms, that if they did this it would cause extreme labour relations problems in Corrections. Obviously, they couldn’t care less about labour peace.”
Kerr said that the Corrections and Children and Youth Services MERC teams will now deal with the issue at their respective tables.
Eddy Almeida, chair of the Corrections MERC, says this is a totally unnecessary attack on his members.
“This move by the Ministry does nothing but destabilize labour relations across the province,” Almeida says. “We have now raised the issue with the employer, and OPSEU is filing a policy grievance.”
The Corrections MERC will discuss with local presidents strategies on dealing with the Ministry’s latest tactic.
“In the meantime, we ask that every local demand an immediate local ERC and put this issue as the number one item on the agenda,” Almeida says. “This is just another blow to the well-being of our members, and shows the complete and utter disrespect and contempt the Ministry has for the people who keep this province safe. These ham-fisted decisions will backfire…and badly.”
The Children and Youth Services MERC is currently scheduling to meet with their employer on the same issue.
Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
Original authorized for distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president and Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, MCSCS MERC Chair.
There is considerable epidemiological evidence that shift work is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, perhaps the result of physiologic maladaptation to chronically sleeping and eating at abnormal circadian times. To begin to understand underlying mechanisms, we determined the effects of such misalignment between behavioral cycles (fasting/feeding and sleep/wake cycles) and endogenous circadian cycles on metabolic, autonomic, and endocrine predictors of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk. Ten adults (5 female) underwent a 10-day laboratory protocol, wherein subjects ate and slept at all phases of the circadian cycle—achieved by scheduling a recurring 28-h “day.” Subjects ate 4 isocaloric meals each 28-h “day.” For 8 days, plasma leptin, insulin, glucose, and cortisol were measured hourly, urinary catecholamines 2 hourly (totaling ≈1,000 assays/subject), and blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac vagal modulation, oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio, and polysomnographic sleep daily. Core body temperature was recorded continuously for 10 days to assess circadian phase. Circadian misalignment, when subjects ate and slept ≈12 h out of phase from their habitual times, systematically decreased leptin (−17%, P < 0.001), increased glucose (+6%, P < 0.001) despite increased insulin (+22%, P = 0.006), completely reversed the daily cortisol rhythm (P < 0.001), increased mean arterial pressure (+3%, P = 0.001), and reduced sleep efficiency (−20%, P < 0.002). Notably, circadian misalignment caused 3 of 8 subjects (with sufficient available data) to exhibit postprandial glucose responses in the range typical of a prediabetic state. These findings demonstrate the adverse cardiometabolic implications of circadian misalignment, as occurs acutely with jet lag and chronically with shift work.
12 March 2009
Official OPSEU confirmation that the Government has signed off on the 2009-2012 Corrections Division Contract. I don’t expect a hefty backpay cheque.
Now we get to start preparation for the 2012 OPS Contract Bargaining Season. The next four years are going to be the furnace that will forge the next contract. We are going to have to heat this contract until it glows and hammer it into a shape that is going to work for us. Every sentence and every phrase will have to be tested. Every presumption by Management with have to be challenged.
It ain’t over until we say it’s over.
March 7, 2009 TORONTO – Nearly 6,000 Corrections workers who work in Ontario’s correctional facilities and supervise offenders in the community have ratified their collective agreement with the Ontario government. In votes held March 4-6, Corrections members voted 84 per cent in favour of the four-year contract. Members include correctional officers and youth workers in Ontario facilities, as well as probation/probation and parole officers supervising offenders in the community. At the end of January, members voted 89 per cent in favour of strike action mostly due to a government proposal that would have restricted sick time to only five days per year, as well as a monetary penalty for going over that amount. “Members made it clear that an attack on their sick time was unacceptable, especially due to the long-standing unaddressed issues of overcrowding, working conditions and exposure to diseases,” said David Kerr, chair of the Corrections bargaining team. “This offer protects members who are ill, and, considering the economy, gives our members a fair wage settlement over the life of the contract.” Highlights of the deal include a base wage increase of 7.75 per cent over four years, along with special case adjustments for certain classifications. There is also new language to cooperatively address absenteeism (and its root causes) as well as language to deal with workload issues for members supervising offenders in the community. Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, says he is pleased that Corrections members have ratified the agreement, and now wants to focus attention on working conditions in Ontario’s Corrections system. “For over 20 years successive governments have ignored the deteriorating conditions in our jails and the unmanageable workload in community supervision,” Thomas said. “We have called for a probe in Correctional services, and we want real commitments from this government to start fixing the problems.”
Seven months at the Bargaining Center, four months at the bargaining table thousands of hours of meetings and discussions, hundreds of tiny job actions,information pickets,management reprisals, two tentative offers,dozens of information sessions, and it all comes down to this.
The Corrections Division members in Local 302 showed that they were eager to have their voice heard. I don’t recall ever having a vote with such a spectacular turn out.
The issues were not as complex for Community Corrections than they were for the institutions .
I had the privilege to travel around the region and talk with members from almost all categories in the OPSEU Corrections Bargaining Unit( I didn’t speak to the hair dressing instructor or a PO3)
We should be proud of our ability to do a tough job, despite the efforts of management to make it harder. There is frustration in the way we are treated and anger in the risks that have become a regular part of our lives.
Community or Institution, Adult or Youth it’s always the same.
We keep your community safe.
Our Bargaining process has been going on for years, not weeks. Four years ago our Stewards started addressing problems in the workplace and sending things to the Regional ERCs to be resolved and they were forwarding issues to the MERC. Our MERC Teams have been fighting Management to get better working conditions and our Health & Safety Committees have struggled to make our workplaces safer for us. They are the people who have been monitoring our contracts for the last four years. They stand up for us and enforce the conditions of our Contract.
Our Bargaining team is elected by the membership. Each of you had the opportunity to put your name forward to be on the Bargaining Team and if you thought that you could do a better job than them you should have stood for election. When we elected the members of our Bargaining Team we drew from a rich pool of skilled individuals who are familiar with our strengths, and our limitations. They were selected by a democratic process and I do believe that we got a great team.
To assist our Bargaining team we did our demand set surveys that provided the Bargaining Team with a template of our priorities. When they went in to negotiate our new contract they already knew what we wanted and more importantly they knew what we would tolerate.
They have accepted the disruption in their personal lives for the last five months to get us the best possible contract. Our Bargaining Team have come back to us with a tentative contract that they unanimously endorse. If we send them back to Management with a” No “on this contract it will lead to a strike, that is certain.
I have been through strikes before and there is nothing on this contract that would make me want to stand in the cold on a picket line for $25 a day. I also know that the Bargaining team did their best to get us this tentative contract. They acknowledge that it is not perfect but it is the best possible contract and their endorsement is good enough for me.
I am getting tired of people using this anonymous forum to criticize the proposed contract. If you believe that your opinion is important, you should have the confidence to post your name .
My Name is Kim King. I am on the Eastern Region ERC , and I am voting Yes.
All classifications in the Corrections Bargaining Unit will receive general wage increases as follows:
Jan. 1, 2009 1.75 per cent *
Jan. 1, 2010 2.00 per cent *
Jan. 1, 2011 2.00 per cent
Jan. 1, 2012 2.00 per cent
Special adjustments are in addition to the general wage increase and will be applied to the existing wage rates prior to the general wage increases.
Correctional Officers will receive a 2 per cent increase effective Jan. 1, 2009. Youth Workers will also receive a 2 per cent increase effective Jan. 1, 2009.
*Probation Officers will receive a 1 per cent wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2009 and another 1 per cent increase on Jan. 1, 2010.
Recreation Officers, Industrial Officers, Provincial Bailiffs, Trade Instructors, Hairdresser Instructors, Rehabilitation Officers, Correctional Locksmiths and Grounds/Maintenance Workers will receive a 1 per cent increase effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Absenteeism Target Incentives
Key to the tentative agreement was the elimination of the employer’s proposal on sick time for correctional officers and youth workers. Under the tentative agreement, classified correctional officers and youth workers will receive lump-sum payments if the provincial sick time average for classified correctional officers and youth workers is less than or equal to the targets set out in the agreement. These targets are:
Target A: 192 hours (16 X 12-hour shifts)
Target B: 176 hours (14.66 X 12-hour shifts)
Target C: 160 hours (13.33 X 12-hour shifts)
Target D: 144 hours (12 X 12-hour shifts)
The plan works as follows:
In the first year of the agreement (Jan. 1, 2009 – Dec. 31, 2009) classified correctional officers and youth workers will receive:
A 2 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target A;
A 3 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target B;
A 4 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target C;
A 5 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target D
NOTE: For the first year, the targets and lump-sum payments are pro-rated to reflect the period from the date of ratification to Dec. 31, 2009.
In the second year of the agreement (Jan. 1, 2010 – Dec. 31, 2010) classified correctional officers and youth workers will receive:
A 2 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target B;
A 3 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target C;
A 4 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target D
In the third year of the agreement (Jan. 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2011) classified correctional officers and youth workers will receive:
A 2 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target C;
A 3 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target D
In the fourth year of the agreement (Jan. 1, 2012 – Dec. 31, 2012) classified correctional officers and youth workers will receive:
A 2 per cent lump-sum payment if the provincial sick time average is less than or equal to Target D
The second part of the absenteeism targets affects overtime premium payments. Under the agreement, if the average provincial sick time for classified correctional officers and youth workers is less than or equal to:
Year 1 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2009): 192 hours (16 X 12-hour shifts)
Year 2 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010): 176 hours (14.66 X 12-hour shifts)
Year 3 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2011): 160 hours (13.33 X 12-hour shifts)
Year 4 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2012): 144 hours (12 X 12-hour shifts)
then overtime premium payments are not affected. NOTE: For Year 1, the target is pro-rated to reflect the period from the date of ratification to Dec. 31, 2009.
If the average provincial sick time for all classified correctional officers and youth workers exceeds the target in any given year, then the ability to work overtime for premium pay for individuals is reduced in proportion to the amount of sick time used by that individual. This is in effect for the next 12 months following the year the target was not met. Here’s how it works:
Any sick time used over the course of two pay periods (four weeks) is recorded. If you work overtime in that same period, you will only receive straight time pay for overtime worked until the number of overtime hours worked equals the number of sick time hours taken. Any overtime hours worked in excess of the sick time hours taken will be paid at premium pay.
For example, if a correctional officer takes two 12-hour sick days within the two pay periods, the first two 12 hours shifts worked as overtime will be paid at straight time. The third overtime shift will be paid at premium pay.
Joint Attendance Committee
A Joint Attendance Strategy and Implementation Committee has been established between the employer, the MCSCS MERC, the MCYS MERC and the MGS CERC. This committee will monitor the new attendance plan along with any other issues that the Committee agrees to deal with. The union complained that the employer was not managing the current attendance program. The employer has told the union they intend to change the program, and the committee will monitor the changes as part of their mandate.
Probation Officers now have the ability to accumulate their allowance days up to a maximum of 21 days, but no more than 14 days can be carried over past Dec. 31 of each year.
Probation Officer and Probation and Parole Officer Workload
New language in the agreement confirms that workload issues for Probation Officers and Probation and Parole Officers will be discussed between the employer and the MCSCS and MCYS MERCs.
A new Letter of Understanding will result in the rollover of 30 unclassified Youth Workers and 220 unclassified Correctional Officers from unclassified to full-time. The timing and locations of these rollovers will be established at MERC tables. This Letter also extends the MCSCS MERC rollover agreement for the life of the collective agreement.
In the event an unclassified member is suspended, that suspension can be with pay based on the averaging of straight-time hours worked over the previous 13 weeks.
The union has gained language that will require the employer to notify the union in the event surveillance technology is being used. If the surveillance technology is used to discipline members, the employer must provide the evidence to the union.
The team has also negotiated slight improvements to on-call pay, meal allowances, the recognition clause and posting of shift schedules.
Some takeaways in the agreement
There are some slight takeaways in the tentative contract. In the agreement, members who work on a statutory holiday must also work the scheduled shift immediately prior to and immediately after the holiday in order to receive the compensating 7.5- or 8-hour day off. Members who are ill and provide a medical certificate for the missed shifts will still receive the day in lieu for the statutory holiday. Members who work the holiday will continue to receive premium pay as before. In addition, members can no longer use statutory holiday lieu credits to top up sick leave pay. Vacation and overtime credits can still be used.
Also, overtime will only be offered once non-overtime classified and unclassified staff are used, even if part of the shift becomes overtime.
Ratification votes moving quickly
Ratification votes will occur from March 2-7. Watch the OPSEU website for details.
Read the Full Agreement
All managers are on-call for the next two days province wide. Time off requests are cancelled. Institutions are reported to be requesting police pay duties at all institutions and that NO BOXES are to be accepted by the Institutions whatsoever
What is this all about?