Category Archives: Community Corrections

P&P Regional ERC for Eastern Region 6 May 2009

It’s 7 a.m. in Kingston and raining. We have a full slate of meetings today with the Regional ERC scheduled for 10 this morning . The Agenda looks like this.


Union Mike Letwin Co-chair, Brian Dunham H&S, Kim King,

Management Peter Lesperance Co-chair RD, Todd Robertson DRD, Jackie Grenon, Marilyn Connors HR

Updates from Previous Minutes

Case Reviews

Lockers in Waiting Rooms

CVRA non-compliance issues

New Grievance Procedure

Voicemail issues

Review of Regional in-custody PSR practices

Workload Assessment tool implementation

Human Resources Structural changes

Secure interview rooms in sub-offices

I will do a follow-up post when i have some results to post



Information by Ministry: Correctional Services

How the Program Started

Systemic Change work arises out of two key legal cases in which the Ministry of Community, Safety and Correctional Services was found to be in violation of our members legal rights. Systemic remedies were ordered to address sexism (GSB O’Brien decisions) and discrimination against Aboriginal and racialized people (OHRT McKinnon decisions) in the workplace. In order to implement, enforce and build on these systemic remedies, OPSEU has engaged with the Ministry in a joint committee; as of November 2005 the long standing Systemic Change committee was reworked to integrate anti-sexism and anti-racism initiatives in the Systemic and Anti-Racism Organizational Change (SAROC) Steering Committee.

SAROC Objectives

The main objectives of the Systemic and Anti-Racism Organizational Change (SAROC) Program are:

  • To remove barriers to equal opportunity for all Ministry Employees in hiring and promotion.

  • To support and encourage full participation of all employees in the workplace.

  • To reflect a more proportional representation of woman, racialized and Aboriginal Peoples in Correctional Officer and supervisory positions.

  • To implement a framework for resolution of accommodation issues with respect to Family Status.

  • To ensure accountability of both management and staff for a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.

  • To ensure WDHP complaints are effectively communicated with the senior administrators of both the Ministry and OPSEU.

  • To implement the recommendations of the updated Employment Systems Review (ESR) and the audit of the SAROC Program.

  • To implement a jointly developed Mediation Program, including internal selected Mediators.

  • To develop an ongoing process for review, evaluation, adjustment and communication for the SAROC Program.


As part of the ongoing process a Pilot Project has been initiated in nine facilities across the province. These pilot projects have been set up as a precursor to a full roll out of the SAROC initiatives in both facilities and probation and parole offices. The local SAROCs are providing valuable information on how to move forward with this important work and helping to streamline the process. OPSEU is always looking for constructive feedback on improving communications, education and critical review.

Update 2008 / 2009

OPSEU is committed to the SAROC Initiatives and will be providing updates on a regular basis.

Brian Dunham on the “Workload Analysis Tool”


by Brian Dunham There is a workload committee that is supposed to be looking into workload. I am on that committee, as are other dedicated union members. The workload analysis tool is ready to roll, has been for some time, but direction to go live with it does not come from the committee, but from management. I honestly believe the tool will make a huge difference in balancing workload within an office or cost centre, and will indicate provincially where the greatest pressures exist. There are logical implications from that, but you still need an employer willing to do the right thing and bring in additional resources (actual bodies!) to do the work. I do not believe this employer is ready to do this now. The result is that individual officers need to prioritize their work, and do what they are capable of within the time given. If some tasks do not get completed, perhaps standards need to be relaxed until workload and resources are more appropriately matched. If we work all-out, we will burn out. I am not willing to sacrifice my health and well-being for a ministry, or government, that has clearly demonstrated how little it actually values me and my work…

Ontario Corrections MERC has a home.

merc_logo2The new web site for the Adult & Youth Corrections MERC

Sign of the Times

respectWhy is there a sudden interest in the time keeping of Probation Officers across the province? Managers are reviewing the door alarm activation times and cross checking it against compressed schedules. These are not isolate incidents, it appears that someone on Grosvenor has started to encourage our Managers to pay attention to when we arrive at and leave work .

I am not one to spread alarm but it wouldn’t hurt people to be a little more careful with their hours, at least until we know what their game is.

The Government has ratified the Corrections Contract


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.

This is what it is all about.


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.

Posted on the Rapsheet3


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.

Corrections Reaches a Tentative Agreement

Highlights of the agreementops_pluggedin

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

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

Absenteeism Targets

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’ Allowance

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.

Unclassified Rollovers

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.

Unclassified Suspensions

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.
Surveillance Technology
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.
Other improvements
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

Things that you should know

Article by Clark Moss


Correctional Workers employed by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services are peace officers responsible for the care, custody and control of offenders. This is a complex task and goes far beyond locking and unlocking doors.

Probation and Parole Officers also play an important role in helping to ensure public safety by managing at risk Offenders sentenced to serve their sentences. Sentences served in the Communities, Communities that we work, live, and our children go to school in.

We would like to provide some information to you, the public, regarding the current status of Corrections and the facilities in your Community. Regretfully the information is on the deterioration of our Jails and the demoralization of the Workers both inside and outside their walls. All of which has been reported to our current Government, but who denies accountability for such.

Important information such as:

  • Increase Offender populations by 11%. The result of adding 2000-2500 Police Officers, hiring more Crown Attorneys who laid upward of 33,000 more Criminal Charges…where do these offenders go?

  • Correctional Workers reduced from 6200 to 5500

  • On average 70,000 adults are admitted each year into Provincial Jails not including Young Offenders

  • Closed 16 facilities…47 to 31 Provincial Jails

  • All remaining 31 Jails running at 100% capacity…11 of which are operating at up to 135% capacity

  • Due to overcrowding increased violence, sickness and diseases amongst offender populations

  • Ministry of Corrections estimates Province will be short 2000 Offender beds by 2010/11

  • Offenders remanded into custody increased from 40% to 70%

  • 75% increase in High Risk Offenders

  • Remanded High risk Offenders being given 3 days credit for every 1 day served upon sentencing due to Jail conditions…meaning they are serving incredibly less time for the crimes they commit

  • Correctional Facilities and Workers deemed not appropriate to handle Mentally Ill Offenders…15%-20% of Offenders in custody require clinical intervention for mental disorders

  • Up to 63% of workers not given mandatory training in Safety and Security procedures

  • Average life expectancy of a Correctional Officer …..58 years!!!

These are just some of the conditions that we all work within, conditions affecting Public Safety. Conditions that are known to our Government but ignored, instead they choose to blame the front line workers. It is time for our Government to be “ACCOUNTABLE” for the system they have created. Correctional officers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making a positive contribution to public safety in Ontario.