For almost 10 months, correctional officers have been at war with the COVID-19 virus. In addition to doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the Federal Public Service, the members of UCCO-SACC-CSN have had to deal with the pandemic which has affected dozens of institutions, many inmates, and hundreds of members.
Of all federal public servants, correctional officers have been by far the most affected by this pandemic. Unlike many public servants, working from home is not an option for Correctional Officers. Day after day, our members have bravely gone to work in Canada’s Federal Penitentiaries, doing their job protecting Canadians. As waves of this virus come and go, the difficult job that the Members of UCCO-SACC-CSN face in battling the virus remains.
Months of insistent demands
From the outset of the Pandemic, UCCO-SACC-CSN has demanded financial compensation for its members that recognizes the added danger of working during a pandemic. Last April, the national executive committee made a request during a meeting with the National Joint Council, for what was termed ‘Hazard Pay’, and gave the mandate to the Deputy Minister of the Treasury Board to seek the assistance from the government that would recognize our critical work.
After a couple of months with no real update from the Deputy Minister, members of the Executive committee then spoke to the President of the Treasury Board, Jean-Yves Duclos, and the Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair. There has been no action taken by the government as a result of those meetings.
For 10 months now, the government has not provided us an answer to our demand. Further meetings are being scheduled with both Ministers as well as the Minister of Finance. It is time that the Ministers accountable stop passing the buck and make a decision that recognizes the sacrifices members of UCCO-SACC-CSN have made throughout this pandemic.
Time to act
As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in our communities, and new outbreak sites are declared, the members of UCCO-SACC-CSN continue to work proudly, protecting Canadians, however, the time to act is now for this government to recognize our work. Hundreds of our members have tested positive for COVID-19, and as this virus continues to spread, potentially hundreds more will be affected.
As your National Executive continues pressuring the government, it is evident that this change will not occur with the swipe of a pen, and we will need help from the members to Mobilize against the government and our employer.
Your National Mobilization committee is currently developing plans for your help in achieving this recognition, stay tuned for updates through your local executive.
The holiday season is approaching, why not take the opportunity to give CXs what they deserve?