For more than a year now, UCCO-SACC-CSN has been pushing for a hazard pay to show respect and recognize the hard work Correctional Officers have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 3 months, during our labour management meetings the National Executive has asked our Commissioner to stand up for staff who have sacrificed themselves during this pandemic and intervene with Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair. This was tabled on 3 separate occasions and what has been done? Nothing. Does our employer even care? The answer seems to be no.
Every time UCCO-SACC-CSN’s National Executive Committee has brought up the matter of hazard pay, the Senior managers of CSC, have never shown us support. We have asked the Commissioner to contact Minister Blair and support us in our effort, but this does not seem to be a priority. One must ask themselves, what is a hazard pay and why is it deserved? Hazard pay has been something given to those essential workers across the country to show both respect and gratitude for those who put themselves in harm’s way to serve others. It is meant to compensate for the extra danger associated with the essential work that the public requires. COVID -19 has been a battle, and the soldiers that have been on the front lines, need to be rewarded and respected. There has been no occupational group in the Core Public Administration more affected by COVID-19 than our members. So why won’t our managers help us?
Fortunately, the Union has been fighting. On June 4th, more than 200 correctional officers gathered in front of Justin Trudeau’s office in Montreal to send him a clear message: we deserve hazard pay! Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 450 CXs have been infected with COVID-19. We are, by far, the hardest hit group in the Core public administration. The real slap in the face is that Provincial correctional officers in Ontario, B.C. and other provinces have received a premium. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces who had to work in long-term care facilities were paid an allowance. Even businesses in the private sector performing essential work have moved to recognize the added danger their employees have taken on with an allowance…And for us? Nothing. It is unacceptable.
Outside of our mobilization, UCCO-SACC-CSN has been putting pressure on politicians, lobbying our demand and right to a hazard premium. So far, the Union has met with our Minister Bill Blair, Jean-Yves Duclos (President of the Treasury Board), the Minister of Labour; Filomena Tassi, Shannon Stubbs- Conservative MP and critic for Public Safety, Pierre Paul-Hus (Con), Alexandre Boulerice (NDP). We have also mailed correspondence to all MP’s who have Institutions in their riding indicating our demand.
We will not stop at this point. Keep posted for more instructions.