On Thursday March 10th, the National President and the CSN Coordinator, François Ouellette, met with both the Commissioner and Senior Deputy Commissioner in Ottawa to discuss the many issues of discontent among the membership of UCCO-SACC-CSN. We tabled the various issues that are, in our view, symptomatic of the lack of respect showed by CSC in the past years:
- Designated paid holidays (DPH)
- The security tools to do our jobs
- WCB claims being challenged by the employer when CX caught Covid at work
- Toxic workplace environment
- Harassment by management
- Mandatory overtime
- Excessive discipline
- Failure to recognize the work done by correctional officers during Covid-19
- Correctional officers forced to take sick leave instead of 699 if they tested positive but were able to work.
For too long we have tabled these issues at various labour management tables and the employer continued to show lack of respect by dismissing these very important issues. The mobilization efforts of our members over the last couple of weeks, however, have made it impossible for the employer to ignore us any further.
During this meeting, three issues that are within the Commissioner’s control, were tabled specifically as a barometer of the employer’s good faith. The first being the employer’s response to WCB claims when one of our members tests positive for Covid-19 because of their work. This was an issue that the Commissioner came to the table prepared for as we were consulted on the instructions they had drafted to send to the RDCs. This new direction will not allow for statements of opinion from management, nor will it argue the possibility of workplace transmission when a site is in an outbreak. The second point raised was the tools we require to do our jobs safely and effectively. These tools include drone detection, body scanners, proper vests, and gloves. The employer has recently shared an invitation with the National Executive for March 31st to discuss the status of these tools and their intent on moving forward.
The third issue that was signalled as a priority and a major point of disrespect shown by the employer was their interpretation on the lieu hours to be used on a DPH. Though the Commissioner said that she would not have an answer for us during the meeting on March 10th, she agreed to get back to us on this issue early the following week The Commissioner has full authority to make this decision and to this date, we are still waiting for an answer.
We demand that the Commissioner show the respect that correctional officers deserve by reversing this incorrect and disrespectful interpretation. We have given ample time for the Commissioner to correct this issue and her further delays will only power our resolve. We ask our members to stay the course with our mobilization tactics and be ready for an escalation to show the Commissioner that we will not be dismissed or ignored.
Rest assured that your national executive will stand strong with every fellow correctional officer demanding the respect they deserve!