The National Health and Safety Policy Committee met at the end of September in hybrid format. Here are some elements that were discussed.
Prison Needle Exchange Program
The employer intends on rolling out more PNEPs in the upcoming months. UCCO-SACC-CSN stressed, once again, how important it is to consider the safety and security of staff when deciding to implement the program. We discussed how the Overdose Prevention Site is a better model for everyone involved—correctional officers, other staff, and inmates. CSC briefly commented they would go ahead both with the PNEPs and the OPSs. This will be discussed again at the next meeting.
Hazard Prevention Program Evaluation Report
The employer presented a draft version of the report. Hazardous occurrences are severely under-reported and under documented. This causes an issue because the statistics presented do not reflect the reality—all parties agreed on that. We encourage everyone to report hazardous occurrences. The report also highlighted that mental health injuries are a major hazard. However, little work has been done at the committee level on this aspect historically. We want to change this.
Menstrual Products Regulations
As of December 15, 2023, federally regulated employers will be required to make menstrual products available to workers at no cost while they are in the workplace. We reminded the employer of the existence of the status of women representatives in UCCO-SACC-CSN and encouraged the employer to include them in the conversation about the kinds of products that would be available, restocking, etc. We also brought up, once again, the dismal condition of washrooms on posts. Professional cleaning is not a luxury; it is crucial.
CSC Security Vehicle Fleet (Maintenance and Shortage)
The employer recognizes there are major issues with the state of the vehicle fleet. The employer is actively working to find the root causes of the problem to tackle it, with various parties involved in the national, regional, and local level. UCCO-SACC-CSN reminded the employer that these vehicles are the outside image of CSC.
The review of the footwear hazard analysis for correctional officers is ongoing. The next step will be to look at the market review to determine the boot allowance.
At every NHSPC meeting, we receive all the assurances of voluntary compliance, work refusals, etc. We asked the employer to have an up-to-date summary of the work done for each of these, so we can track the progress made.