The National Labour Management Committee (NLMC) was held on Thursday, June 2nd in Ottawa. It was our first official meeting with the commissioner and the entire national executive team since our National General Assembly in Toronto. Our new regional and national representatives were accompanied by our CSN Coordinator François Ouellette and Éric Prince (communication union advisor). In addition, we had an observer from Atlantic Institution, Ms. Trudy Anderson.
In her opening comments, the Commissioner reiterated her commitments made to the union to move forward the key issues that have been raised during our respect campaign. Although not every issue has been resolved, this campaign has allowed us to establish a basis for work and a timetable on certain files. As we mentioned last week, we are cautiously optimistic.
At the end of May, we learned that Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources, Nick Fabiano, had transferred departments. We welcomed Mr. Jay Pyke, former Atlantic Regional Deputy Commissioner at the table as the new ACHRM. Mr. Pyke had only held the position for 3 days before meeting with us but came to the table well prepared with our agenda. We welcome this fresh start and wish Mr. Pyke well in his new endeavours.
On Thursday, June 9th, we are going to meet with the Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino in Ottawa. We will discuss the ongoing issue of recognition for our members’ sacrifices during the pandemic. We will also focus on issues surrounding mental health and the tools we require to do our work safely. We shall keep you posted on this meeting next week.
The CSC indicated to us that they are looking to enhance the SIU model, creating two new positions. They have indicated that these positions will be behavioural counselors, and a data analysis coordinator. The data analysis coordinators would be responsible to track movements from the LTE network and develop reporting mechanisms to ensure compliance with the CCRA. These additions will have little impact on our work in these often-problematic units. Please be sure to contact your local executive if you see any aberrations in these units.
Contraband and Tools
The CSC has provided us with a timeline for the new Drone system in Donnacona. We will also be having a meeting to look at the gloves and new dual protection vest prototypes sometime in June. These prototypes will be piloted with a group of our members by the end of the year, to gather feedback before moving to procurement.
Our contract and global agreement have now expired. Work has already begun to prepare for our next round of negotiations. The national mobilization committee, comprised of our five 1st Regional Vice Presidents, has already begun its work to prepare the tour to gather your demands which is scheduled to be completed by the end of September. The National Executive, the National Mobilization Committee and all our CSN staff are working to prepare for this first tour. Over the summer, we will be holding several events to promote participation in these meetings. This negotiation will be crucial given the sustained advance of inflation, the advancement on the working conditions of our colleagues in other public security agencies and the change that we have been experiencing for almost 3 years in our work.
Commissioner’s Mandate Letter
The Commissioner has received a new mandate letter from Minister Mendicino. We invite you to read it, it contains several requests that will surely have an impact in our working conditions. For example, «Work to improve access to technology for inmates, including Internet access» or «Increase mental health services in order to decrease the use of SIU for offenders with mental health problems». We will remain engaged with the employer on any plans they are developing to fulfill this mandate to ensure our safety.
We are carefully monitoring the implementation of the new EAP service provider at CSC. The new provider is LifeWorks, formerly Morneau-Shepell. We welcome the department moving away from Health Canada as the sole provider of the EAP service, as we have long raised issues with the ineffective and lacking service they provided. We have been assured that the department will make the transition as smooth as possible for our members, and those currently receiving service from Health Canada can continue that service or transition to LifeWorks.
Health and Safety
Work will soon be done to conduct joint Health and Safety training in the regions. This training which has historically been proven successful has unfortunately taken a back seat due to COVID restrictions. Because of this we have signalled to the employer the negative effects we are seeing in our locals. This issue will also be brought to the next National Health and Safety Committee.
Change of Schedule During a Suspension of More Than 40 Hours
The CSC mentioned to us, during a bilat with our National Scheduling Committee, that the Phoenix system could not handle a suspension of more than 40 hours without a temporary schedule change for the officer involved. We have raised that temporarily changing a schedule to accommodate a suspension can have damaging effects on our members. We have made our case with the new Deputy Commissioner of Human Resources about this aberration and will await his response. To be continued.
The consultation on the CD-004 is continuing during the month of June. We have raised the concerns coming from some of our sites, where local management is not respecting the terms of reference to have proper dialogue on the reality of local operations. There are a few sites, notably in Quebec, where consultation was done in a cavalier manner and without real collaboration. These examples were provided to the Director General of Security, Ms. Geneviève Thibault.
The employer continues to wait for a response from Google, upon our request to blur aerial views of our institutions on the platform. This additional security measure could be effective in making life more difficult for a person planning a drone delivery.
The CSC has signalled to us that they have now received the tests results on the C8 ammunition conducted by a private firm and will share them with us very shortly. Edmonton Institution and the Regional Reception Centre in Quebec have recently experienced change in the use of this firearm resulting in health and safety investigations and we hope that the findings of these tests will resolve the issues of our membership and the employer. An update will be provided once a brief has been given to the union.
We were advised that the department will be rolling out the electronic OSOR which was piloted in both the Prairie and Atlantic region in 2018/19. During this pilot the union received lots of positive feedback on this new form. A launch should be done soon in our facilities.
Finally, we wish you all a great summer. Take some time for yourself, your family and fill up on energy. The fall will be busy as we begin our process to negotiate a new collective and global agreement.