This week, we finally learned the employer’s demand under both Appendix K and Lieu time. If you recall, the employer announced that it wanted to discuss these articles, without giving any more details. In the last session, the employer tabled their demands regarding these two topics. These demands directly attack correctional officers’ quality of life.
First, regarding the 12-hour schedules, the employer is asking that the length of the shifts be changed from 12.75 hours to 12.25 hours. This demand would result in extra pay back shifts for each schedule year. Furthermore, it would reduce our shift overlap from 45 minutes to 15 minutes.
It appears the employer is launching a full assault on our schedules because not only is the employer looking to negotiate changes at the bargaining table, but they are also demanding changes at the labour management table. As scheduling exercises were set to begin this spring, with the review of the deployment standards, the employer now seeks to change the rules in the middle of the game. The employer sent direction to each institution, with written direction to our local scheduling committees to scrap any schedule proposition that contains 9-hour shifts, and a restriction to only submit schedules that are 8.5 hours in length. In doing this, the employer is changing our working conditions while we are negotiating. This change has a significant impact on scheduling options for 9-16-9 type schedules, and ultimately the quality of life for correctional officers on that schedule. We therefore consider this to be an illegal practice. A formal complaint under the Federal Public Sector Labor Relations Act is being prepared and will be filed next week, in order to have the issue settled by a third party. In the meantime, there should be no site working with local management, under this direction, to build new schedules.
Second, regarding the lieu hours, the employer is looking to scrap our current regime, and replace it with a biweekly lump sum payment of $148.19. In practice, this is what it would mean for correctional officers:
- This would constitute a setback of approximately $2,700 per year for correctional officers. Currently, a CX-2 with 5 years or more of seniority who is paid for his/her 102 lieu hours at the end of the year would receive $6552. The employer proposes to replace this with a premium of $3,853 per year paid biweekly.
- The compensation proposed by the employer would not be indexed to salary, unlike the current plan.
- Correctional officers could no longer use the hours as a leave bank.
The bargaining committee firmly opposed these demands and reminded the employer that correctional officers are asking for a substantial catch-up on their salaries and a real improvement in their working conditions, the very opposite of what is proposed by the employer, who is asking for significant setbacks on these two points.
The next bargaining session will take place in early October 2023. Until then, rest assured that your union is actively working to mobilize our forces and intends to fight to obtain the working conditions that correctional officers deserve.
The strength of UCCO-SACC-CSN has always resided in the engagement of its members. To achieve the working conditions we deserve, it is more important than ever that each correctional officer actively participates in supporting the negotiations.
Proud. United, Strong
Your bargaining committee.