In the third meeting between the UCCO-SACC-CSN bargaining committee and the Employer, we discussed (among other topics) the chronic issue of mandatory overtime.
Although UCCO-SACC-CSN members work an average of 114,000 hours of mandatory (ordered) overtime every year, the employer downplays the issue and tells us that the problem is not that this overtime is ordered, but rather that the issue is overtime in general.
Our message to the employer was clear: It is unacceptable that UCCO-SACC-CSN members are chronically forced to work sustained amounts of overtime to run the regular operations of the institutions in which they work. It is imperative that solutions be found, because the status quo is not an option. To this end, we have tabled several solutions on which the Employer must respond to us:
- Cap the number of consecutive hours that may be worked at 16.5 hours, so that no one can be ordered to work beyond that amount of time;
- Ensure a minimum rest period of 8 hours between two shifts for a correctional officer working mandatory overtime;
- Creation of a system to fill vacancies with more voluntary rather than non-voluntary overtime; and
- Restrict the situations in which overtime can be ordered in general.
The employer also went on the offensive, seeking to add to their discretion the right to grant sick leave into a negative balance (200 hours). Despite our insistence on this matter, the Employer does not seem to understand the extent of the issues, both mental and physical, faced by correctional officers, which justify and necessitate the easy access to the sick leave provided for in the collective agreement.
In addition, following the agreements-in-principle that were recently reached between the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Treasury Board, the Employer is failing to recognize our members’ unique working conditions by trying to create common language across the federal public sector in regard to several non-monetary clauses. We reminded the Employer that UCCO-SACC-CSN was born from this very principle: our members wanted the ability to stand out from the rest of the federal public service in order to promote their unique interests and tackle the specific issues that characterize the correctional officer profession. It is therefore imperative that our working conditions reflect our particular reality, which is extremely unique and distinct from that of the vast majority of federal public servants.
A fourth negotiation session will be held June 20–22.
Proud. United. Strong.
Your bargaining committee