On June 16th and 17th, representatives of our subcommittees on gloves and dual threat vests received a presentation from the Security Operations Department at NHQ.
After developing specs with the Department before the pandemic, CSC has now received some samples of gloves which fulfill the requested specifications. UCCO-SACC-CSN has been working with the department to find gloves that offer the same protection as our current model, with an added layer of protection against a needle stick. Currently, there are two different types of gloves, received as samples, which will be sent to the field for a portion of our membership to assess. The assessment period for these gloves will be over the summer months and we will engage the department on our findings in the fall to move toward procuring the gloves that our membership sample approves.
Dual Threat Vests
Representatives of our security committee were also presented with the specifications and a sample of a dual threat vest to replace our current stab-resistant vest. There has been a great deal of work put into finding an appropriate panel material that is resistant to ceramic knives. Your representatives are still engaged with the employer on this file and will next consult with members of our Women Offenders Sector to analyze this important safety tool. When samples of a dual threat vest were piloted in the regions before the pandemic, feedback indicated that the weight of the vest needed to be as light as possible given our working conditions. This will remain a top priority for our subcommittee when selecting the proper replacement for our current model.
Health and Safety – the Union’s On It
It is certainly great news to see the employer working with your representatives in a forward momentum to procure these important tools. The health and safety of our members is of utmost priority, as flagged during our respect campaign. We will continue to engage with the employer on these files making certain that replacement for our current gloves and vest happens as quickly as possible.
Finally, we are very proud of the work done by all the members of these committees, as well as each member in our locals, who provided input and actively participated in the testing and feedback of the dual threat vest pilot. We look forward to receiving feedback from the field on the gloves samples. It is important to highlight such a team effort. A union that is active in the safety of its members is a healthy union.