FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 6, 2001
Correctional officers refuse to work due to supervisor threats
TORONTO - Correctional officers at OPSEU Local 517, Toronto West Detention Centre, have refused under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to commence duties today claiming that a manager has physically threatened staff in the workplace.
The union says that the manager in question has threatened at least three staff members. Attempts by the union local to resolve matters with the employer have been unsuccessful.
“We accept that part of a correctional officer’s job is to deal with threats from the inmates,” said Doug Pickett, president of Local 517. “We shouldn’t have to tolerate it from our supervisors.”
Barry Scanlon, chair of the OPSEU Corrections Ministry Employee Relations Committee, said that OPSEU has been diligently working to eliminate this type of behaviour in the workplace, and the employer needs to do their part.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on violence in the workplace,” Scanlon said. “It’s time that the Ministry of Correctional Services starts dealing with its rogue managers.”
The union asks that the employer remove the manager in question and initiate a proper investigation under the Ministry’s harassment policy.
“The Ministry of Labour has made a recommendation that management and the union deal with this issue locally,” Pickett said. “We are at a loss to explain why the employer refuses to do so.”
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For more information:
Doug Pickett (416) 788-9324
Barry Scanlon (416) 788-9190
Don Ford, OPSEU Communications (416) 788-9104