PENETANGUISHENE - Correctional officers at Canada’s first privatized adult correctional facility have voted to accept the employer’s latest offer for a first contract. Union members voted over 84 per cent to accept the offer. 92 per cent of the members turned out for the vote.
Sean Wilson, a correctional officer and bargaining team member for OPSEU Local 369, says that this first agreement is a solid base for future bargaining.
“Although the deal fell slightly short of parity with correctional officers in the Ontario Public Service, it is a vast improvement over what we had,” Wilson said. “All of our major issues were addressed, including wages, vacations, shift premiums and pregnancy and parental leave top-up.”
The employer’s latest offer improved wages to equal those of OPS correctional officers, as of November 15, 2004. The offer also included near parity on vacation time, along with shift premium allowances and top-up to 75 per cent of pay for those on pregnancy and parental leave. Along with the improvements, the union members will now have access to
a grievance procedure and methods to negotiate labour relations issues between contracts. The one-year contract expires December 31, 2004.
“This was tremendous vote of confidence in the bargaining team,” Wilson said. “All along, the members told us what was important to them. We couldn’t have reached this agreement without their unwavering support. This contract is a giant step in gaining recognition and respect for the work we do. We look forward to meeting the employer again at the
table at the end of the year.”
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For more information, please contact:
Don Ford, OPSEU Communications (416) 788-9104