The Factual Report on Corrections Negotiations
Issue 25 - February 25, 2002
“The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities ... It is best to win without fighting.” - Sun-tzu, The Art of War, Planning a Siege
Reject this offer!
The Corrections Bargaining Team has unanimously recommended that members turn down the so-called “offer” from the employer. The team wants a 100 per cent rejection of this affront to our members.
Issues such as health and safety, pensions, unclassified conversions, overtime, bargaining unit work, compressed work week concerns and shift premiums have all been ignored.
The Probation and Parole special case, temporary assignments, and Custodial Responsibility Allowances haven’t even been discussed because the employer refuses to recognize the importance of our members. The offer is even more insulting considering that the Corrections Team has not even tabled a wage demand yet.
“The employer’s offer completely ignores 19 out of the 20 demands that we brought forward from the members,” said Barry Scanlon, chair of the Corrections Bargaining Team. “We are the government’s front line of defense. They are showing a total lack of respect towards the men and women who make sure that the
people of Ontario sleep safely at night.”
Obviously, the government figures it can throw some loose change at our members and they will forget all about the unsafe environments they work in and the shabby treatment they have received from this mismanaged ministry. Asking classified members to sell out unclassified members is how the government does
business. OPSEU members do not do business this way.
In regards to wage recovery, Correctional Officers have had a 93-cent per hour wage increase since 1993. “This offer from the government is a slap in the face to all members in the Corrections Category,” said Scanlon.
P&P “Special Case” ignored
The employer has refused to enter into any meaningful bargaining since Dec. 18, 2001. Other than asking for clarification on some of the bargaining team’s proposals, the employer has not entered into any talks on issues that are close to the hearts of correctional workers.
“The employer knows damn well that the ‘Special Case’ submission by our members in Probation and Parole has merit, and they have totally ignored these front-line workers,” said Len Mason, Corrections Bargaining Team Member. “The team asked for meaningful bargaining to take place at the table so we could move
forward with wage recovery proposals. The employer refused to respond.”
Members in Probation and Parole offices around Ontario have been lobbying the employer on their workload issues and health and safety concerns. Why would the employer disregard our member’s issues? The employer obviously does not care about the professional opinions and concerns of Probation and Parole officers.
The Corrections Bargaining Team is counting on the members in P&P to reject this so-called offer, and voice their disdain towards the employer who is showing absolutely no respect to Ontario’s front line of defense.
Reports from your team
Last week, your Corrections Bargaining Team attended information meetings across the province. Here’s what they had to say about how the members are feeling:
Region 1 - Strength in numbers
Correctional members are attending information meetings in extremely large numbers.
Region 1 Corrections Bargaining Team member, Jack Hopkins, said that he is strongly encouraged by the attendance at the meetings.
“I have not talked to a single member that likes anything in this offer,” Hopkins said. “The feedback I’m getting is that the membership will strongly reject this offer and send a loud message to the employer.”
Hopkins said that he is not surprised by the membership’s reaction. “There is absolutely nothing positive for our members in this offer. It is important that all members take the time to vote NO to this offer and give the teams the support needed to bargain a real collective agreement.”
Region 2 - Sending a message
Members in Region 2 are ready to send a message to the employer - but it may not be a message that the employer wants to hear.
“The members have had enough of being ignored and bullied for the last six years,” said Barry Scanlon, chair of the Corrections Bargaining Team. “They are going to send a very strong message to this employer, and that message will be an absolute NO to this insulting contract offer. In fact, calling this a
legitimate contract offer is an insult to the collective bargaining process.”
Region 3 - “Dug-in” and mobilized
“The members have been kicked around long enough.”
That is the statement coming out of Region 3. Fighting privatization and dealing with redeployment has this region “dug-in” and mobilized at the same time.
“The members have battled in the past are ready to take on the employer full-force to achieve a good collective agreement,” said Larry Cripps, Corrections Bargaining Team Member. “Your teams know the struggles you face every day at work, and every month when you pay your bills. We are doing our job, but we can’t
succeed without your support. A strong rejection of the employer’s offer and a strong strike mandate will give us the power we need to win the ‘A’ contract you deserve.”
Region 4 - Ready to rumble
All across Region 4, the members are determined and enthusiastic in backing their bargaining teams. There is no doubt that the members in Region 4 will show the way with a resounding rejection of the insult which the government calls a contract offer.
“I have attended many meetings this past week and I am very proud of the membership in Region 4,” said Jim Bothwell, Region 4 Corrections Bargaining Team Member. “The determination to win a good contract has been apparent at locals everywhere, both in the Corrections and Unified bargaining units. I am positive
that Region 4 will return their bargaining team members to the table with a very high strike vote.”
Ready to rock and roll in Region 5
In Region 5, members are squeezing into packed meeting halls to hear how pitiful this offer from the employer really is. Masses are turning out to listen to what is really happening at the bargaining tables.
“I tell them flat out, management is refusing to enter into any meaningful bargaining,” said Dave Graves, vice-chair of the Corrections Bargaining Team. “This scrap of an offer, on top of overcrowding and unsafe working conditions, will result in a resounding ‘NO’ from Region 5.”
“P&P members have been telling the government that they are at the breaking point,” Dave said. “The employer just ignores them. They are fed up and ready to rock and roll.”
Region 6 ready to take action
“The members are ready and willing to go the distance to get a good contract this time round,” said Rick Dagenais, Corrections Bargaining Team Member.
Region 6 members are angry about the way they’ve been treated by this ministry and by the government as a whole. “The members know that the higher the strike vote, the stronger the leverage, and the better the contract,” said Dagenais.
“Region 6 members are ready to take action. Just watch the vote.”
Region 7 - Rock solid
The Northerners are “Rock Solid” in their determination to get a good collective agreement. Members in facilities and P&P offices say that they’ve had enough of the employer’s rhetoric and threats concerning their work.
“Members are sick and tired of listening to the employer’s crap,” said Len Mason, Corrections Bargaining Team Member. “They are ready and willing to take on this employer, if they are forced to.”
Mason was “barred” from entering the Kenora Jail last week, but was subsequently allowed in after a phone call was made from his local MPP.
Members seem to be really blown away that the employer hasn’t entered into any meaningful bargaining with the Corrections Bargaining Team. The turnout at the information meetings is fantastic. Members are really getting into this round of bargaining and ready to do whatever it takes.
Time off for voting to be “reasonable”
An agreement between OPSEU and Management Board will assist members in getting time off to vote on Feb. 26, 27 and 28.
The employer has directed managers to be “reasonable and flexible” if employees request time off to vote. For example, if the poll is some distance away from the worksite, members may ask to report late or leave early, if voting before or after work. Also members may ask for time off during the workday if the
poll is some distance from the worksite, and it is expected that there will be a line-up. Depending on local voting arrangements and the location of the worksite, the time off requested may be as much as one to one and one-half hours.
The employer may deny this time off depending on cost or impact to local operations, but the intent of this agreement is to ensure that members are provided with the opportunity to vote.
Members are reminded that they must make the request to their supervisor in order to get time off.
We have received information that some unclassified members are being told by their supervisors that they will be “fired”, or not have their contracts renewed if there is an OPS strike.
It is our duty to refer these managers to Section C6 of the Conditions document for the Essential Services and Collective Agreement Negotiations, titled “Unclassified Contracts,” which states:
“Unclassified contracts will not be terminated solely because the affected employees are engaged in a strike or lockout.”
If a manager has approached you and told you, either directly of indirectly, that your job may be in jeopardy, we want to know. E-mail the details to email@example.com, or fax to (416) 448-7464. All information will be kept confidential. Threats to our unclassified members will NOT be tolerated!
Meet on “our turf”
Local leaders are gearing up for their first meeting with the employer to review eligibility lists for the essential services draw. Many locals have decided that if the employer wishes to meet to review the eligibility lists on Mar. 4, the managers will have to meet on “their turf.”
Some locals are holding information pickets/barbecues and informing the superintendents that if they want to meet, the superintendent can come out to their strike trailers. Members are controlling the process as much as possible and are willing to meet with the employer, but on the union’s terms.
We again remind all locals to contact their bargaining team representative before meeting with the employer.
Corrections team membersRegion 5: Dave Graves, L. 521 (vice-chair)
Region 1: Jack Hopkins, L. 122
Region 2: Barry Scanlon, L. 230 (chair)
Region 3: Larry Cripps, L. 309
Region 4: Jim Bothwell, L. 467
Region 6: Rick Dagenais, L. 642
Region 7: Len Mason, L. 737
You can reach the bargaining team at (416) 815-0284 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Correct View is your only accurate source of Corrections Team information during this round of bargaining. If you don’t read it here, you can't be sure it's true. Don’t rely on gossip and rumours. We will provide the facts.
The Correct View will be available by fax, by e-mail, and on the OPSEU web site at www.opseu.org . To receive it directly, send your secure fax number to Lesley Williams at (416) 443-1762 or send your e-mail address to
The Correct View is authorized for distribution by Barry Scanlon, chair, Corrections team, and Leah Casselman, president.