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August 27, 2001
No single meeting on PPO classification issue
"Members have a right to individual
OPSEU has no plans to hold a single Stage Two meeting with the Ministry of
Correctional Services to deal with over 400 classification grievances from
Probation and Parole Officers.
"We have just told the employer that, at this point in time, we will not
do a representative hearing for classification grievances at Stage Two,"
said PPO Dave Kerr, of the OPSEU Corrections Ministry Employee Relations
Committee. "The members in our probation offices have a right to individual
meetings to express their concerns. People want to have their voices
Kerr has told MCS Staff Relations to end the foot-dragging that has delayed
Stage Two meetings across the province. The OPSEU collective agreement (Article
22.3.2) says the Ministry must meet with members within 15 days if a grievance
is not resolved at Stage One.
"Probation Officers are fed up with a whole variety of issues ranging
from poor ergonomics, work areas that still do not meet the requirements of the
Safety and Security policy, and of course the long standing issue of
workload," Kerr told Staff Relations in an Aug. 22 letter. "With
respect to this classification issue it is my feeling that Management Board
Secretariat needs to hear this issue several hundred times before they begin to
get the message."
The jobs of today’s PPOs have changed greatly over the years, from the
introduction of computers in the 1980s to the latest delivery model.
"We want the Ministry on side to say, ‘Yes, you need more money, the
classification isn’t the appropriate one," said Kerr. "What I’m
looking for from the Ministry is some kind of commitment that they are actually
able to deal with this issue. If they can’t, we want their support in taking
our case to Management Board."
The contract says Stage Two meetings must take place between the grievor and
"the senior human resources representative in the ministry or his or her
designee." If you have a grievance that has not been resolved at Stage One,
contact your Local steward or president (with a copy of this Lock Talk)
for more information.
OTIS problems escalate
"Please be advised that the OTIS system will be unavailable today from
17:00 hours to Midnight for systems maintenance. This outage is necessary to
perform systems back-up and complete a number of maintenance activities. To
ensure that there is no offender data loss, please advise staff of this outage
and request that they sign off of the application. During this time, staff will
not have access to the OTIS system and will not be able to run OTIS
Staff in Ontario’s Probation and Parole offices have been getting the
foregoing e-mail message a lot lately. There are also other messages describing
outages from 13:00 to 17:00 hours. Occasionally messages speak of unplanned
outages with no anticipated fix time. The new Offender Tracking and
Information System has been plagued by problems since its introduction three
weeks ago. The following are some typical e-mail responses from frustrated
· "The system is not working now – any chances of it coming
back up before the outage to catch up on today’s activities?"
· "I have a brilliant suggestion to those who are shutting off this
system – WHY DON’T YOU CHOOSE THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT RATHER THAN THE
MIDDLE OF THE AFTERNOON?"
· "Will I be allowed to return to work at 2100 hrs to try to get
caught up on OTIS? I have been having slow to no response to my OTIS entries
since 10 a.m. today. With more new orders coming in I can’t see the top of
my desk. I realize being on the ‘Compressed Work Week’ I am not supposed
to claim overtime but I think it is much better than sick leave due to stress.
If I miss something and someone here at work is injured or a client accuses me
of a mistake because of my stress level, will I have to answer for that
· OMS Shutdown: Aug. 3
OTIS Startup: Aug. 10
"In this office we are still currently working on work received in our
office on Aug. 6 due to inaccessibility of OTIS, unreliability of OTIS and the
length of time required to complete ONE task. For example: Open Custody entry
on OMS required input to three screens. In OTIS we now have 43 pages of
instructions to complete the same task. Intake on OMS required input to one
screen. In OTIS we now have 31 pages of instructions to complete the same
· "How’s a person to get anything done when this system is up and
down like a yo-yo, information did not convert properly in some instances, and
seemingly nothing works the same way twice?"
· "12 hours a day with only one day off since August 3 – I won’t
work more overtime than that."
· "Sorry, but there is no overtime budget for this work."
· "Considering the level of stress and frustration already existing
within Corrections due to OTIS, can you PLEASE provide us with one good reason
to continue our struggle?"
40-hour carry-over is back for the 2001 calendar
You can carry over up to 40 hours of compensating leave earned in the
2001 calendar year past March 31, 2001, a new grievance settlement says. OPSEU
grieved after MCS canceled the old practice.
The settlement reads, in part:
"The Employer agrees to continue the past practice of allowing
employees to carry over a maximum of 40 hours of compensating leave
accumulated under COR 8,13,14,and IHC 8,13,14 of the current OPSEU collective
agreement, for one more year, unless the parties expressly alter the terms and
conditions of these minutes of settlement during the next round of collective
bargaining.… All hours/days carried over must be used by September 30, 2002
or they will be paid out in full."
The employer has given notice that it still intends to end the carry-over,
starting in the 2002 calendar year. This would mean any compensating time earned
in 2002 and not used by March 31, 2003 would be paid out.
The OPSEU Corrections MERC team has forwarded this issue to the OPSEU
Corrections bargaining team.
Millbrook safety issue resolved
A May 2001 work refusal at the Millbrook Correctional Centre has resulted in
better health and safety protection for correctional staff.
The refusal happened after an inmate had blocked the view into his
segregation cell with feces and threatened to throw feces on staff. Correctional
Officers who had been ordered to use the meal hatch to observe the inmate
demanded safety equipment so they would not have feces dumped on them.
In the settlement, the employer at Millbrook agreed to have the following
equipment available for staff in segregation areas as soon as possible:
- two sets of goggles
- two sets of each adult size available of the protective coveralls with
- two sets of each size available of gloves reaching to the elbow;
- two sets of elasticized mask, two sets of tie-up ribboned mask; and
- two sets of protective booties.
The employer agreed to regularly check and replace the equipment as
Where the May situation re-occurs, staff will also have a shield to protect
Tim Hannah, a refusing worker and a member of Millbrook’s local executive
who negotiated the Aug. 23 settlement, was pleased with the results.
"Workers at Millbrook will have more protection as a result of this
settlement. That’s what counts."
For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 442) or Pam Doig (ext. 687) or
(416) 443-8888. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.
For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 442) or
Pam Doig (ext. 687) at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) email@example.com
Ontario Public Service Employees Unionwww.opseu.org
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman,
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