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February 16, 2001
Competition charges bring quick
Labour charges filed by OPSEU on recent management competition postings have
produced a settlement in less than two weeks.
The union filed charges that the employer was interfering with union
administration in regard to management competitions. OPSEU’s legal
representatives filed the charges with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)
on Feb. 6, 2001.
The charges stemmed from restrictions that the Ministry placed on
competitions for Operational Manager (OM) 16 positions and for Deputy
Since Nov. 1999, the OPSEU Corrections Ministry Employee Relations Committee
has asked all of their members to step down from acting management positions. In
the case of the Guelph OM16 positions, the posting was restricted to persons
currently acting in management positions within the Ministry. In other words,
the competitions were restricted to those persons who had not participated in
OPSEU’s campaign. The Deputy Superintendent positions were also restricted to
those members who were currently acting in management positions or those who had
acted for six months in the previous two years, which eliminated the majority of
members who heeded the MERC’s request.
“Under normal circumstances the Ministry does not impose restrictions like
these,” said MERC chair Barry Scanlon. “By placing these restrictions, the
Ministry was in effect punishing those who participated in a legal job action.
That’s interference in the administration of the trade union, and we filed
In a settlement signed on Feb 15, 2001, the employer has agreed to re-post
the Deputy Superintendent competition without the restrictions. The competition
is now open to all classified and unclassified employees. The original OM16
competition for two positions at Guelph was too late to recall, however, the
employer has agreed to post three additional OM16 positions at Guelph on or
before Feb. 28, 2001. This competition will also be open to all classified and
unclassified employees province-wide.
No Canadian companies will run Penetang superjail
No Canadian companies will be able to qualify to run the new 1,200-bed
maximum-security institution in Penetanguishene, OPSEU has learned.
At a public meeting held in Midland on Feb. 9, 2001, one of the qualified
bidders admitted that under the terms of the Request for Proposals (RFP), there
aren’t any companies in Canada that can meet the qualifications necessary to
operate the facility.
OPSEU President Leah Casselman is calling on the Ontario government to stop
the sell-off of Ontario’s first superjail to a foreign company.
“U.S. and British corrections companies have a horrifying track record of
escapes, murders and assaults,” Ms. Casselman said. “Why would we want to
import these kind of problems, especially when our tax dollars are being used so
that a foreign company can turn a profit?”
Robert Crawford, president and CEO of First Nations Protective Services of
Toronto, told attendees at the Feb. 9 meeting that his company has had to
affiliate with an American corrections company in order to meet the
requirements. Mr. Crawford would not reveal which U.S. company is involved.
Penetang councillors ready to blow
Latest rebuff by Minister “unbelievable”
It was a reasonable and sincere request.
Penetanguishene town council was understandably upset when the RFP for the
superjail was released. Virtually none of the 52 recommendations that the
council put forward were included in the RFP. No explanations were given for the
Council discussed the issues at length. In the end, council decided to demand
a meeting with Corrections Minister Norm Sterling, in order to discuss their
concerns. To streamline the meeting, councillors reduced the number of issues to
be discussed to 12 major concerns that the town wanted to address. Council even
planned to travel as a group to Queen’s Park to save the Minister the trip.
So it came as a rather rude and nasty shock when, two days prior to the
planned meeting, Minister Sterling sent a letter to the town offices saying
sorry, I’ve got no time for you.
Ministry privatization front man Brian Low felt the wrath at the monthly Jail
Liaison Committee meeting in Penetanguishene on Thurs., Feb. 15. Half of the
Liaison Committee members are area councillors.
“This is completely unbelievable,” one councillor said. Another left the
meeting in disgust.
Penetanguishene councillor Dan LaRose warned Low that as town
representatives, they are running out of options.
“I’m speaking as a resident of this town,” LaRose said. “You are not
playing by the rules. The game is now over. We are now forced to do something
One of Sterling’s excuses for not meeting with council was that he was
going to be too occupied with his “new portfolio.”
In case you’re unaware, Sterling’s portfolio is Correctional Services,
Consumer Services and Business Services. Anybody want to take a guess which one
of those three areas a Tory cabinet minister would be most occupied with?
Plans being made
In the Feb.
13 edition of Lock Talk, we told you that plans are being made
to take the corrections campaign to a higher, more serious level.
Due to the sensitive nature of these plans, the Corrections MERC will be
setting up conference calls with all local representatives in about ten days.
IT IS IMPERATIVE that all local presidents or highest-ranking officials
ensure that we have your proper contact information. Please contact Don Ford at
OPSEU Head Office immediately to verify that the information on file is correct.
Paying for compliments
Former correctional officer John Wilson doesn’t know whether to laugh or
Not long after resigning his position from the Guelph Correctional Centre,
John received notification that he had to pick up a letter at his local postal
outlet. Upon arriving, John found a plain white envelope addressed to him, with
no postage and no return address. In order to get the letter, John had to fork
over C.O.D. charges amounting to $1.01.
And what was inside? A letter from the superintendent of Guelph C.C.,
thanking John for his 13 years of service.
Well, at least the cost of the stationary wasn’t deducted from his
The push towards 200 municipalities takes another step forward.
This week, the Municipality of Killarney (southwest of Sudbury) has issued
its support for publicly run correctional services. That brings the count to
The Resolution Warrior’s one-man show continues! Thanks again to Len Mason
of Local 737 (Thunder Bay Jail).
For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 442) or Carol Whitehead
(ext. 356) at
1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
.Ontario Public Service Employees Union
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.
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