Jan 28, 2000
Dont buy into schedule intimidation
On Thursday January 27, 2000, notices went out to locals across the province as the ministry served 90 day notices to re-negotiate compressed work week agreements. The ministrys plan to implement "9-9" schedules is part of a larger agenda which includes reduction of staff, elimination of compensating time off for overtime, elimination of built in schedule relief and reducing members ability to take vacation during the summer months.
"The employer once again is trying every method to demoralize and punish our members for government mismanagement," said Barry Scanlon. "The MERC team asked the ministry to hold off on scheduling notices as an act of good faith. We were obviously ignored."
The ministry is using excessive costs as their justification for this move. Members in acting management positions have played a significant role in inflating the costs associated with scheduling.
In conjunction with OPSEU head office, the MERC is initiating legal action next week on the scheduling notices. "Our legal advice is that there are clear violations of the Collective Agreement," said Scanlon. "In the meantime, our direction to the locals remains the same. Do not enter into any negotiations on schedules. If you do, you will seriously damage the legal action we are initiating."
We will keep you updated on the progress.
Lobbying under way
Members are wasting no time in setting up deputations to their area municipal councils. Locals from Guelph, Cobourg, Peterborough, Smith Falls, Kingston and many, many others have already got dates set to ask for support against privatization. Great work!
Lindsay stunned at turnout to liaison meeting
Members of the Lindsay super jail liaison committee were used to 5 or 6 people showing up for their monthly meetings.
That all changed Thursday January 27, 2000.
Over 100 people packed the Lindsay council chambers to express their outrage at the possibility of the Lindsay facility being privatized.
Correctional officers from Lindsay, Peterborough, Millbrook, Brookside, Quinte, Mimico, Maplehurst and the Toronto Jail stood shoulder to shoulder with dozens of Lindsay area citizens and demanded answers from Ministry representatives. But the ministry couldnt or wouldnt supply them.
The committee read a letter from Chris Hodgson, area M.P.P., who, despite being specifically invited, stated he was "too busy" to attend. On privatization of the site, Hodgson wrote, "Lindsay is not currently being considered." "Thats what Penetang thought!" the crowd responded.
Someone else who was disappointed in Hodgsons no-show was Liberal M.P.P. and corrections critic David Levac, who drove from Brantford to attend the meeting. "I think that the people in this room deserve to know why their elected representative wouldnt come here tonight," he said.
By the end of the meeting, which went nearly 2 hours past the scheduled time for adjournment, the liaison committee had a clear message from the citizens of the Lindsay area no privatization, period.
Mark Doble, a Lindsay resident who owns property close to the jail site, summed it up best. "If at first you dont succeed, youd better not be sky diving. And that is what this whole issue is like. We will not be guinea pigs."
Just a reminder
Members who wish to receive Lock Talk must send in either their e-mail address or a secure fax number to Lesley Williams. You can reach her at 1-800-268-7376 or at email@example.com.
Sudbury event a roaring success
The toboggans raced and the hot chocolate flowed as Sudbury played host to a no privatization rally last Sunday. Thanks to the enormous work of Denis Leger, Larry Macgregor and Marnie Campbell of Local 617, the event received wide media coverage as well as a visit from two area M.P.P.s, Shelly Martell and Rick Bartolucci. Our hats go off to the folks at 617 for kick starting the campaign in the north.
Check out this site
Peter Harding from Local 337 has put an enormous amount of work into a corrections anti-privatization web site. The address is http://members.xoom.com/noprivate/home.html.
Early next week we will be posting the latest status on the acting manager actions. Stay tuned.
For campaign information, contact Don Ford or Carol Whitehead at 1-800-268-7376 ext. 356 or (416) 443-8888 ext. 356
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.