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"Imagine our surprise and
Secret report blasts private Y.O
A secret consultantís report commissioned by the Ministry of
Community and Social Services (ComSoc) reveals that a handful of privately
run young offender facilities are rife with mismanagement, substandard
training and supervisor conflicts.
The report, obtained by Southam news, depicts the non-profit St.
Lawrence Youth Association as a "fragile" group with flawed
management, non-existent planning and an unqualified board of directors.
The report comes on the heels of an escape from the privately run
Genest Youth Detention Centre, a high security young offender facility in
London. ComSoc turned the operation of Genest over to the private sector
earlier this year.
Liberal Corrections Critic David Levac was quick to pounce in the
Legislature on Wednesday.
"Imagine our surprise and amazement to find out there has been
another escape from a privately run, for-profit detention centre in
Ontario," Levac said in a speech to the Legislature. "It
happened on Tuesday, September 19, at the Genest Youth Detention Centre, a
high-security facility. First, Camp Turnaround or, as it is called, Camp
Run-Amok, on its first day of operation had an escape. Next, a few months
ago, there was an escape from a facility run by the same company that runs
Genest. The use of a stolen van during that escape nearly cost the lives
of a dozen toddlers from a nearby daycare centre. Now this one. Even with
the cherry-picked, best-behaved offenders in private facilities the
Minister of Community and Social Services still just doesn't get it.
Privately run, for-profit detention centres don't work."
Levac went on to criticize the suppression of the negative ComSoc
report. "Today, we find that Minister Baird has had a report since
April that cites untrained staff, non-compliance with policies and staff
shortages are increasing the risk of injury to both staff and
community," Levac said. "All these previously predicted problems
cost the ministry $2.3 million a year. Minister, your own commissioned
report, submitted in April, is asking you to halt privatization drives. Do
yourself and the communities across this province a favour and stop the
Bob Eaton, chair of the OPSEU ComSoc Ministry Employee Relations
Committee, said that a union survey of workers at privatized young
offender facilities found widespread complaints about low morale, lack of
training, scant ministry supervision and high staff turnover. "The
type of problems outlined in this report are not unique," Eaton said.
"The only responsible thing to do is to put a halt to this."
We are beginning to wonder how many times will it have be proven to
Corrections Minister Rob Sampson that privatization is wrong before he
stops this madness.
C.O.ís have breakfast Ė with Rob!
Itís just a shame there wasnít any crow on the menu.
Corrections Minister Rob Sampson was flustered and confused when 10
correctional officers showed up at the Ministerís $18 a plate breakfast
hosted by the Milton Chamber of Commerce.
The event, which took place on Thursday, Sept. 21, was supposed to be
an education session for the Milton area business community on the
benefits of the Maplehurst superjail. What it turned into was a grilling
by the correctional officers on Sampsonís misrepresentation of
recidivism rates. The officers in attendance at the breakfast were from
Local 234 (Maplehurst Complex), Local 248 (Hamilton-Wentworth D.C.), Local
233 (Guelph C.C.), Local 122 (Bluewater Youth Center) and Local 521 (Mimico/TYAC).
The 100 guests in the room, including business people, Salvation Army
representatives, female support group members, a psychiatrist and a Milton
hospital CEO looked on in surprise as the Minister stumbled through his
answers to the correctional officerís questions. Sampson appeared
rattled, as he probably thought he was going to sneak in and out of the
breakfast without anyone challenging his statements.
It was also reported Sampson consumed a lot of Rolaids after the
breakfast, but that rumour is unsubstantiated.
A job well planned and executed by the "Sampson watchers."
Axe drops on vacation schedules
Notices have been sent out to institutions across the province
rescinding vacation schedules as the Ministry prepares to implement their
Under the Ministry plan, first revealed last winter during negotiations
on compressed work week agreements, a set number of correctional officers
must be on vacation every day of the year. This will drastically reduce
the number of staff allowed off during peak periods, such as mid-summer.
OPSEU filed a policy grievance on this issue last March, and it is now
being scheduled for hearing. In a letter to the Ministry, Grievance
Officer Jim Paul stated, "Various scheduling concepts identified (by
the Ministry), specifically vacation scheduling, are not endorsed by the
Barry Scanlon, chair of the OPSEU Corrections Ministry Employee
Relations Committee, is angered by the Ministryís latest move.
"This Minister constantly wants to be at war with us,"
Scanlon said. "He will do anything to divert our attention from
privatization. He has the nerve to send out a video saying how tough our
jobs are, then he ruins membersí vacations. That just shows what he is
The union maintains that the number of staff off on vacation at any
given time is negotiable, and not a management right. In our opinion this
initiative is also discriminatory and a breach of the collective
Locals are advised to do the following when given notice on their
- File a group grievance signed by all the affected members in the
local. Do this as quickly as possible and add on more names if
necessary. In the grievance, state that the employer has violated the
collective agreement, including but not limited to Articles 2, 3, 10,
16, 46, 72, COR 5 and COR 8.
- If forced, negotiate a new vacation protocol with the employer and
try to get the best possible agreement for the members. However, do
NOT sign off the agreement. Tell the employer you are reserving your
right to grieve this issue.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact any member of the
Corrections MERC team.
It was a resolution whirlwind this week, thanks to the Resolution
Warrior from the Thunder Bay Jail and Blaine Warden of Local 252 (Niagara
D.C.). As a result, there are now 100 communities opposed to the
privatization of correctional services.
The town of Fort Erie is on board thanks to Blaine, and Local 737ís
Len Mason brought in a mind blurring eight municipalities; the Township of
Bexley, the Township of Southgate, the Municipality of Northern Bruce
Peninsula, the Village of Lakefield, the Township of Osprey, the Township
of Pickle Lake, the township of Admaston/Bromley and the Village of
Way to go, guys!
The Sudbury Jail demonstration takes place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on
Friday, Oct. 6. And get geared up for the big Penetanguishene protest on
Saturday, Oct. 14. More details to follow.
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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