NORTHERN ONTARIO, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - All nine Northern Ontario Correctional facilities will hold information rallies to bring public awareness about a government plan prematurely force Correctional Officers into a strike or lockout position by building significant and costly living quarters for managers to use in the event of a labour disruption.
Central North Correctional Centre, North Bay Jail, Sudbury Jail, Monteith Correctional Complex, Thunder Bay Jail, Thunder Bay Correctional Centre, and Kenora Jail will each sponsor an "Information Rally/Food Drive" on Monday, June 9, 2014 in their respective communities. Fort Frances Jail and Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre will hold its events on June 10, 2014 due to logistical issues. Maplehurst Complex/Vanier Centre in Milton will also hold an event on June 11, 2014.
The purpose of this coordinated effort is to raise public awareness into the obscene waste of tax dollars that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services is embarking on, and to shed light on the continued deterioration of working conditions inside Ontario's Jails. Each Institution will also have a "Non-Perishable Food Item Donation FOR a Burger" BBQ. A non-perishable food item will entitle guests to a free burger/hot dog and beverage. All non-perishable food items collected will be donated to local charities.
The Ministry and various Superintendents have been following a "code of silence" about the construction since it began at 11 different Ontario institutions. Unionized staff members are denied access to these areas. It wasn't until early May 2014 when news of these construction projects were reported in the media that the Government finally acknowledged it is all for "strike preparation" and refused further comment. None of the construction or its associated costs will benefit the staff or inmates in daily operations.
"We haven't even served notice to bargain yet," said OPSEU Corrections Chair Dan Sidsworth. "It would appear that no matter what's on the table, the Ministry will force a strike or lockout. How do can we possibly expect the employer to bargain fairly or in good faith?"
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the Ministry should be spending money on increasing inmate beds and improving working conditions in the facilities instead of spending money preparing for a dispute. "The cost of the managers' strike accommodations is estimated to be over $500,000," Thomas said. "If they took that money and invested it in their front-line staff and facilities, it would go a long way in ensuring there weren't any future labour disputes."
SOURCE: Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
For further information: For more information, and for details on locations, times, etc., see list below: Chris Jackel, President, OPSEU Local 369, Central North Correctional Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org), 705-717-5936; Amanda Saucier, President, OPSEU Local 616, North Bay Jail (email@example.com), 705-492-5865; Nathan Aubin, President, OPSEU Local 617, Sudbury Jail (firstname.lastname@example.org), 705-677-9935; Ken Steinbrunner, President, OPSEU Local 642, Monteith Correctional Complex (email@example.com), 705-360-3496; Ian Turpin, President, OPSEU Local 678, Algoma Treatment & Remand Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org), 705-941-0771; Shawn Bradshaw, President, OPSEU Local 708, Thunder Bay Correctional Centre (email@example.com), 807-473-6721; Thomas Kenny, President, OPSEU Local 718, Fort Frances Jail (firstname.lastname@example.org), 807-275-9153; James Nowe, President, OPSEU Local 719, Kenora Jail (email@example.com), 807-407-7502; Mike Lundy, President, OPSEU Local 737, Thunder Bay Jail (firstname.lastname@example.org), 807-472-1951; Ryan Graham, Vice-President, Local 234, Maplehurst Complex/Vanier Centre, 519-588-3675; Dan Sidsworth, Chair, OPSEU Corrections Division (email@example.com), 905-691-7955; Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU, 416-443-8888