TORONTO, May 29, 2013 /CNW/ - The President of the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union says that a meeting held today with Community
Safety and Correctional Services Minister Madeleine Meilleur was
productive, and has a commitment from the Minister to immediately begin
fixing problems at London's Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC).
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, along with Provincial
Corrections union chair Dan Sidsworth, EMDC Local union president Trish
Godin and union representatives from the facility met with the Minister
today after Meilleur apologized for comments made in the Legislature
Tuesday about correctional staff in London.
"The meeting went very well," Thomas said. "The Minister was sincere in
her concerns for the safety of our correctional members, and was
grateful to hear from the union the realities of the working conditions
inside that jail."
Union officials also gave the Minister a first-hand account of staff
bravery the previous night during a major disturbance inside the
facility. "Meilleur learned that staff went about and beyond the call
of duty, risking their own lives to evacuate inmates to safety," Thomas
said. "These men and women deserve commendations for their actions."
Thomas said that he now has firm commitments directly from the Minister
that should ease the situation at EMDC. "The Minister has promised to
address the physical infrastructure security issues by the end of June,
and will get back to me within a week of staffing issues," Thomas said.
"We also have a commitment to continue to meet with the Minister on
local and provincial corrections issues."
Thomas also said that this is a good foundation that the union and
Ministry can build on. "Our members are in a dangerous, vital job, and
I'm glad that Minister Meilleur is giving them the attention they
deserve. If we can continue on this path, it lead to much-needed
improvements and will ultimately save lives."
For further information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931