MONTREAL, May 31, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Federal correctional officers are
holding information picket lines outside 52 Correctional Service of
Canada (CSC) penitentiaries between 6 am and 7 am this morning to
observe the third anniversary that they have worked without a valid
The labour contract for the 7,500 members of the Union of Canadian
Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) expired May 31, 2010. This
morning's actions express growing frustration among the membership with
the refusal by Treasury Board of Canada negotiators to take into
account the dangerous nature of their work in an increasingly violent
"In the last three years, we have seen much more conflict among inmates
and attacks on staff," said UCCO-SACC-CSN National President Kevin
Grabowsky. "The federal government is failing to recognize the growing
risks correctional officers take every day to keep Canadians safe."
UCCO-SACC-CSN is demanding the government continue to respect the
principle enshrined in the last collective agreement, namely that
remuneration for correctional officers be maintained within a range
afforded comparable groups such as RCMP officers. The current Treasury
Board offer would greatly widen this gap.
The Conservative government also unilaterally clawed back a negotiated
raise in the final year of the union's last contract. In addition, the
Treasury Board continues to demand that members surrender their right
to severance pay.
"Treasury Board President Tony Clement always says he fully supports the
correctional officers who work at the two institutions in his riding
and across the country," noted Mr. Grabowsky. "Support has to be more
than just talk. It is time for Mr. Clement to step up and give a real
mandate to his negotiators."
After a series of crime bills, rapid expansion and then sudden cutbacks,
the Correctional Service is a department under great strain, observed
Mr. Grabowsky. He noted that public service employee surveys
consistently show that CSC employees suffer the lowest morale and
highest levels of stress in the federal government.
"We are seeing pressure from government decisions at every turn: from
needlessly closing three institutions, which is exacerbating a huge
problem with double bunking, to cutting access to programs and other
rehabilitation services," he said. "All these decisions make our jobs
much more difficult. We will continue to do our jobs protecting
Canadians. We simply want the government to recognize the value of our
dangerous work at the negotiating table."
Last December, Treasury Board requested conciliation. While the union is
participating in this process, it believes direct negotiations are the
best way to reach an agreement. After a union request, a face-to-face
negotiating meeting is now set for next week with Treasury Board.
For further information:
Lyle Stewart, CSN communications service, 514 796-2066.