|Other Issues||December 30, 1999Union files complaint over privatization of offender escorts
OPSEU has filed complaints with the Ontario Labour Relations Board over Ontario government plans to privatize offender transportation.
On Aug. 28, the Ministry of Correctional Services had agreed to provide training and equipment to make community escorts safer. Then it announced, on Nov. 19, that it would contract out offender transportation.
The Aug. 28 agreement was made an order of the Occupational Health and Safety Adjudicator. OPSEU says the employer has violated both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Ontario Labour Relations Act because the privatization is:
The union complaint states that the privatization announcement is a retaliation against the union for being too successful. It says that the employer is trying to intimidate correctional officers so they wont try to exercise their rights.No business plan
The Escort Working Group was a union-management committee set up to help make the Aug. 28 agreement work. Somehow, employer representatives on the committee never mentioned that they were working on a project that would never happen. In fact, the employer had expressly agreed that correctional officers would be doing the escorts.
In the Nov. 19 meeting of the Employee Relations Committee, Corrections Assistant Deputy Minister John Rabeau said that, to his knowledge, no one had done a business case for the privatization. He said that, as far as he knew, the Ministry had done no work to show that privatization would actually be cheaper.
It appears the order to privatize came from on high - a shot to the head, courtesy of your boss.
Just stop it!
As a remedy to the complaint, OPSEUs has called on the Board to order the government to "cease and desist from continuing to attempt to privatize the community escorts."Local MPP stands up for Burtch
From a statement to the legislature by Dave Levac, Liberal MPP for Brant, on Dec. 22, 1999:
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, President.