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Lock Talk:  A Publication of the OPSEU Corrections Campaign

Corrections media blitz!

Never use a gun if you can use a bazooka instead.

A media blitz in 40 Ontario cities will send this message loud and clear to the Tory government: You are responsible for the rise in correctional officer sick time.

The main media event, held at Queen’s Park in Toronto, was attended by five television news stations (Global, ONTV, CTV, CFMT and CBLT), three radio stations (CBC Radio, 680 News and Broadcast News), and three representatives from the print media (Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and Southam News).

OPSEU president Leah Casselman led the news conference, along with Barry Scanlon, chair of the OPSEU Corrections Ministry Employee Relations Committee and correctional officers Terri Aversa (Toronto West D.C.) and Garry Peck (Toronto East D.C.).

The presentation led to a spirited question and answer period with the press that lasted over 30 minutes. At the end of the news conference, the Media Studio played the 15-minute video, Sabotage: The Ontario Government’s Scheme to Destroy Public Correctional Services. The video ran to every office in the Legislature.

As this is being written, reports are coming in from across the province and the word is that the media is eating the story up.

Peterborough, Barrie, Owen Sound, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sarnia, Goderich and Napanee have all reported extensive media coverage in their areas, and more reports are coming in.

Barry Scanlon calls the blitz an unqualified success.

“This is what happens when the Corrections Division comes together as one,” Scanlon said. “The government has received the message that our members are united, and are willing to do whatever it takes to beat back the Tory privatization agenda.”

We tip our hats to every member in every local who participated in this event. It broke new ground in activism. Watch next week’s Lock Talk for a full rundown of the media coverage.

Hear no evil, see no evil

It didn’t take long for the employer to react to the Sabotage video, at least at the Toronto West D.C. A request by Terri Aversa to show the video in the workplace was met with a flat refusal.

Aversa, an officer at Toronto West who also appears in the video, wanted members to have the opportunity to view the video on their breaks. However, management at the West refused to allow Ministry equipment to be used or for the video to be shown on the premises.

“It’s sad that our managers received this kind of direction from their bosses,” Aversa said. “Maybe the government thinks they can ignore the problem and keep us in the dark. Well, that’s just not going to happen.”

Resolution Watch

It’s so close, you can taste it.

The resolution count hits 199 this week with the addition of the newly-formed City of Kawartha Lakes (Lindsay area) and the Municipality of Leamington (where that fine ketchup comes from, near Windsor.

The Resolution Warrior, Len Mason of Local 737 (Thunder Bay Jail) is gritting his teeth, trying to push the count past the 200 mark. Don’t worry, Len. After the media this week, they should come pouring in.

For campaign information, call Don Ford (ext. 442) or Pam Doig (ext. 687) at 1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888.

e-mail: dford@opseu.org or pdoig@opseu.org

.Ontario Public Service Employees Union
100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8
www.opseu.org  opseu@opseu.org
Original authorized for distribution by Leah Casselman, president.

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Ontario Public Service Employees Union, 100 Lesmill Rd. Toronto, ON M3B 3P8  (416) 443-8888  www.opseu.org