New OT Protocol a big win for Correctional Officers
The recently renegotiated Provincial Overtime Protocol (P.O.P.) and the computer program is a big win for all Correctional officers. On November 20, 2007, the MERC Team gave the employer 90-day notice of withdrawal from the first HPRO 3 version. The employer then gave notice that it was going ahead and forcing it upon us as a policy, without our endorsement. With the support of many locals (which included Local 582 Toronto East Detention Centre’s boycott of all overtime for the month of February), a new and improved version is now set to be implemented.
The new protocol addresses the concerns the members had with the inadequacies of the first version. Improvements negotiated include:
- Agreed-to mandatory wait time between phone calls. No rush to the bottom of the list to call who they want.
- Agreement to have the bargaining unit “scheduling assistant” position continue where it is currently in place and identification of twelve of the larger institutions where it will be implemented. Open and transparent, ensuring it remains fair and equitable to all.
- Agreed that all overtime will now be included in the protocol. Shift extensions and escorts now included in HOT numbers.
- Agreement to have real-time inputting of all data when hiring. Program modified to make it easier to use and will reduce mistakes by employer.
- Agreement to have more computers available to access program. Open access for all members.
- Agreed that the maximum HOT hours that can be charged when opportunities are declined is now 12 hours per day (was 24 hours).
- Agreed to give local time to review the protocol every month. This ensures that it is open and transparent for all members.
- Agreed to shorten the cut-off time for changing members’ availability to eight hours. This is a great benefit: before, the cut off was 24 hours if you wanted to add your name and 48 hours if you wanted to remove your name or be penalized. Members now have more opportunity to make themselves available for possible overtime.
- Agreement that the HOT number will be tracked on a continual sliding four-month period. This ensures the overtime is evenly distributed over the course of the whole year. Previously this was reset to zero at the end of every six months.
The process for filling the Bargaining Unit Scheduling Assistant position is to post an expression of interest. The Local Executive Committee will then recommend three names to the Superintendent, who will select the Bargaining Unit Scheduling Assistant. The position is temporary for up to twelve months.
The new protocol creates a better system of distribution of the overtime. This protocol will be reviewed at the MERC sub-committee and modifications will be negotiated as concerns are identified. The P.O.P., like our collective agreement, will require that all members monitor and enforce the language of the agreement. This will ensure the protocol will be a fair and equitable method of overtime distribution.