There are tough jobs, and there are even tougher jobs: Imagine having to face a crowd of angry prison inmates every shift.
Our sisters and brothers who work in the infectious, overcrowded and often dangerous provincial jails have our admiration and support. They perform a necessary public service under very stressful conditions.
So when provincial government negotiators slap a major concession on the Corrections unit bargaining table, you can expect a strong negative reaction.
The employer’s proposal would gut the sick leave provisions of the contract. It has all the earmarks of the typical ham-fisted jail management tactics we’d hoped were a thing of the past.
It’s no surprise that our Corrections bargaining team has asked the membership for a solid rejection of the employer’s offer at the upcoming vote.
You can be sure that if Corrections are forced to swallow these concessions, the rest of the Ontario Public Service won’t be far behind – likely in the next bargaining round.
So while our teams have successfully negotiated solid agreements at the Unified and Central tables, the proposals on the Corrections table should be soundly rejected.
Only a strong rejection vote will send the right message to the employer. That way, both sides can get back to the table and find a better and fairer solution.
And if they are forced to take strike action – and I certainly hope it won’t get to that stage — they will certainly have our wholehearted support
Warren (Smokey) Thomas