Ont. jail staff not on strike will have to show up for work, government says

TORONTO -- Ontario's deputy premier is firing a warning shot to the union representing public service employees ahead of a looming strike by jail guards.

See Full Article

About 6,000 guards and probation officers could walk out at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and in that event managers from across the public service will be brought in to run the jails.

Smokey Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, has said he's concerned that the managers won't be able to ensure the safety of the other staff covered under a different contract.

Nurses, maintenance crews and kitchen staff will be expected to report for work, but Thomas has said he has advised them not to go in if they feel unsafe.

Deputy Premier Deb Matthews, responding today to a letter Thomas sent her Wednesday, says the government is committed to the well-being of its employees.

But she also says the government "will take the steps necessary to address such misconduct" if workers don't show up, as they can address safety concerns through the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

OPSEU and the government are meeting Friday with a mediator in the hopes of reaching a contract deal hours before the workers are set to go on strike.

The corrections workers rejected an earlier tentative settlement. Union bosses say the membership wants to be declared an essential service, so their pay would rise with police and firefighters in binding arbitration, but they would also lose the right to strike.

Tom O'Neill, the head of the corrections bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, said they'll keep talking past Friday if progress is made at the table, but for now they're planning to walk out.

O'Neill said compensation is also an issue, especially after the government spent $58 million last year to top up managers' salaries, which had been frozen for years, while saying there is no new money for wage increases.

The earlier tentative settlement would have given the workers no raise in the first year of a contract, a lump sum in the second year and a 1.4-per-cent raise in the third year.

The union has also warned that managers will not be able to handle probation officers' caseloads.

"It's going to be a very bad situation if we do go out, not only in the jails but in the communities as well, because there will be no supervision for the offenders who are out in the communities on probation," O'Neill said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Prosecutors seek Friday court appearance for Epstein associate

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Prosecutors on Sunday asked a judge to schedule a Friday court appearance in New York for Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate to face charges she helped him recruit women to sexually abuse. British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, 58, was arrested Thursday at a US$1 million estate on 156 acres that she purchased last December in Bradford, New Hampshire. Source
  • China issues bubonic plague warning for Inner Mongolia city

    World News CBC News
    Authorities in a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia issued a warning on Sunday, one day after a hospital reported a case of suspected bubonic plague. The health committee of the city of Bayan Nur issued the third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system. Source
  • British police use 'EncroChat' breach to arrest more than 700 alleged 'kingpin' criminals

    World News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Over the last three months, British police forces from across the country have made hundreds of arrests following a massive breakthrough by law enforcement into the dealings of organized crime within the U.K. Police have arrested more than 700 people accused of being gun runners, drug traffickers, money launderers and more. Source
  • Canadian Broadway actor Nick Cordero, 41, dies from coronavirus complications

    Canada News CBC News
    Tony Award-nominated actor Nick Cordero, who specialized in playing tough guys on Broadway in such shows as Waitress, A Bronx Tale and Bullets Over Broadway, has died in Los Angeles after suffering severe medical complications after contracting the coronavirus. Source
  • Dominican Republic chooses leader amid rising COVID-19 cases

    World News CTV News
    Luis Abinader, presidential candidate of the opposition Modern Revolutionary Party, greets the crowd while he is surrounded by journalists at a voting center during the presidential elections, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, July 5, 2020. Source
  • Iran confirms damaged nuclear site was centrifuge facility

    World News CTV News
    This photo released Thursday, July 2, 2020, by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, shows a building after it was damaged by a fire, at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran. Source
  • This town replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years

    World News CTV News
    Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and mental health counsellors and sent them out to respond to the kinds of 911 calls that wouldn't necessarily require police intervention. Source
  • Some celebrated July Fourth virtually while others packed beaches despite coronavirus surge

    World News CTV News
    Millions of Americans marked a very different Independence Day this year, with many choosing virtual celebrations or canceling plans altogether amid mounting concern over the coronavirus pandemic. The changes followed pleas from health officials warning that holiday crowds and packed gatherings like the ones the U.S. Source
  • Boy, 9, missing in Winnipeg's Red River since Friday found dead, police say

    Canada News CBC News
    The body of a nine-year-old boy who went missing after going into Winnipeg's Red River on Friday afternoon has been found in the water, police said on Sunday afternoon. Darius Bezecki was biking with two brothers and a friend near his home when all four ended up in the river, Const. Source
  • Former officer charged in Floyd's death posts US$750K bond

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd has been released from jail, according to Hennepin County jail records. Tou Thao, age 34, is the third former officer accused in Floyd's death to be released on bond. Source