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

  • Canada Post is scaling back its letters-from-Santa program for kids who write from school

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada Post says Santa won't be sending as many personalized letters to kids this year, though he still wants to make sure he responds to every note he receives. The postal agency says many children write letters to Santa both from home and from school, which gave Santa and his elves a total of 1.6 million notes to reply to last year. Source
  • Hydro hip-hop: listen to two tunes about Ontario hydro bills

    Canada News CTV News
    The Wack MCs have the “Hydro Blues.” “Look at this bill -- am I reading it right?” they rap in a new music video. “If I feed my kids, I gotta shut off my lights?” Source
  • 12 dead in hotel fire in Georgia's Black Sea resort

    World News CTV News
    TBILISI, Georgia -- The Georgian Interior Ministry says 12 people have died in a fire in a hotel in the Black Sea resort city of Batumi. Russia's TASS news agency is quoting the ministry as saying the fire engulfed the Leogrand hotel late Friday evening. Source
  • Canadian charged in Yahoo hacking case to plead guilty in U.S., court records say

    Canada News CBC News
    A Canadian accused by the United States of helping Russian intelligence agents break into email accounts as part of a massive 2014 breach of Yahoo accounts is expected to plead guilty next week, according to court records. Source
  • Notley wins over Calgary business crowd, starting with 'eastern bastards' remark

    Canada News CBC News
    Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke. "I spent the earlier part of the week out in Ontario — you know, the home of those eastern bastards," the Alberta premier said. Source
  • Starting with 'eastern bastards' remark, Notley wins over Calgary business crowd

    Canada News CBC News
    Two years after struggling through a speech in front of an awkwardly silent business crowd, Rachel Notley stood before the Calgary Chamber again on Friday and opened with a joke. "I spent the earlier part of the week out in Ontario — you know, the home of those eastern bastards," the Alberta premier said. Source
  • Jewish group, residents of Ontario town urge new name for 'Swastika Trail'

    Canada News CTV News
    A major Jewish advocacy group in Canada has stepped up efforts to help some residents of an Ontario town convince local politicians to rename a street currently called Swastika Trail. B'nai Brith Canada started an online petition Thursday calling on Puslinch Township, about 75 kilometres west of Toronto, to change the street name. Source
  • Fraud trial of the 'Muslim Madoff' adjourned after accused fires lawyer: Crown

    Canada News CBC News
    The trial of a Toronto businessman charged with fraud for allegedly pocketing millions in "Shariah-compliant" mortgages has been delayed until next fall — just as it was beginning. The opening day of the trial for Omar Kalair, dubbed the "Muslim Madoff" by some of the homeowners who were allegedly left thousands in the hole after buying into the mortgages marketed to Muslims, got underway earlier this month. Source
  • False killer whale is latest cetacean to die at Vancouver Aquarium

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Aquarium says the false killer whale it rescued off a beach over three years ago has died at the facility. The aquarium says in a statement that Chester's behaviour changed Wednesday and despite intensive veterinary care, he died this morning. Source
  • 'Chester' is 4th cetacean dead at Vancouver Aquarium this year

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- A false killer whale has died at the Vancouver Aquarium, becoming the fourth cetacean to die at the facility in the past year. The aquarium said in a statement that Chester's behaviour changed Wednesday and despite intensive veterinary care, he died on Friday morning. Source