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

  • Here's the latest on the review of Canada's assisted dying law

    Canada News CBC News
    Five years after assisted dying was legalized in Canada, lawmakers are preparing to review the system that has permitted thousands of Canadians to choose the time and place of their deaths. In 2016, Canada became one of a small number of countries to allow certain adults to request a doctor's help in bringing about their own deaths. Source
  • Is Asian identity even a thing? Who cares, pass the popcorn for K-drama

    Canada News CBC News
    This First Person article is the experience of Jan Wong, the co-founder of the Asian Canadian Women's Alliance. For more information about CBC's First Person stories, please see the FAQ. Here's my COVID-19 confession: I'm addicted to Korean Netflix. Source
  • Calgary mayoral candidate who threatened health workers arrested after attending illegal gathering

    Canada News CBC News
    Kevin J. Johnston, a Calgary mayoral candidate who has threatened to arm himself and go to the homes of health workers, has been arrested after attending an illegal public gathering on Saturday. Police said the gathering took place Saturday morning, in contravention of a Court of Queen's Bench Order which imposes compliance with public health restrictions on organizers of events. Source
  • Tiger missing in Houston found safe, police say

    World News CTV News
    A Bengal tiger that has been missing in the Houston area has been located, officials said. The tiger is secure at BARC, the city's animal shelter and adoption agency, said Mary Benton, communications director for the city. Source
  • Embattled doctor steps down after allowing sex offender to mentor survivors at military trauma retreat

    Canada News CBC News
    Dr. Manuela Joannou is stepping down from her role as the medical director of a trauma program for military veterans and first responders in eastern Ontario amid public anger over her decision to place a registered sex offender as a peer mentor for a group of sexual assault survivors. Source
  • 'The most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done': Mohawk Lacrosse star pens novel about mental health

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Former Lacrosse star Delby Powless is opening up about his own mental health struggles in his novel “Medicine Game.” The Six Nations Lacrosse champion wrote the fictional book as a way to express his own real life experiences with sexual abuse he suffered as a child. Source
  • Houston police still don't know where a missing tiger is. Here's what we do know

    World News CTV News
    It's a wild story about a wild animal, but you won't find this tiger tale on Netflix. A Bengal tiger last seen in a west Houston neighborhood on Sunday is still missing, according to police. Source
  • Israel bombs Hamas Gaza chief's home as fighting enters seventh day

    World News CTV News
    GAZA/JERUSALEM -- Israel bombed the home of Hamas's chief in Gaza early on Sunday and the Islamist group fired rocket barrages at Tel Aviv as hostilities stretched into a seventh day with no sign of abating. Source
  • Crash victim had posted videos riding in Tesla on Autopilot

    World News CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- The driver of a Tesla involved in a fatal crash that California highway authorities said may have been on operating on Autopilot posted social media videos of himself riding in the vehicle without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal. Source
  • Media demand Israel explain destruction of news offices

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- News organizations demanded an explanation Saturday for an Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a Gaza City building housing the offices of The Associated Press, broadcaster Al-Jazeera and other media outlets. AP journalists and other tenants were safely evacuated from the 12-story al-Jalaa tower after the Israeli military warned of an imminent strike. Source