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

  • Netanyahu makes history as Israel's longest-serving leader

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- As Benjamin Netanyahu becomes Israel's longest-serving prime minister, he is solidifying his place as the country's greatest political survivor and the most dominant force in Israeli politics in his generation. He has persevered through scandals, crises and conflicts, winning election after election even as the country grows more bitterly polarized. Source
  • Judge restricts social media use of Trump friend Roger Stone

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- No more Instagram for Roger Stone. Facebook and Twitter are out, too. A federal judge barred Stone from posting on social media Tuesday after concluding that the longtime confidant of U.S. President Donald Trump, who is charged with lying in the Russia investigation, repeatedly flouted her gag order. Source
  • Mexican drug lord 'El Chapo' faces sentencing in U.S. case

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Will the notorious Mexican drug lord known as "El Chapo" go quietly? For Joaquin Guzman, that's the biggest question at his sentencing in New York City on Wednesday. The highly-anticipated hearing could be his last chance to speak publicly before spending the rest of his life behind bars at a maximum security U.S. Source
  • Man arrested in slaying of 75-year-old African American museum founder

    World News CTV News
    The suspect in the slaying of a community leader who founded Baton Rouge's African American history museum was a tenant who owed her back rent, authorities said Tuesday. Ronn Jermaine Bell, 38, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of first-degree murder, city Police Chief Murphy J. Source
  • Von der Leyen confirmed as new European Commission president

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS - Ursula von der Leyen was confirmed as the European Commission president Tuesday, becoming the first woman to hold one of the most prestigious positions in the European Union and who will be one of the most prominent faces from the bloc on the world stage. Source
  • Nomination process for federal election candidates 'uncompetitive' and 'biased': report

    Canada News CBC News
    Just a small portion of federal candidates go through competitive nomination contests, according to a new report from the Samara Centre for Democracy which describes the nomination process as "a weak point in our democratic infrastructure." Wednesday's report — entitled 'Party Favours: How federal election candidates are chosen' — looked at the more than 6,600 candidates who ran to represent one of Canada's five major political parties during the last five federal elections. Source
  • Rescuers look for survivors after building collapse in India

    World News CTV News
    MUMBAI, India -- Rescuers cleared debris and used sniffer dogs Wednesday to find possible survivors under the rubble of a dilapidated building that collapsed in India's financial capital of Mumbai. At least 12 people were killed, and several are still feared trapped. Source
  • Northern Ontario First Nation declares state of emergency over water quality

    Canada News CTV News
    An escalation of long-standing issues with its water supply pushed a First Nation in northern Ontario to declare a state of emergency, its chief said Tuesday as he called for help dealing with the problem. Source
  • Two women allege inappropriate messages from Manitoba grand chief

    Canada News CTV News
    Two women have come forward with allegations of inappropriate text messages involving the province’s grand chief, while the First Nations leader denies any wrongdoing. Bethany Maytwayashing said she first met Manitoba Grand Chief Arlen Dumas while working at a Winnipeg restaurant in 2018 and saw him again in May 2019. Source
  • Hong Kong protests expand to oppose China, with no end near

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG -- Colin Wong has come to know the sting of pepper spray well. After more than a month of demonstrations in Hong Kong's sweltering heat, memories of the burning sensation are a constant reminder of what protesters call an excessive use of force by police. Source