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

  • Giant rabbit said to be 'fit as a fiddle' dies aboard United flight from London to Chicago

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — United Airlines is investigating a report that a giant rabbit died on one of its trans-Atlantic flights. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards from Worcestershire in central England told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that Simon, a 10-month-old, 3-foot (meter) -long continental rabbit, had a vet check shortly before travelling from London’s Heathrow airport to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Source
  • Crane climber in Toronto rescued, arrested [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Some streets in Toronto’s downtown core were closed early Wednesday as dozens of construction workers and commuters gazed skyward to watch police and firefighters try to rescue a woman who got stuck atop a tall construction crane during the night. Source
  • Questions persist in death of prominent New York judge

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- When Sheila Abdus-Salaam agreed to speak this month at an alumni gathering at Columbia Law School, it was business as usual for someone in demand as the first black woman to serve on New York's highest court. Source
  • Mounties suspect 2 government officials leaked classified shipbuilding information

    Canada News CBC News
    Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman (left) speaks with Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd during a change of command ceremony, Thursday, June 23, 2016 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press) The RCMP are accusing the military's second-in-command of passing cabinet secrets to a Quebec shipping executive in a cozy relationship meant to advance a navy project he "personally" favoured, according to a newly unsealed search warrant. Source
  • 'Mistakes happen': How 'miscalculation' could spark a U.S.-North Korea conflict

    World News CBC News
    Despite heightened tensions, many experts say it's unlikely the U.S. and North Korea are headed toward imminent military conflict. While the leaders of both countries are impulsive and unpredictable, they are also desperate to avoid pre-emptive strikes. Source
  • Pie, tart shells from Edmonton bakery recalled nationally due to E. coli scare

    Canada News CBC News
    Various brands of pie and tart shells that were sold across Canada are being recalled due to E. coli fears. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the shells were produced by Edmonton-based Harlan Bakeries. The Deep Dish Pie Shells, Sweetened Tart Shells and Tart Shells are sold under the Great Value, Apple Valley, Western Family and No Name brands. Source
  • United investigates report that giant rabbit died on flight

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- United Airlines is investigating a report that a giant rabbit died on one of its trans-Atlantic flights. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards from Worcestershire in central England told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that Simon, a 10-month-old, metre-long continental rabbit, had a vet check shortly before travelling from London's Heathrow airport to Chicago's O'Hare airport. Source
  • Death of giant rabbit adds to United Airlines woes

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- United Airlines is investigating the death of a giant rabbit on one its trans-Atlantic flights, adding to a growing list of customer complaints for the U.S. carrier. Distraught breeder Annette Edwards told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that a veterinarian checked Simon, a 10-month-old, 3-foot (meter)-long continental rabbit, shortly before the animal was put on a flight from London's Heathrow airport to Chicago's O'Hare. Source
  • Five facts about the crane rescue operation in Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A rescue operation was conducted in downtown Toronto on Wednesday morning after a woman became stuck atop a pulley device swinging from a tall crane. Here are five things to know about the rescue. Source
  • 'Very, very great': Trump's speaking style still flummoxes linguists

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Campaign promises may have been reshaped and some self-imposed deadlines reset. But among the things kept intact in the opening months of the new administration is the unmistakably distinct style of U.S. Source