NSGEU and Minister Discuss Issues in Corrections

On March 18, NSGEU President Sandra Mullen and First Vice President Hugh Gillis met with Justice Minister Brad Johns and the department’s associate deputy minister Chris Collett to discuss the ongoing situation in correctional facilities.

It was a productive meeting and it was clear that the information picket held outside the legislature was the driving force to having the Minister attend the meeting and open up a discussion with the union. The Minister acknowledged the important work corrections officers do and the challenges taking place in all correctional facilities, including the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.

The union raised the issues of wages, working conditions, and recruitment and retention. The Minister was receptive to all those issues. There was clear agreement that the union and department must work together to make more immediate changes to the working conditions to keep our members safe.

The union and department agreed to continue discussions through the development of a solutions-based working group that will provide a place to identify issues and work together to come up with workable solutions. Such topics would include, mentorship, workplace conditions and safety, staff recruitment and retention, training and recertification.

The meeting with the Minister would not have happened without your hard work and commitment to bring attention to the working conditions and issues faced by you and your colleagues around the province. The information picket put pressure on the government and the Minister acknowledged the important role you all play in corrections. You all deserve much credit for forcing the government to wake up and being to deal with what is happening in correctional facilities.

The union will continue to provide updates on this matter.

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