Corrections Workplace Safety Group being formed
Dear members of Local 480,
In order to address significant health & safety concerns throughout the corrections system, your union and the employer have agreed to form a Workplace Safety Group. The idea for the group came from meeting with members who have been facing significant safety issues. I raised these issues with the employer, sent them a formal letter, and we were able to agree to create a group as soon as possible.
NSGEU will be represented by: Rick Wiseman, NSGEU Employee Relations Officer; Paul Cormier, NSGEU Occupational Health & Safety Officer; H. White, NSGEU Local 480 member; and K. Burns, NSGEU Local 480 member.
The working group is scheduled to meet on March 17th and I have asked for a report no later than March 20, 2020.
You can see our letter to Chris Collett, Executive Director of Corrections Services here.
Our concerns, listed in the letter include:
- A belief that serious incidents, such as assaults on staff, are not properly reported and recorded;
- Not all staff are able to attend muster due to inefficient shift scheduling;
- Shifts are consistently working short-handed and under staffed, meaning staff are routinely outnumbered during violent incidents;
- Corrections officers are not being properly supported, such as a lack of access to social workers;
- Staff feel undermined and unable to properly oversee their day rooms;
- Inmates are shown more respect by management than staff;
- Inmates are not properly classified, creating unsafe situations within the facility and towards staff;
- Training of new hires is inadequate and puts everyone’s safety at risk;
- Direct Supervision was put in place without a comprehensive implementation plan;
- Lack of an appeal process when a staff member is written up;
- Staff fair was promised to take place in February and still hasn’t happened; and
- Lack of protections to help keep staff from becoming ill while on the job.
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