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.

In solidarity,

Jason MacLean,

President, NSGEU

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