Occupation of federal government ministers' offices
The following message was delivered this morning to Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews, Treasury Board President Tony Clement and Industry Minister Christian Paradis:
Members of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) are occupying your office today for the following series of reasons:
Your government's recent announcement that it will close three penitentiaries Kingston Penitentiary, Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario) and Leclerc Institution contradicts the publicly expressed goal of "Safe Streets and Communities" and will put correctional officers at risk:
1. By increasing overcrowding and double-bunking at a time of growing inmate populations due to the government's "tough-on-crime" agenda;
2. By artificially lowering security classifications for dangerous inmates;
3. By mixing incompatible inmate populations (for example, members of organized-crime groups);
4. By dispersing inmates with serious mental-health problems to unsuitable institutions;
5. By failing in the mission to rehabilitate offenders as access to programs is reduced.
Since 2006, the Conservative government has broken faith with federal correctional officers on a number of issues:
1. By failing to honour its commitment to pass a Blood Samples Act to protect victims of exposures to bodily fluids;
2. By failing to honour its commitment to peg salaries and working conditions to those of RCMP officers;
3. By failing to honour its signature on a ratified collective agreement when it implemented legislation to unilaterally reduce a negotiated salary increase;
4. By failing to honour its commitment to negotiate pension improvements;
5. By failing to give a mandate to government negotiators to renew a collective agreement that expired two years ago.
Disrespect for democratic values
Your government's actions have contravened democratic norms in a number of ways:
1. By failing to consult affected stakeholders when implementing wholesale change to the Correctional Service, among them the front-line professionals who are responsible for ensuring the safety of the Canadian public;
2. By an unnecessary and damaging insistence on secrecy, a practice that is not consistent with democratic standards;
3. By refusing to engage in good-faith debate.
We call on the government to:
1. Reverse the decision to close Kingston Penitentiary, Regional Treatment Centre and Leclerc Institution unless and until suitable replacement institutions are constructed;
2. Meet the government's commitments to correctional officers regarding salaries, pensions and working conditions;
3. Legislate a Blood Samples Act;
4. Engage in meaningful consultations with correctional officers regarding the evolution of Correctional Service Canada.
Union of Canadian Correctional Officers - Syndicat des Agents Correctionnels du Canada - Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux
1601 De Lorimier Avenue, Montreal, Qc, H2K 4M5
Tél : (514) 598-2263 Fax : (514) 598-2493 Toll free : 1 (866) 229-5566 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org