What is the deal with CSN?
While CSN recruiters have mostly been targeting Corrections members who work in a few of the larger institutions, it’s important for all Corrections Bargaining Unit members to understand the risks of signing a CSN card, and the benefits of sticking with OPSEU/SEFPO.
What we’ve achieved together:
Solid wage increases:
PO and PPO salaries are now tied to our federal counterparts, and we earn more than other provincial probation jurisdictions. We’ve received increases of almost 11% since 2015.
Job protection during restructuring:
When the employer downsized Youth Justice Probation, both MERCs worked with the employer to transfer a number of POs to Sol-Gen, with no job losses as a result.
Decreasing caseloads for PPOs:
Prior to the pandemic, the average caseload was 40-55 offenders per PPO. Caseloads have been decreasing for the past couple of years, contrary to CSN claims.
Getting rid of STICS:
While there were mixed opinions among P&P members about the efficacy of this CBT model and whether it should be delivered by registered clinicians, members agreed that the employer under-resourced it, rendering it ineffective. The MERC and OPSEU/SEFPO convinced the government through grievances and lobbying that the STICS model was badly-implemented and cost-prohibitive, and the government scrapped it.
PPOs are included in the presumptive PTSD legislation:
This is thanks to successful lobbying of the government by the MERC, the Provincial Health and Safety committee (PJOHSC), OPSEU/SEFPO leaders and rank-and-file P&P members. Our next goal is to expand this to include Youth Justice POs.
Added 25 full-time PPOs:
A result of effective negotiations in 2015 by the Corrections bargaining team, and the lobbying efforts of OPSEU/SEFPO and its Corrections members.
High profile media coverage of the crisis in community corrections:
We earned sympathetic media coverage for our demand to create a Community Corrections Compliance Unit to address the thousands of unmonitored offenders in the community who pose a significant risk to public safety. The Conservatives supported our call while in opposition. While the pandemic has shifted the government’s attention temporarily, lobbying on this important issue will resume.
What we’re working on now:
Keeping weapons out of our offices:
This is a top priority for both the Sol-Gen and Youth Justice provincial health and safety committees. The Sol-Gen PJOHSC filed complaints with the Ministry of Labour, and OPSEU/SEFPO has spared no expense retaining lawyers and independent weapons risk assessment experts for the litigation. The Youth Justice DHS has formally demanded secure interview rooms, satellite phones for POs in remote northern areas, and updated PO personal safety training.
Reducing excessive administrative work for PPOs:
Despite decreasing caseloads, workload has increased due to additional assessments and admin work. Following the Community Services Review, the ADM is now working with the MERC to find ways to reduce administrative demands on PPOs.
Addressing occupational stress:
We have created an Occupational Stress Injury Committee with the employer and are negotiating ways to address excessive workload, low staffing levels and other factors that make us mentally and physically unwell at work.
The choice is clear.
Everyone in Ontario knows OPSEU/SEFPO. We lobby directly with politicians and through the media on the issues that affect P&P/Probation members the most. And we get results.
OPSEU/SEFPO has represented Ontario Government workers for decades. This gives us the experience to negotiate effectively with the government as our employer.
Corrections has a stand-alone Corrections-only contract, and an independent Corrections Division led by the Sol-Gen and Youth Justice MERC teams. They are elected by Corrections Bargaining Unit members, and negotiate with the employer to resolve workplace issues between rounds of bargaining. And both teams have a P&P and Probation representative and an OPSEU/SEFPO negotiator defending your interests.
CSN, on the other hand, has no experience representing Ontario government workers, is unheard of at Queen’s Park, and has no strong foothold in Ontario as an out-of-province union based in Quebec.
CSN will charge you much higher dues and force you into an inferior, underfunded pension plan. Worst of all, Corrections bargaining will be delayed for years while CSN fights a constitutional challenge in court to overturn legislation designating OPSEU/SEFPO as the union for OPS workers.
CSN just isn’t worth it.
Stay in touch!
Your P&P representative on the Sol-Gen MERC sends regular updates to the P&P email list to keep members informed about union business. If you’re not on this list, email Scott McIntyre at email@example.com to join!
Your Probation representative on the Youth Justice MERC is developing a similar email list for youth probation members. Email Johanna Sinclair at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the list!