Cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers vote on new con­tract

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers across Canada are one step closer to rat­i­fy­ing a new con­tract.

On Sun­day, Novem­ber 16, mem­bers of the na­tional Union of Cana­dian Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers (UCCO) struck a ten­ta­tive agree­ment with the Trea­sury Board and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices Canada.

In Drumheller, mem­ber­ship at the Drumheller In­sti­tu­tion voted in favour on Tues­day, Novem­ber 28, of the pro­posed con­tract.

“It was very pos­i­tive, but it is not of­fi­cial un­til they fin­ish vot­ing in the whole coun­try,” said lo­cal UCCO rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ja­cob Suel­zle.

He ex­plains the main is­sue was sick leave.

“Our sick leave stayed in­tact for now, which is the big­gest con­cern our mem­bers had,” he said. “The big con­cern was what we were go­ing to lose, not so much as what we were go­ing to gain, and the losses were min­i­mal which was a pleas­ant sur­prise.”

An­other big con­cern is the in­jury on duty leave.

“Up un­til about re­ally Au­gust, if an of­fi­cer was in­jured on duty, how they were go­ing to be com­pen­sated dur­ing that time and what kind of leave they would be placed on, was a lit­tle up in the air, de­pend­ing on who was deal­ing with the case, whether the Work­ers Com­pen­sa­tion Board ( WCB) was go­ing to pick it up and how it was go­ing to be in­ter­preted. So we did come to a good con­clu­sion on that,” said Suel­zle.

Un­der the pro­posed agree­ment, cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers will re­ceive 1.25 per cent retroac­tive pay in­crease each year from June 1, 2014 to 2017, as well as a 2.3 per cent mar­ket ad­just­ment, ef­fec­tive June 1, 2016. There will also be a roll in of Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cer Al­lowance into salary Ef­fec­tive June 1, 2016.

All sick leave pro­vi­sions will re­main sta­tus quo, and there have been ad­just­ments and

im­prove­ments in the area of dis­ci­pline, no­tice pe­riod for shift changes, leave pro­vi­sions, al­lowances, over­time meal al­lowances and in­clud­ing CX III in its bar­gain­ing units.

“I don’t think any­one was look­ing for the moon when it came to money, peo­ple would be sat­is­fied with a de­cent cost of liv­ing, but the big thing was what we would lose and sick leave was the big­gest con­cern,” said Suel­zle.

Vot­ing across the coun­try is ex­pected to be com­pleted in the Pa­cific Re­gion on De­cem­ber 15.

UCCO has been in ne­go­ti­a­tions for 42 months.

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