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Ontario jail managers set to earn up to $100 an hour in event of strike

Last Updated Jan 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm EDT

The Ontario Correctional Institute. CITYNEWS/Josef Fazio.

Just days before 6,000 correctional, probation and parole officers are expected to walk off the job, CityNews has obtained several documents setting out what the managers left behind will be earning.

“As senior managers, managers and excluded staff, you will want to consider compensation when making decisions regarding redeployment,”  the February 23, 2015 memo reads. It then promises Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) employees and those who work in youth facilities up to 2.5 times their hourly salary.

A manager working in one of Ontario’s jails, detention or correctional centres typically earns $78,000 a year, or about $37.50 an hour. The overtime translates into an hourly rate of about $93.75.

The memo goes on to explain that managers who remain in an institution or “command centre during non-scheduled hours will be considered to be working for the purposes of calculating overtime.”

Managers are expected to be housed on-site in trailers, new rooms, and renovated gyms during the anticipated job action. They will be paid around the clock, 24 hours a day.

According to another memo (below) directed to correctional managers at the Quinte Detention Centre, this pay will kick in after 40 hours – day two of the anticipated job action. During this time, the government will not be paying the salaries of locked out or striking officers.

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The recruitment memo seems to have worked, as several hundred managers from outside MCSCS are reported to have received training for their potential posts. That training, however, doesn’t extend to handling any violent situations, as the Quinte memo explains they are not allowed to use pepper spray or engage in any use of force. The end result being that they will not be able to offer back-up to managers trying to quell rowdy inmates, fights or even riots.

OPSEU corrections staff voted against a contract negotiated by the government and their union by 67 per cent. Although the union and government are meeting on Friday, it is a mandatory meeting under labour law – both sides were preparing for an anticipated strike on Thursday night.

One of the key demands by workers is to be designated an essential service by the province, which would remove their right to strike and force binding arbitration in the event of a collective bargaining dispute.

 

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