Wretched morale problems at B.C. jail in Kamloops | National Union of Public and General Employees

Wretched morale problems at B.C. jail in Kamloops

Worst score among nine British Columbia correctional facilities in Workplace Environment Survey.

Vancouver (14 Oct. 2010) - For the second straight year the Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre (KRCC) has recorded the worst Workplace Environment Survey (WES) score among nine provincial correctional centres.

The British Columbia Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says the score this year is even worse at 43 than the dismal rating of 47 recorded last year.

The low score supports what the union has been saying for the past couple of years – the institution has a poisonous work environment, chronically low staff morale and other problems that must be urgently addressed.

Dean Purdy, chair of the union's corrections and sheriff services component, and Local 105 chair Tony Tessari met last September with senior management in the provincial adult corrections branch to try and address the issues at this centre. Staff voiced concerns to Purdy and Tessari about issues that continue to plague their workplace. They were also updated on how the union was going to deal with these issues.

Three years ago, the adult custody division shuffled top level management positions at four of the nine correctional centres.

"We were advised this was primarily based on the WES scores and the new direction senior management was moving towards in the adult custody division," BCGEU notes. "The youth custody division recently made similar moves based on low WES scores."

Senior branch management members have since hammered home the message that times have changed, repeatedly stating the old ways of doing business are gone, and that they are bringing in a new modern progressive way to manage that involves staff participation and employee engagement.

“Staff at KRCC would like to buy into this philosophy but are starting to have doubts,” says Purdy.

The KRCC's score compares badly to the average score in adult corrections (64) and the overall public service score (64) as well as some other correctional scores. By comparison the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women (ACCW) had a score of 65 and the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre (FRCC) scored 71.

"The Local 105 executive has been upfront and reasonable and is willing to work to make the workplace better for all KRCC staff," BCGEU says. 

The component has also kept BCGEU President Darryl Walker informed of the issues at KRCC. He remains able and willing if needed to raise the matter with the senior government officials.

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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