“The Kenora Jail is the most overcrowded institution in the province, with the lowest officer-to-inmate ratio. The ministry’s announcement gives no timeline for deployment of new staff to Kenora. With so few officers watching over so many inmates, the jail has become a human powder keg. Immediate measures must be taken.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Corrections and Criminal Justice
Among the public sector members of the National Union are thousands of women and men who work in Canada’s justice system. These include Youth Corrections Professionals, Correctional Officers, Probation Officers, Sheriffs, as well as those who work in community-based social services, child protection, youth counsellors and other related social services.
These members of the National Union have a wealth of experience and knowledge that we believe can make an invaluable contribution to the development of public policy and legislation on criminal justice issues.
This ongoing pandemic is deepening the mental health crisis. Action is needed now to provide support to people in need. This World Mental Health Day we are raising the alarm and calling for governments to immediately invest in mental health supports ― Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (09 Oct. 2020) ― In recognition of World Mental Health Day, which takes place on October 10, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is renewing its call for action on mental health.
This year's ceremony will be a virtual ceremony live-streamed from Parliament Hill on Sunday, September 27.
“It’s imperative that front-line workers, through their union, are consulted every step of the way during the design and build. The eyes of Corrections staff are everywhere. We know what keeps communities safe. Developers are only looking at their bottom line.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
500 new full-time Correctional staff and new capital projects for Kenora and Thunder Bay will turn the tide on the crisis.
“Once we’re through this emergency, things cannot go back to business as usual. Long term changes need to be made.” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU/NUPGE President
The urgency of COVID-19 is something the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) takes very seriously because inmates are living in an environment in which our members work.
We need to take care of ourselves especially now and a big part of being healthy means taking care of our mental health. Stress is a major factor in poor health. And for those who struggle with mental illness, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, these times are especially difficult.
Top concerns are protecting frontline workers, personal protective equipment (PPE), testing for COVID-19, and wage protection.
"These jobs are difficult, demanding and stressful, but they are there because they are helping people. They deserve our recognition for being an integral part of our health and community support systems. On behalf of the 390,000 members of NUPGE — thank you!" — Bert Blundon, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
“Over 80 stable, family-supporting jobs will be leaving the city. But this is not just a devastating blow to the Parkland region." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“Everyone here knows the effect this will have on these families, on this city, on this region as a whole. It will be devastating.” ― Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“These women and men have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the public. All Canadians must remember their names. Our members, who are peace officers, have a difficult and dangerous job, and this service reminds us of the risks and threats they face." NUPGE President Larry Brown
“This situation is only going to get worse unless things change. We need to see a different strategy in dealing with these rival gangs, whether that is isolating them more, providing more high-security areas, providing more staff to prevent altercations, or changing their programming so these factions are kept apart at all times.” Bob Bymoen, President SGEU
“Correctional officers have some of the toughest jobs in the province, and our members are proud of their role. But no one should have to fear for their safety when they go to work.” ― Bob Bymoen, SGEU President.
Correctional officers from adult and youth facilities have been sounding the alarm for months on the growing number of violent incidents inside these jails.
Unless the Minister completely rejects the idea that the Social Finance Fund will be used to "bring private funding, incentives and discipline into social services," past experience shows we need to assume that it will be used to subsidize the privatization of social services.
Both Serco and G4S operate privatized services in Canada where wrong doing could have very serious consequences.
“Look at how many complaints he fielded about Ford’s disastrous cuts and privatizations in autism services and special education services. Families are hurting and they’re desperate to be heard.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer
A report from the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy found that privatization of prison food services led to an increase in inmate theft, trafficking, and gang activity.