Statement from Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services on Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre Resolution
Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, released the following statement:
"I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, representing correctional officers at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, have reached an agreement that will ensure the safety of workers, inmates and the community. All correctional officers will return to work today, ending a 27-day labour disruption at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre. This agreement includes provisions for the ministry to take disciplinary action and deduct pay for employees for shifts that they have not worked. It also includes a provision that will allow correctional officers to wear vests beyond those times when they are required while the ministry reviews the current policy in conjunction with the union. The disruption began when correctional officers refused to take their posts after an electrical outlet cover went missing at the institution. Between Aug. 14 and 15, a Ministry of Labour inspector attended the institution twice, and completed three Field Visit Reports. The final report notes that the employer had agreed to conduct a search with protective vests of the entire 4th floor, where the electrical outlet cover had gone missing. This process has been lengthy, but I am pleased that the ministry and the union have arrived at a negotiated settlement. I hope that all involved will be able to work towards more positive labour relations going forward. I would once again like to thank all of those staff members who have contributed to the safe and secure operation of the detention centre throughout the disruption. Your hard work has been appreciated throughout this challenging time."