‘The time has come to end this toxic stranglehold that has disadvantaged correctional workers in Ontario over the years’
Thousands of Ontario correctional service employees have decided to create, with the help of the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), their own independent union, breaking from the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU).
The new union would be called the Ontario Association of Correctional Employees or Association des employées correctionnels de l'Ontario -CSN (OACE-AECO-CSN).
“OPSEU is a union created by the employer, namely the government of Ontario. As such, it has enjoyed a virtually unchallenged monopoly in representing provincial correctional employees. The time has come to end this toxic stranglehold that has disadvantaged correctional workers in Ontario over the years,” says Barry Roy, provincial interim president of OACE-AECO-CSN.
“The behaviour that we have observed over the past few weeks by some representatives and leaders of OPSEU towards their own members is completely unacceptable, if not heinous. Indeed, we have repeatedly witnessed situations where pro-OPSEU locals name, harass, and label members seeking change as members in bad standing, not to mention the appalling complacency between OPSEU and the employer to counter the efforts of OACE-AECO-CSN activists to inform members of the correctional community,” says Roy.
The goal of the new group is to establish a corrections-only association that will advocate and fight for the specific needs of Ontario's correctional employees.
"We believe that members of the correctional bargaining unit have unique needs and challenges in the workplace. From that perspective, we form a unique 'community of interest' best represented and served by a bargaining agent that speaks for us – and only for us", says Roy.
To be officially recognized as a bargaining agent by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), the new union requires the collection of at least 40 per cent of OPSEU's current correctional membership by Dec. 31, 2020.
Once this is done, the OLRB must orchestrate a full vote throughout OPSEU's Ontario Correctional Membership. Thereafter, whichever side commands a majority of 50 per cent + 1 is declared the recognized bargaining unit, says OACE-AECO-CSN.