It is USJE’s position that federal employees of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) – who are represented by the Union of Safety and Justice Employees – and who are required by the employer to take a rapid test should be paid 15 minutes overtime to do so. These tests should be conducted at home prior to reporting to the worksite. USJE members shouldn’t be treated any differently than other staff employed by CSC.
Let us be clear, having USJE members adjust their schedules in order to take the rapid test is not a solution that USJE is willing to support. We know that adjusting our members schedules will not lessen their workload or responsibilities. In fact, we know our members will often stay extra time to just complete their assigned work and not claim overtime. The additional requirement to complete this mandatory testing, even if only on a temporary basis, demands that additional time is paid for this activity.
USJE has strongly urged CSC to put health and safety of its employees and offenders at the forefront, and reduce the risk of introducing the virus to the worksite where vulnerable populations either reside/frequent. That’s why it’s imperative that such tests are done at home.
USJE is requesting that all members submit claims for each 15 minutes of overtime used to take a rapid test. We are satisfied that after advocating on behalf of our members, a memo from CSC was sent to the regional deputy commissioners indicating that ‘under normal circumstances the rapid test will be done at home prior to coming to the institution, if the test is administered at home the employee will be entitled to 15 minutes of paid overtime, unless the employee is requesting an adjustment to the work hours.’
If this directive is not being followed in your workplace, please file a grievance. In order to do so, contact your local executive or a labour relations officer.