Food Services Officers employed by the Correctional Service of Canada who are members of USJE met virtually on January 23 to provide an update from each region, discuss common issues and develop a strategy for moving forward. USJE’s members represented at the meeting reiterated the importance and value of having these regular meetings to connect and offer support and guidance on ways to advocate on behalf of our members.
This grassroots national working group was established last year to advocate on behalf of FOS members and ensure that every region remains connected and can address ongoing challenges.
Since the beginning of USJE’s FOS Campaign, members have received more training offered by the Correctional Service of Canada which is crucial in ensuring the safety of our members who work alongside federal offenders in various kitchens within federal correctional institutions.
Other issues flagged by the working group included the ongoing need to have kitchen equipment fixed as quickly as possible, ensuring they get paid on time and accurately as well as the importance of staff retention and filling vacancies.
During the meeting, members raised a new concern that recently caught their attention:
- A new policy from CSC is to be implemented immediately in relation to religious diets. CD 880 Food Services, GL 880-3 Religious Diets, GL 880-4 Diets of Conscience. USJE will seek more information on this matter and ensure to protect our members on this front.
USJE will continue to advocate for more in-person training, that the employer fix broken equipment promptly and ensure that our members are paid their wages and incentives on time and accurately. This will only assist in retaining current employees and the hiring of additional staff.
The next meeting of the national working group is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7 at 6 pm Eastern time.