Included in the current cuts announced as a result of the Conservative Government’s Deficit Reduction Action Plan was an increase in the number of offenders CSC Parole Officers must supervise. For those members working within the Community, the ratio has been changed to 1-13. Case management within the institutions has been mandated to change the case load ratio within minimum institutions to one Parole Officer to 25 inmates; medium will be one Parole Officer to 28 inmates and maximum will be one Parole Officer to 30 inmates. These changes in ratio will mean an even heavier workload for those of our members who have consistently worked countless hours of unpaid work to get the job done.
Consultation with the Union on where and when cuts will take place within a department does not happen. That is clearly a management right which is outlined in various pieces of legislation as well as the WFA Appendix covering our members. It is also a management right which they covet dearly. Consultation only takes place with the Union after a decision is made and that provision is clearly articulated in the WFA Appendix affecting our members.
The above management rights do not mean that your Union is just sitting back and watching things happen. We are in consultation with CSC to try and re-negotiate ratios which are considered to be fair, equitable and manageable. Current work load ratios were agreed by all parties and through consultation with the union and its members. We understand that Parole Officers cannot increase their case load within the current working environment. We are also discussing with CSC what duties will be removed from the current Parole Officer work description to ensure that their work load is manageable and that the safety and security of Canadians is protected. USGE is seeking a commitment from management at CSC that a committee of union representatives, Parole Officers and managers be struck to work through all aspects of this change to the Parole Officer ratios.
While the Union is not sitting back and waiting for things to happen, neither should our Parole Officers. While our Parole Officers will not see cuts in the number of positions currently within CSC, that does not mean they are not affected by this Government’s cuts to staffing. We encourage our Parole Officers to get involved in this Union’s fight-back campaign, stop working voluntarily overtime and help our communities and our Government understand that cuts to these services could mean threats to the safety and security of the public that we are hired to serve and protect.
Your future is in your hands.