On September 14, National President David Neufeld visited Drumheller Institution for the first time. He was joined by RVP Zef Ordman and Local President Robert Jackson.
The site tour began in the kitchen where President Neufeld and RVP Ordman were able to speak to Food Service Officers about their working conditions and ongoing health and safety issues. President Neufeld and RVP Ordman discussed USJE’s Food Service Officer campaign and how USJE is advocating for better working conditions for members. Members were concerned about staffing levels and security, including having sufficient cameras and permanent Correctional Officers in the kitchen to help improve overall safety. This is something that USJE will continue to raise at the National level.
The tour continued with stops in the educational department, SIS, Corcan, the Programs department, the administrative building, Healthcare, MAI group, the maintenance department, and the new Unit 31 building. Members were highly engaged when speaking with President Neufeld and RVP Ordman, and eagerly shared input on workloads, telework, collective bargaining, health and safety and the recent PSAC strike. Many members expressed their frustrations with the Phoenix pay system and how difficult it is to have pay issues resolved. President Neufeld and RVP Ordman plan to share this feedback with CSC NHQ later this month in Ottawa.
Overall, the discussions were very impactful and reinforced the importance of USJE’s Presumptive Injury Campaign. Many discussions revolved around the difficult work our members do and the tough working conditions within the four walls of the Institution.
President Neufeld and RVP Ordman appreciate speaking to the members at Drumheller and would like to thank Local President Robert Jackson for facilitating the very thorough site tour, and Acting Warden, Travis Baker, for his support of the visit.