USJE demands safer working conditions for Food Service Officers in CSC Kitchens

USJE members at five federal institutions across Canada participated in separate information pickets this month to demand that the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) provide safe working conditions in their kitchens.

The information pickets provided the opportunity to tell other employees and management that USJE will no longer stand for the dangerous working conditions that Food Service Officers face every day in CSC kitchens. The situation reached a crisis point in August 2021, when a Food Service Officer was violently attacked at Stony Mountain Institution and sent to hospital.

Members held several successful information pickets on March 10 at the entrances to Stony Mountain Institution in Manitoba, Collins Bay Institution in Ontario, and Matsqui Institution in Abbotsford, BC, (whose site also includes Pacific Institution, Fraser Valley Institution for Women, and the Regional Supply Depot). Other pickets were also held at Ste-Anne-des-Plaines Institution in Quebec on February 24 and Dorchester Institution in New Brunswick on March 17.

The USJE National President and Regional Vice-Presidents, for the region and from neighbouring provinces, joined members in talking to people and handing out pamphlets at the staff entrances. PSAC National President Chris Aylward showed his solidarity with the members by picketing at Dorchester Institution.

USJE demands that CSC must:

  1. provide the necessary training for all food service staff to protect themselves and offenders in the workplace.  
  2. address the chronic understaffing and unrealistic workloads that have caused severe fatigue and, in some cases, burnout.  
  3. improve staff safety by adding additional Food Service Officer positions to CSC kitchens. 

USJE will continue its campaign for the safety of food services members until CSC protects these important workers.

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