Why is USGE embarking on a black armband campaign?

For the week of July 28-August 1, USGE is encouraging its members at CSC sites and offices to wear a black armband. The reasons revolve around CSC’s decision to implement a cook-chill program at its institutions.

black armband

Most notably:

Respect our Collective Agreement

Members of the Union of Solicitor General Employees Union (USGE) are wearing black arm bands to highlight the unfair treatment of members who work in the kitchens of Canadas prisons. The Correctional Services of Canada is not respecting the collective agreement provisions for workplace change and demanding that employees either except a position at a lower rate of pay or be laid off.

Reckless Plan 

The Correctional Services of Canada, in order to meet its Deficit Reduction Action Plans savings, is implementing an ill thought out and reckless plan to implement a cook-chill system for food services in all regions of Canada. Although the Ontario region was the first to be affected, to date not one region has fully implemented the system.  

True Cost and Impact

USGE is demanding that CSC slow down and roll out the new system in one region first and then undertake a true cost benefit analysis, as well as an evaluation of the impact on prison safety. Changes of this magnitude should be preceded by thorough and careful analysis of all of the alternatives models and the impacts across the system needed to be taken into consideration.

Canadians can’t afford a boondoggle like the Winnipeg hospitals shared food experiment  

One of the key lessons learned from the cook chill system in Winnipeg was that centralization occurred too quickly, before the bugs in the system were worked out. It took several years until we the system was not operating in crisis mode.

USGE has launched a Policy Grievance

USGE supported by PSAC has a policy grievance on the violation of the collective agreement.  A hearing at the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) is scheduled for October 15, 2014.

USGE is also asking for other groups working at CSC to show their solidarity with their colleagues by donning black armbands. Let’s stand together!