Correctional workers hold demonstration to raise awareness about health and safety

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Correctional officers at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) in St. John’s held a demonstration today in support of their counterparts in Alberta who were involved in a job action in response to health and safety concerns over the past five days.

 The HMP workers are members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE).

“Correctional officers in this province face extreme danger each and every day in the workplace and can relate to the situations that led to the walk out in Alberta,” said NAPE President Carol Furlong.

“These officers are showing support for their fellow brothers and sisters in Alberta who took a stand to ensure their health and safety.”

A NAPE news release notes that workers at the Edmonton Remand Centre, the largest correctional facility of its kind in the country, walked out of work and refused to report for duty this past Friday after two members were suspended indefinitely for voicing health and safety concerns.

Since that original action, these workers were joined in walk outs by sheriffs, social workers, court clerks and probation officers in a powerful show of solidarity against unfair and unsafe working conditions.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), the union representing the workers in Alberta, announced Wednesday they had reached a deal to end the job action. Despite that, correctional officers at HMP still carried out their planned demonstration to show support and raise awareness about the health and safety issues at correctional facilities.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Edmonton Remand Centre

Geographic location: Alberta

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  • CONCERNED SAFETY PROFFESSIONAL
    May 06, 2013 - 15:21

    In today's society pretty much every person is concerned about safety. The unfortunate part about the situation in Alberta was that very little fact was published about the incident that started this country wide unravelling. Simply throwing around the term "concern over health and safety issues" does not entitle law enforcement to display a lack of respect to the legal system that provides their employment. Federally, and Provincially all workers are provided with a system through Occupational Health and Safety and the Canadian Labour Standards to hold Employers, and Government representative alike, to accontability for unhealthy and unsafe working conditions. The system may not always be effective but it is directed by Canadian legislative requirements. We expect any other worker in this country to follow their legal requirements. Really? How do we justify those who help to represent the countries penalty enforcement facilities with being in contempt of Court directives?

  • concerned taxpayer
    May 02, 2013 - 17:31

    The correctional officers have the toughest job in our province and they have been understaffed and mistreated by our government over the years. It is time for our government to offer safe and decent working conditions and get rid of that decrepit penitentiary down by the lake.