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Day # 38
This evening the Local 122 picket lines at Bluewater Youth Centre were bolstered by a Flying Squad of students from the CAW education centre in Port Elgin made up of at least 120 members. They taught us what running a picket is all about, they provided words of encouragement and the words for solidarity for ever, they cheered, they sang and they chanted. They also provided a much need lift to our members who were present. Their camaraderie was very much appreciated. The energy and electricity brought tears to my eye and my weary heart. When they left we all felt the loss of their presence. But, that was eased by the over $400 dollars in cash donations they left. OPSEU Local 122 would like to express their deepest appreciation to these fine brothers and sisters from all across Canada.

All I can say is So, So, So, Solidarity...

18 April 2002 
Letter to Ernie Eves
What is going on...I am getting confused?

In an article that appeared in the Canadian Press, Ernie Eves comments on the state of negotiations. Eves says that he will not enact back to work legislation, that the two sides are close to a deal, and that both sides should sit down and bargain in earnest. We agree!

However, Eves goes on to say that the employer tabled an offer with us last week (one with additions) and urges us to return to the table. Eves reports that David Tsubouchi has briefed him on these issues.

OPSEU tells me

This is completely and totally false.
We can only conclude that Kevin Wilson, Assistant Deputy Minister, has not given Mr. Tsubouchi accurate information. Tsubouchi, in turn, is misleading our new Premier. The only other reason we can think of is confusion on Mr. Wilson's part. In order for a new deal to be tabled, it must actually be given to the bargaining team. Just leaking it to the media is not sufficient.

Are you going to continue Mikey's reign of error and harris-ment or are you going to get some honesty in this government?

I have been a public servant for over 20 years and this time of PC government has been the most demoralizing and brutal of any government so far. Your party and others have shown me over the years that you cannot and have not been willing to appropriately manage our pension plan...look at the stats prior to the OPTrust...until it existed their was no money in our pension plan just the consolidated revenue fund and we were paid a pittance according to the whim of the government of the day. Actuaries reviewed this and it was found that the government had grossly mis-managed our funds. I wonder…why we do not want you in our purse at all and you as a government should be happy that you at least have 50% of the funds surplus to make decisions on.

It is not the fault of OPSEU or the employees of your government that you are having trouble attracting and keeping employees and that people are running out the door whenever the opportunity arises... to other jobs or retirement.

One can only take so much we regularly read in the paper about how useless we are...perhaps as the survey a few years ago indicated you have some very serious management problems. Especially when you have a majority of managers who only have "seat of the pants training" to their credit.

It is time to get back to work... It is time to tell your MBS minister to cut the bull- shit and tell Kevin and his people to get back and do some negotiating instead of dictating.

Before another innocent person dies, it is time to rebuild the public service as a result of your government’s callous destruction of our society.

It has been five weeks so far and we are not prepared to get on our knees and beg you for a settlement...your jails are in a state of high tension, poachers are running rampant, our forests are unprotected (and we are fast coming up to fire season), your provincial parks are not ready to open (and even if they do will they be safe to use).

Time to tell the "Tuna King" to get the job done or find a replacement who is interested in doing the job as he obviously is too busy talking to the media. Oh I forgot there is a media black out maybe you should let Dave and Kevin know...

Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 5:20 PM
 Subject: Re: Ontario Public Service Strike 
As the leader of the Liberal party of Ontario and the leader of a party whose caucus indicates that it is in support of rebuilding of the Ontario Public Service. I find that you and your party are extremely quiet and are not being very supportive of our cause. I am troubled by the thought that perhaps the decisions of your convention were made in haste and that you really just have your own agenda. I/we the members of OPSEU would like to see some indication that you are really concerned about our current situation instead of just a bye stander. It would be very much appreciated if you would contact your riding associations and re-enforce the parties desire to back the re-building of the public service. 
Richard Stewart 
Day # 21 
Ontario's Corrections Minister, Rob Sampson, said, "Public safety is the top priority of our government. OPSEU workers are purposely jeopardizing the lives and the safety of the people in our institutions for their own interests. Their actions over the last few days are disappointing and shameful."
Considering his governments record; the Walkertonization of public service; the Dudley George incident where does this man get off making statements like this… Does he have any conscience? Talk about jeopardizing the people of our institutions...what about every citizen of Ontario with your privatization of the jail system particularly in young offenders at this point...the destruction of our health and education systems… We must be the only jurisdiction in the world that doesn’t have any public health scientists, fruit and vegetable inspectors and just enough meat inspectors to fill a small Volkswagen bug… The shame is on you Rob and your Government…

O.P.S.E.U. Local 122 Press Release

Subject: Court Injunction Bluewater Youth Centre Local 122
Goderich:  On Sunday March 31st, 2002 the OPSEU picket line at the Bluewater Youth Centre was served with an injunction limiting the activities that can take place.  The injunction was invoked as a result of actions on the line that occurred because no formal protocol was in place.

The members of the local had been locked out of the workplace and were concerned with replacement workers arriving at the line while a back to work protocol was being negotiated.  Also, according to a Ministry of Correctional Services spokesperson the pickets were alleged to have “significantly delayed one manager who required urgent medical attention from leaving the facility”.

At no time was any person requiring medical attention knowingly detained. When the picket line was informed of the circumstances the people involved were not impeded in any way. Under normal conditions when a medical emergency occurs an ambulance would be called, the line would be notified, and there would not be any delay.  Also, the line has an open communication link with the institution that allows the members to respond in the event of a serious emergency even though they are on strike.  Past practice has been for the employer to notify the line of someone requiring egress for medical reasons and they would not be impeded in any way.   There is a secondary road to the institution that would have provided unimpeded access to the institution had there been a medical emergency.  To date no pickets have been at that entrance and the employer has from time to time utilized it.

During the lockout, managers have been occupying the building and being paid for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Three managers have left the building in need of medical attention.  The local estimates that each manager is currently being paid $7,000 to $10,000 per week during the strike.

Days # 17-19
As the time clicks down to midnight Sunday we all wonder if the Essential Services workers of our institution will get back to work. Is this just another ploy to hold us off from filing OLRB charges or is there really an interest in getting things back in order. Only time will tell. What is this employers deeply concerns me when they are talking about preparing strategies for the Ministry of Labour, we have been more than tolerant with this employer.
As the old adage goes “money talks, bullsh*t walks.” When does the bullsh*t end and the talking begin… If this employer was truly interested in telling the truth he would take away the cloak of $10 words and talk in plain English so the public and employees in general could understand what they are saying.
Here is an interest quoted from Dave Duncan for Mr. Haggart from the Clinton New Record:
Mr. Haggart, it is with great regret, on this Thursday morning, that I have to inform you that the Tory Government's pay for performance plan is being spread through the private sector. After reading your tirade against O.P.S.E.U., you are required to return 15% of your pay for lack of professionalism. Well spoken Dave… Editor

Day # 16 As an editor I am very dubious about passing on rumours. But, as I am sufficiently concerned about the possibility of this being true, I decided to pass it on anyways. It has been re-typed as received.
We have confirmed that the government intends to hire scabs to replace correctional officers at QDC. We now have about 30 managers from various institutions, regional HR, retired, other ministries etc. running the jail. As of yesterday, it was confirmed that group 4 security is hiring staff to work at QDC. We know this as one of the interviewees tipped us off. The conditions are; approx. 4 days training at Bell Cairn, 12 hour shifts, start in approximately. 2 weeks, to be bused in, approx. $15 per hour for at least duration of strike. Apparently this is absolute fact, and all of our members should know it. Hence the stall tactics in returning us to work. We remain locked out, everyone, with OLRB date tomorrow. Stay tuned, and could you pls forward as my address book is euchred. Thanks, QDC  

Day # 15 We are now entering the third week of our strike and there continues to be problems with the schedules… some people were scheduled and should not have been and some schedules were just wrong. Our health and safety people are trying to work things out with our local management and Sampson and the “boys” in Toronto are trying to get the essential services thrown out of the West. This apparently despite two complete shifts occurring without incident. Is this part of your privatization plan Rob… Oh by the way how is it going in Penetang… Talk about risk to the public when it takes you seven (7) days to admit that someone made a mistake. This is the way the private jails in the states operate, lets leave the public at risk and try and find our inappropriately released or escaped prisoners on our own… Gee Rob what happens when someone gets hurt or killed because of your wonderful privatized superjail.
Instead of posturing why don’t you tell our old buddy Tuna Dave to get back to the table.
Day # 12 – 13 Well the Tory leadership convention is now over and we have a new premier...Will it be the same old government of slash and burn and dirty tricks or will it we a fresher, kinder, gentler approach...Time will it the tail wagging the dog or the other way around. Does our management really have any control, or are they under the direction of some spin-doctor in Toronto working the master plan with all us being the pawns in this game… Here we are almost into week two and still no movement at the table. The MOL must be getting a little tired with listening to this employer whine day after day without any desire to get back to the table and do some real bargaining… As time goes on I feel more and more like my little buddy over here… Let me know how you feel, send me a note or an article you’d like to see in print always open to another view point...
Day # 11 Management is still refusing to allow any staff into the building today and they indicated that this would probably be the same for tomorrow. Staff who reported to work yesterday just signed in and left. Management remains in contravention of the ministry of Labour order in regards to the essential services, Brenda was in to meet with Bill Last.

There was a full blown riot at T.Y.A.C. last night, it didn't make it into the media...I guess you don’t want your managers looking bad…

The World War II poster below, shows how we feel about this Tory government especially on the Eves of destruction...I hope we are wrong in this prediction.


Day # 10 Management refuses to allow any of the staff into the building. Staff who reported to work yesterday just signed in and left. Management remains in contravention of the ministry of labour order in regards to the essential services and allowing work site reps into the building (Apparently Rob did a tour last night). Management is apparently to busy to deal with the work refusals and allow staff to get back to work.

Support Justice Court Workers Day
You be the judge!

Strange but true: The workers who are most essential to the work of the province are the least likely to have permanent jobs. A judge who goes off on a three-day conference may also be laying off workers for three days with no pay. Many court workers can’t afford to work for the courts but can’t afford to take another job because they can’t miss a day in court! Does this seem weird to you?

Day # 9  
Things must truly be bad in there when even the Superintendent acknowledges that it is an unsafe place to be. She mentioned this to staff who are continuing work refusals that have been going on since earlier this week. Staff who reported to work yesterday just signed in and went to the picket line for the balance of their shift. Apparently the meeting was very productive but, myself and a few others did not attend. It was felt that management was sufficiently untrustworthy enough to come looking for us on the line and then discipline us for not being in a position to respond should we be summoned as we were on duty. We have been very fortunate in that we have had a very peaceful picket line.

Day # 7 
The residents are starting to show the strain of the strike...perhaps it is the lack of chocolate related caffeine or that other stimulant that was smelled earlier in the week.

ICIT was activated to deal with a disturbance, apparently the operation went well. Our thanks go out to our ICIT people for the quick resolution of this volatile situation.

Our picket lines remain strong and are conveying a good message of solidarity. We have not had any (scabs) people crossing our picket line like they have had at some of the residential schools. This is a difficult time for all of us both inside and outside of the we come to the end of week # “6” As you start to sing the words to Solidarity forever in your well as concerning yourself with how you are going to meet this bill or that it is very stressful… Unfortunately no one is currently at the table…

Thought to Ponder

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. Yonder palace was raised by single stones, yet you see its height and spaciousness. He that shall walk with vigor three hours a day will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe. 
-- Samuel Johnson

Day # 6
Well day # 5 has come and gone. The employer is still away from the table as they have been since the 12th of March. Bluewater is currently working under the ESA without any major challenges from management. The is currently one work refusal ongoing in SIU.

Breaking News

Charges against Casselman dropped

Criminal contempt charges against OPSEU President Leah Casselman were stayed Monday morning in a one-hour hearing in Newmarket Provincial Court. Casselman was cited for contempt of court Friday after an inmate from the Metro West Detention Centre failed to appear. When the judge asked why the inmate was not in court, he was told it was because of the OPSEU strike. That’s when he cited her for contempt and ordered her to appear. In Monday’s hearing, a lawyer for the Ministry of Corrections told the court that the inmate’s delay was because of a management decision at the Metro West. He filed three rulings from the Ontario Labour Relations Board dealing with Essential Services Agreements and board orders to enforce them. Judge Alfred Stong said that the “elements in play” which had prevented the court appearance seem to have been addressed by the appropriate authorities since Friday. “The criminal contempt charge against Leah Casselman is based on information he (the judge hearing the case Friday) did not have at his disposal…. And since the decision not to send the inmates to court “did not emanate from Leah Casselman herself,” he stayed the proceedings.

This means the charges are dropped.

Day # 5 
This is day # 5, but I am sure you are already aware of that. The rumours abound about the re-enforcements from Orillia going into EMDC, but we have not had any sign of this yet at Bluewater. Those brave souls on the picket line deserve a huge round of applause for all they have done. Also the search teams who went in yesterday and did a thorough search of the institution...apparently it was very cold BRRRR in some units with all of the windows open (I wonder what was going on there???) Especially with all the delays for the searchers, each and every manager giving their rendition of the activities while we were out of the institution and the selective reading of occurrence reports. Some how they managed to miss the one about cigarette smoke in Waterloo House...maybe in special filing... Apparently nothing was found in the areas that staff has access to,…some offices were not accessible as searchers did not have the necessary keys… The Editor 
Correction; Eight Human Resourses Managers and former Superintendent Wes Bell entered the institution with O.P.P. accompaniment last night.  The editor apologizes for passing on the incorrect information.
Day # 4 
Our local leadership has been extremely strong through the first 4 days of this grueling strike. Now is the time for others step forward and assume more responsibility. The first few days have been very hard on all. Rob, Brenda, Bill and many others have done an excellent job so far but, need our strong support to. Today was a long day with the Ministry of Labour order coming down. We had many staff reporting for duty as well as many Emergency Service staff waiting around for hours initially up to four hours outside (until about 1830hrs.) and then over three hours inside of the institution (about 2200hrs.) and then all were sent home.

To keep the pressure on we need consistent efforts both inside and outside of the institution. Enough is Enough. Time to turn up the heat and get the parties back to the table for that “A” contract we all deserve.

Time to give David Tsubouchi a call, a letter or email to let him know how you feel.
Telephone: 416-327-2333 Facsimile: 416-327-3790
Constituency Office Address
01-8901 Woodbine Ave
Markham ON L3R 9Y4
Telephone: 905-305-1935
Fax: 905-305-1938

Day # 3 
Well I guess it’s back to work on the management schedule… This strike is certainly a continuation of the last one as stated by Leah Casselman. This is week 6 we learned a lot last strike that has prepared us for this dispute. We must all work to maintain our safety all the time… We must all remember the vulnerability of our unclassified members who are going to be working as a result of management’s schedule. Remember the guidelines of the essential services agreement and the levels of service… After having had to run the building for two solid days our management will be quite tired and we will probably see lots of evidence of the effects of this. I have just one thing to say verwy, verwy you really do not know what you are walking into... After the last strike and the pulling of the essential services it was a veritable lions den. BE ON YOUR GUARD AT ALL TIMES, AND BE SAFE.
Day # 2 
We started the day as business as usual and all of the day staff reported for duty as “we” did not go on strike at midnight. By 0715 hours we withdrew our services and the employer implemented the essential service at 0915 hours. By 1030 hours there was a work refusal by Bill Bell. The local was not a participant in the setting up of the work site therefore the work site protocol did not contain a reduction in service per the essential services agreement, but actually shows a greater level of service than business as usual. All staff in the building went to the board room as they were informed of the work refusal. By 2200 hours last night the MOL had ruled against our work refusal and an appeal was being submitted. Night shift reported for duty at 2230 hours but were turned away by management. Moral on the strike line is high and staff are determined to hold the line.