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Standing up for our safety & civil liberties on the job - Union files second grievance

As part of our ongoing work to ensure safety for correctional officers in the line of duty, your union has recently filed a series of grievances to address what we feel are blatant violations of our members' rights and civil liberties.

On February 22, following a rally against violence towards correctional officers, management at Adult Custody ordered members to remove a union-authorized pin supporting the cause. (link to bulletin) The union responded to this by immediately filing a policy grievance against this clear violation of our rights.

Following the rally, the union insignia pin was also placed on the locked union bulletin boards at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre (FRCC) and at North Fraser Pre-Trial Centre (NFPC).

On February 25, 2019, two union stewards at FRCC and NFPC were ordered by management at those facilities to remove the union insignia pin from the bulletin boards. Our bulletin boards are an important and protected space for union information and issues concerning members.

Our members are entitled to use Union bulletin boards for Union business, pursuant to Article 2.7 (Bulletin Boards) of the Provincial Agreement. It is our view that refusing to allow our members to display the pins in the Union bulletin boards breaches Articles 2.7 (Bulletin Boards), 2.5 (No Discrimination for Union Activity) and 32.15 (Misuse of Managerial Authority), as well as Sections 2(b) and (d) – freedom of expression and association – under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We believe that these actions represent a pattern whereby the Employer has attempted to silence union members' support for correctional officers exposed to violence in the workplace and some of your fellow officers who were disciplined or discharged for their involvement in a use of force incident in 2017.

Immediately after the order to remove the pin from the bulletin boards was issued, BCGEU president Stephanie Smith filed a second union policy grievance with the Provincial Director of BC Corrections – Adult Custody, Stephanie Macpherson.

To ensure satisfaction for our members on these key union recognition rights we will continue to demand rapid resolution through the grievance procedure and, failing that, vigorously pursue them to the conclusion of an arbitration hearing.

We will keep you updated with respect to any developments on these matters. 

Download PDF of notice here