Should jail guards in Ontario be considered an essential service, just like police officer and firefighters?
Warren ‘Smokey’ Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), who represents the province’s correctional officers, thinks so.
Ontario’s 6,000 officers will be in a legal strike position come 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. OPSEU members recently rejected a tentative deal agreed upon by the union and the province.
In the event of a strike or lockout, managers have been prepared and trained to perform the duties of jail guards. However, Smokey Thomas doubts that these managers will be able to handle a jail guard’s job.
Jail guards won’t be able to dodge all responsibilities. They will still be required to work in a crisis intervention and escort inmates to court.
Do you think jail guards are just as important as firefighters and police officers?