Correctional Service Canada
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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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Cross Gender Monitoring Project

d) Employment Issues

As noted in the previous section, there remain a number of serious staff issues with regard to cross gender staffing. These include the following:

  • overtime burden and additional duties required of female Primary Workers;
  • the perception created by restrictions on males that the system does not trust them;
  • the fairness of the grievance policy should there be a false allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct;
  • the classification of the PW designation;
  • restrictions on PW activities resulting in difficulties transferring into the male system; and
  • the need for pairing with a female PW.

The issue of pairing has already been addressed and we intend to consult widely on this topic.

The question of reclassification of Primary Workers was raised on numerous occasions. The Primary Worker designation is a new type of position created especially for the new facilities for FSW. It is a hybrid position that includes all security functions as well as counselling, program and release planning. The vast majority of staff who we interviewed stated that they were attracted to the position due to its program component and many expressed deep reservations about mixing the security and program functions to this degree. In order to be able to perform the shift work necessary to cover security during evening and night shifts, the position is classified as CX2, which is the classification for senior correctional officers. Staff in several institutions expressed the view that the PW position should be re-classified in recognition of the qualifications and program functions required in the job. The USGE indicated that they support this move as well as the employment of CX1's to do the security functions. In our final year, we will monitor developments in the potential reclassification of PW's which may result in the security function being largely removed from the job descriptions of PW's and filled by CX1's, CX2's or both. The final report will assess any proposed changes or implications for cross gender staffing issues and policies.