An Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing is at a stand-still while union representatives involved in the dispute at the Barton Street jail wait for a new proposal from the government.
The Labour Relations Board was expected to hear Tuesday an illegal strike application from the Ministry of Community Safety and Correction Services.
According to Dan Sidsworth, vice-chair of the corrections division of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, representatives from the ministry asked to put together a new proposal to present to the union.
Sidsworth said union representatives have been waiting since 9:30 for that response.
“We're in a holding pattern right now,” Sidsworth, said over the phone from the Labour Relations Board in Toronto.
Correction officers at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre have been off the job since Aug. 13 as a result of a health and safety dispute after jail managers denied a request to search for a missing piece of metal in the jail with their protective safety vests on.The dispute turned into a series of failed negotiations between the union and ministry.
Sidsworth said he hopes to see a proposal close to where negotiations were left at the end of last week. This includes agreements to have an outside arbitrator make a decision on disciplinary work suspension and a 'no work, no pay' clause.
Last week's negotiations also included a clause for correction officers across Ontario to be able to make their own judgment as to when they can wear their protective safety vests inside the jail.
On Tuesday, the ministry declined to comment.
“[The application] is before the Board so it wouldn't be appropriate for us to comment,” said ministry spokesperson Brent Ross.