Who foots the bill for safety footwear?

Correctional officers' boots no longer paid for
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 04/07/2014

Taking a walk in a correctional officer’s shoes would raise a number of concerns — safety, in particular.

That matter was brought up by the union representing correctional officers at the North Slave Correctional Centre (NSCC) in Yellowknife. In 2010, the government-run facility introduced a new policy that did not require safety footwear. While correctional officers were still expected to wear black shoes or boots, management stopped paying out the contract’s annual safety footwear allowance of $250.

The Union of Northern Workers (UNW), affiliated with the Public Service Alliance of Canada, filed a grievance. Not only was the elimination of the requirement to wear safety footwear unreasonable because there was no internal or external safety consultation, but the change was unjustified. Even if the policy could be justified, UNW went on to say, specified footwear was part of a uniform and therefore correctional officers were entitled to free shoes or boots under the collective agreement.