BCGEU calls on provincial court judges to help address deputy sheriff shortage

The current practice of forcing sheriffs to work overtime is not working and is unsustainable. The shortage is compromising courthouse security, delaying important proceedings, and is threatening the integrity of our justice system.

Vancouver (18 March 2016) — In a letter sent to Chief Judge T.J. Crabtree, the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) has asked provincial court judges to call on the government to hire and train more deputy sheriffs. The BCGEU/NUPGE thinks this is the only way the serious shortage of deputy sheriffs can be fixed.

Provincial court judges will be meeting in Vancouver this week, and the letter will be included in their conference packages as well. BCGEU/NUPGE activists will also be handing out other material at the conference.

Sheriffs forced to work overtime due to shortage of trained staff

The current practice of forcing sheriffs to work overtime is not working and is unsustainable. The shortage is compromising courthouse security, delaying important proceedings, and is threatening the integrity of our justice system.

Many in the legal community have already criticized the provincial government for inadequately funding the justice system. The BCGEU/NUPGE hopes the provincial court judges will join with them and call on the government to hire and train more deputy sheriffs before the situation deteriorates any further.

Low wages contribute to recruitment and retention problems across the province

Low recruitment and retention are also contributing to the sheriff shortage as trained, experienced sheriffs leave for higher paid jobs in law enforcement. To fully address the sheriff shortage, the province needs to increase wages to those given to other law enforcement agencies and jurisdictions.

Click here to read the letter sent to Chief Judge Crabtree.

NUPGE 

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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