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Some working inmates at Regina Correctional Centre strike over wage cut
Published Thursday, May 4, 2017 6:22PM CST
Some inmates at Regina Correctional Centre are on a labour strike after their wages were slashed as a result of provincial budget cuts.
The wage for inmates working in Saskatchewan prisons has dropped from $3 a day to $1. The wage cut took effect May 1.
"It gets you really nothing. Like the phone calls are $2.50 just for one phone call,” said Kenny Morrison, who is on remand at Regina Correctional Centre, where he works as a cleaner.
“So, a day’s work doesn’t even get you a phone call home to your family.”
Morrison says more than 60 inmates are on strike, but Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice says it’s aware of only six inmates who are refusing to work.
“We feel that that’s still a fair wage rate for these individuals to receive,” said ministry spokesperson Drew Wilby.
“It provides incentive to perform work within the facility.”
Inmates in federal correctional facilities earn $1 to $6.90 a day to work, depending on merit and good behavior.
Wilby notes that monetary compensation is just one benefit working inmates enjoy in Saskatchewan jails. He says they also get to spend more time outside their cells.
Morrison says if the government doesn’t respond in the days ahead, the inmates may expand the labour strike to also include a hunger strike.