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Bridges of Canada prison chaplains in Alberta join United Steelworkers union

February 27, 2024

The United Steelworkers union (USW) proudly welcomes prison chaplains employed by Bridges of Canada in Alberta following an overwhelming vote to join the union. These dedicated chaplains, representing various faiths and spiritual practices, provide essential chaplaincy services and spiritual care to inmates within Alberta’s prisons.

The USW, known for its diverse membership of workers across economic sectors, now represents approximately 200 prison chaplains from a spectrum of faiths and spiritual backgrounds. This expansion into Alberta, with 20 chaplains, is a significant development as the union already represents chaplains in prisons across Canada. 

The decision to unionize was made in recognition of the need for collective bargaining power to address critical issues facing chaplains in their roles. 

“Alberta chaplains, employed by Bridges of Canada, have faced stagnant wages and challenging working conditions. Despite their invaluable contributions to the rehabilitation and well-being of incarcerated individuals, these chaplains have not seen improvements in compensation or workplace standards,” said Scott Lunny, USW Director for Western Canada.

“By joining USW Local 1-207, chaplains at Bridges of Canada in Alberta are standing together to address these concerns and ensure that their voices are heard in shaping the future of chaplaincy within the correctional system. Our union is committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of all its members, including chaplains who play a crucial role in fostering spiritual growth and rehabilitation among inmates,” said Lunny.

The successful unionizing initiative highlights the determination of the prison chaplains to achieve better working conditions, following a similar effort that fell short in 2022.

The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.

Workers who are interested in joining the USW should visit betterworknow.ca for more information.

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Media Contact

Scott Lunny
USW Director for Western Canada
604-329-5308
slunny@usw.ca

Brett Barden
USW Communications
604-445-6956
bbarden@usw.ca

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