Reports of dozens of Ontario correctional officers calling in sick at the same facility last weekend have the province’s opposition parties concerned for public safety.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union said yesterday it had heard about an outbreak of so-called “blue flu” at the Penetanguishene jail near Barrie, but could not confirm reports that up to 63 workers called in sick.

While pointing out the employees may actually have been ill, OPSEU spokesman Don Ford admitted Ontario’s 5,500 guards are fed up after two decades of broken government promises to reduce overcrowding in the province’s jails.