Over the last few days, our interest arbitration hearing has been marked by powerful testimony from members and some frustrating moments from DOC management.
Last Thursday, correctional officer James Deuel of WCC testified about scaled-back staffing levels on graveyard shift and how it impacts safety. He also addressed the cumulative stress of the job:
Officer Deuel also spoke about threats to his own safety and to his family, and of encountering offenders after they’ve been released into the community:
Adam Kapa, a transportation sergeant at WCC, testified about the dangers of operating a chain bus:
Like Deuel, Sergeant Kapa spoke of threats directed at him and his family:
Through member testimony, like that of Officer Deuel and Sergeant Kapa, our union’s legal team is establishing the risks and high-level stress associated with the job as we continue to make our case for higher compensation than the State proposed in contract negotiations.
Last week, we also heard from DOC Secretary Stephen Sinclair. Sinclair’s testimony irked members in the room, especially when he stated that he hadn’t given a lot of thought about whether members of the bargaining unit are satisfied with their compensation. He also testified that he hadn’t heard much from members who are dissatisfied with their compensation. These remarks seemed tone deaf and completely out of touch with the rank-and-file.
This week, we've had an expert witness present comparable data in states of like sizes and jurisdictions as well as data involving compensation for corrections employees at the county level.
We anticipate wrapping up the hearing this Friday, at which point we will give you another update. Please check your email and look for more information coming soon.
View a short video update from the hearing below: