LIMIT TO MANDATORY OVERTIME MOU
Last month, an MOU was approved to provide a 60-day pilot program that will limit the amount of mandatory overtime DOC can assign to officers and sergeants to no more than 8 hours per week. Under the terms of the MOU, the 60-day pilot will go into effect on Friday, June 10.
In the contract surveys and at contract demands meetings, members expressed serious concerns about the excessive amounts of overtime and the impacts to safety. The intent of the MOU is to address those concerns and to provide more work-life balance by restricting the amount of overtime DOC can mandate each week. Your long-term health and well-being cannot be overlooked simply because DOC is struggling to appropriately staff our prisons. Because our current contract does not expire until June 2023, we needed to address this issue now.
At the same time, I understand that many of you have serious concerns about this program, and there are many questions about how it will be implemented. In terms of implementation, it is important to understand that:
- All provisions in Article 17 still apply.
- All exemptions from mandatory overtime will continue to apply.
- Your voluntary overtime will still count in the cycle (as per our contract).
- After 60 days, the union has the right to terminate the program. Members will have the opportunity to vote on any extension of the program beyond 60 days.
- Even if you have worked a voluntary overtime shift during your workweek, you may still be mandatoried one time during the week if you have not yet worked a mandatory overtime shift.
You should also be aware that today we signed another agreement with the Department to allow overtime exempt employees to receive straight-time compensation after 45 hours of work. This should encourage more overtime exempt employees to volunteer for overtime.
No matter where you stand on the MOU, I strongly encourage you to provide ongoing feedback about the program. Please report to your shop stewards and union representatives if you believe the Department is violating the terms of the MOU.
At the end of the pilot period, we will send out a survey to assess and determine if we should continue, modify, or terminate the program.
COMPENSATION FOR OVERTIME EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
Yesterday, we signed an agreement with the DOC to allow overtime exempt employees to receive straight-time compensation after 45 hours of work.
The purpose of the agreement is to recognize the extraordinary number of hours worked by overtime exempt employees. We are also hoping to encourage more overtime exempt employees who have received training as officers to volunteer for overtime in custody-level positions.
The agreement will be in effect through June 30, 2022. Effective July 1, 2022, overtime exempt employees will continue to receive straight-time compensation after 45 hours of work under the terms of our collective bargaining agreement.
You can view a PDF of the agreement we signed yesterday here.
This agreement, in conjunction with the 60-day pilot program to limit the amount of mandatory overtime DOC can assign to officers and sergeants, should provide overworked custody staff some much needed relief.
I realize this is only a temporary fix to the underlying problem of chronic staffing shortages in our prisons. We are determined, through the collective bargaining process, to achieve in our next contract an effective, long-term solution that prioritizes work-life balance for all DOC staff.
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