It's Correctional Employees Week, and what better way to celebrate than to share some excellent news related to our Union’s fight to preserve your rights under your collective bargaining agreement.
As you may recall, in 2020, DOC unilaterally made the decision to impose temporary layoffs on a broad number of classifications. A total of 1,503 members were impacted by that decision.
At the time, our Union’s bargaining team vigorously opposed the temporary layoffs, arguing that broad-based layoffs would have an adverse effect on safety at the facilities and likely constitute a violation of our contract and State law.
Unlike the State’s contract with WFSE and other Unions, our Teamsters contract protects you from having your hours unilaterally cut by your employer through furloughs.
To protect your rights, our Union’s legal team filed a statewide grievance alleging that DOC violated multiple provisions of our contract during the lead up and implementation phase of the layoffs. We also filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with PERC arguing that DOC engaged in surface bargaining and other unlawful tactics designed to disrupt morale during the process.
After considerable negotiation, I am pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement with the Department that compensates all impacted members of the Union. Under the agreement, every impacted member will receive a payment by the Department of $550.
You can view the agreement and a list of impacted members here.
With 1,503 members impacted, a total of $826,650 will be returned to the membership. Impacted members who are still on payroll at the DOC can expect to receive payment in the next few weeks.
Former members who were impacted and no longer work for the Department are also eligible for compensation. Under the agreement, those individuals must contact Christine Ram at [email protected] by July 3, 2023 in order to receive payment. If you have contact with any former members who might be eligible, I encourage you to let them know.
This is an extraordinary win for DOC Teamsters and a testament to the strength of our Union’s collective bargaining agreement. Thank you to the many members who spoke out on this issue and to our Union’s legal team, particularly Staff Attorney, Eamon McCleery, who fought tenaciously to defend your rights.
No State employee Union other than Teamsters was able to effectively contest the State’s layoffs and achieve an agreement that compensates its members. That is a sign that our Union and our contract are strong.
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