The State is getting desperate. In an effort to appear less unreasonable to the arbitrator, they have unilaterally increased their protected economic position after negotiations and mediation concluded.

In our final mediation session, the State presented their last economic proposal as a 3% general wage increase in year one of the contract, and a 1% offer in year two. Now, the State says it will tell the arbitrator that its final protected position is a 3% increase in year one and 3% in year two.

This is excellent news and it shows the power of interest arbitration. It is now highly unlikely that the arbitrator will award an increase of less than 6% over the term our of 2017-2019 collective bargaining agreement.

Whatever the arbitrator ultimately decides, we are in a stronger position today than we were when the State offered only 4% over the coming biennium.

It also shows that the State cynically tried to lowball our Union bargaining committee and bait the committee into accepting an offer that disrespects the important work that DOC workers perform to protect the safety of our communities.

Our committee called the State’s bluff. We stuck to our guns, unanimously rejected the State’s proposal, and sent the economic part of our contract to interest arbitration.

Now, the State is scrambling to back away from their arbitrary and insulting offer.

We will send out frequent updates during our interest arbitration hearing, which will take place during the week of August 29. If you have questions about the process, you can access our Interest Arbitration FAQ page on our Union’s website here.

Having access to interest arbitration now, and in our contract moving forward, is a tremendous victory for all of us. The State’s sudden, unilateral increase to its economic proposal demonstrates that our bargaining committee made the right strategic decisions and should be commended for their outstanding work in standing strong.  

Thank you for your service. Please stay safe.


Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement