Correctional Officers Association of Delaware's Releases List of - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Correctional Officers Association of Delaware's Releases List of Legislative Items Needing to be Addressed

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Editor's note: the following is a press release issued Tueday, March 14 by the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware:

The murder of Stephen Floyd was an event which finally focused the attention of State leaders on issues which have been present for over a decade.   An absolute failure of leadership at the highest levels of government led to the events which culminated in the horrible death of a Correctional Officer - and the constant jeopardy to the lives of every other Officer.  Unfortunately, it has taken these horrific events to force attention to issues overdue for attention.

COAD is about to begin a new collective bargaining agreement, with the current Union agreement set to expire on June 30, 2018.  However, under current law, any compensation agreement involving the Union must be completed by December 1 of the year prior to the expiration of the contract (here, December 1, 2017).  The Union will propose changes in the statutory language relating to the work environment.  Some of these proposals will have a significant fiscal impact.  This isn't about bike paths; it is about people's lives. 

We are called to be stewards of all God has given us.  Stewards of nature, of the world and of our brothers and sisters.  It is impossible to be good stewards if we value human needs and lives at less than inanimate objects and pointless agreements. 

We are announcing these action items with the requirement of a commitment - publicly and completely - from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and Members of the General Assembly - no later than May 1, 2017, so that any necessary legislative or budgetary changes may be accomplished before the expiration of this legislative session in June.  These action items include (but are not limited to):

       A complete staffing overhaul for all facilities.

       A complete overhaul of the salary structure for all COAD Officers.

       Having no fewer than two employees assigned to any post where inmate contact occurs, including outside hospital duty.

       Employee benefits days (vacation, sick, holidays) based upon the employee's regularly scheduled daily hours.

       Employees to be paid through eSTAR from the time they clock in until the time they clock out (which would also resolve outstanding Unfair Labor Practice and Department of Labor complaints against the State).

       Attendance bonuses of $500.00 per year for employees who do not call off for unscheduled leave.

       Double time for freezes.

       Oil-based cap-stun devices and operable radios for all employees working at locations where inmates are housed or directly supervised.

       Monthly paid training days for all employees.

       State will provide cleaning of uniforms and a $200.00 boot allowance.

       Weekend differential of 10% of the pay for hours between 12:00 a.m. Saturday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

       Hazardous duty pay of $5,000.00 annually.

       Correctional Emergency Response Team (CERT) specialty pay, equal to 10% of regular pay.

       Revisions to the Pension proposal currently pending before the General Assembly.

       Allowing release time for Union officials to work on COAD/Departmental issues  (which would also resolve outstanding grievances against the State).

       Rescission of the DOC/ACLU agreement.

 _________________________________________________________

STATE OF DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION CAREER LADDER MODEL POSITIONS REPRESENTED BY CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF DELAWARE

I.      Correctional Officer Series

        Presently there does not exist a career ladder for Correctional Officer series employees.  In the most recent negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, the Union and the State agreed to a wage scale that began to recognize years of service.  The Department and the Union have been meeting to rework Policy 9.24, which deals with promotional standards.  The Union believes that the entire Correctional Officer series should be revamped to create a time-in-grade system which recognizes the real-life separation between newly hired Correctional Officers and more seasoned Correctional Officers, as well as directly addresses serious concerns surrounding recruitment, retention and staffing, all of which are clearly intertwined. 

        A.    Correctional Officer

        The Union views the entry level position of Correctional Officer as a position that should be served for a period of eighteen (18) months.  During this time, a new employee should receive all the additional orientation and on-the-job training to become a proficient Correctional Officer.  A Correctional Officer would be supervised by ranking Officers, including Lieutenants, Staff Lieutenants and Captains, and would be assigned to work with Sergeants and Corporals, and would receive instruction and guidance from Staff Sergeants. 

        B.    Correctional Corporal

        The Union views movement from Correctional Officer to Correctional Corporal as a natural, time-in-grade movement, provided the Correctional Officer meets minimal proficiencies that should be known, established, and upon which training should be based.  At this level, employees may also begin receiving lateral training for specialized assignments, such as K-9.  As the Department currently operates, in some of the smaller institutions, Correctional Corporals may be assigned the responsibility of supervising an entire facility.  Moving to a time-in-grade movement, these assignments should be reviewed and, should be assigned to higher ranking Officers.  Correctional Corporals should be responsible for working with Correctional Officers and Sergeants, and would be supervised by ranking Officers, including Lieutenants, Staff Lieutenants and Captains.  An employee should remain a Correctional Corporal until he or she has five (5) years with the Department (18 months as a Correctional Officer, followed by three and one-half (3 ½) years as a Correctional Corporal.   

        C.    Correctional Sergeant

        The Union views movement from Correctional Corporal to Correctional Sergeant as the last non-promotional movement through a career ladder.  As with the movement from Correctional Officer to Correctional Corporal, the movement to Correctional Sergeant would be based on the ability to meet minimal proficiencies.  A Correctional Sergeant would be the base position and would recognize the level of training and experience that an employee gains through his or her first five (5) years of employment.  Correctional Sergeants would be assigned to work with Correctional Corporals and Correctional Officers and would be supervised by ranking Officers, including Lieutenants, Staff Lieutenants and Captains. 

        D.    Correctional Staff Sergeant

        The Union would look to create a new classification of Correctional Staff Sergeant.  This would be the first promotional opportunity for employees.  The Union envisions working with the Department to create requirements for the position, including years of service and testing requirements.  The Staff Sergeant would take the place of the current Lead Worker model.  Staff Sergeants would be the direct connection between ranking Officers, including Lieutenants, Staff Lieutenants and Captains, and the Sergeants, Corporals and Correctional Officers.  Staff Sergeants would be assigned to work with a group of Sergeants, Corporals and Correctional Officers.  Under the current model, many Lead Workers are scheduled to work together, calling into question who is the Lead Worker.  The Union envisions working with the Department on staffing levels to create a clear number of required Lead Workers, or Staff Sergeants, and then assigning other employees to receive direction from them. 

          E.     Other Promotional Opportunities

        Beyond Correctional Staff Sergeant, the Union envisions having clear standards and requirements for promotional opportunities to Lieutenant, Staff Lieutenant, Captain, and ultimately up to Warden.  Naturally, as the ranks become greater, and as the number of openings become fewer, the requirements would become more stringent.  However, the Union places years of service within the Department as a high priority in considering candidates. 

II.    Specialized Positions - Maintenance and Food Service

        Presently, a career ladder exists for maintenance employees, but not for food service.  The Union would like to see this changed and to be based on years of service for both.  Currently, a maintenance employee remains a CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Trades Mechanic I for twelve (12) months, and must complete a certain amount of school during that year before becoming a CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Trades Mechanic II.  After achieving that position, an employee must again complete a certain amount of schooling just to be considered for a CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Trades Mechanic III position.  The Union envisions the following:

                Maintenance:

CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Trades Mechanic I - 18 months

CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Trades Mechanic II - 3 ½ years (total of five years with Department)

CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Trades Mechanic III - 5+ years

Promotional Opportunities:  Business Operations/Trades Instructor, CO/Electronics Technician, CO/Physical Plant Maintenance Master Electrician

Food Service:

CO/Food Service Specialist I - 18 months

CO/Food Service Specialist II - 3 ½ years (total of five years with Department)

CO/Food Service Specialist III - 5+ years

       

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