By TIM WOOLERY
Council 75 Corrections Coordinator
Following another mediation session with the state on Dec. 20, the Local 2376 (Security Plus) Bargaining Team — believing we achieved all that could be obtained — signed a tentative agreement. A ratification vote ballot will be coming to all in the Local 2376 bargaining unit in the mail soon.
The agreement includes all of the Sept. 11, 2007 contract improvements plus a Letter of Agreement that will provide more flexibility to the members negatively impacted by the salary eligibility date (SED) arbitration so that they can also use vacation time. This also included a provision that if an employee chooses to make the entire 2007 overpayment immediately then they would benefit in their 2007 taxes. We also obtained a Letter of Agreement that allows for pre-approved flexible schedule beyond one work day as long as it was concluded within one work week.
In addition, we obtained a commitment to conduct a classification study on DOC Mailroom Technicians to be completed by July 2009 and provide a Security differential point for "daily and frequently performing initial opening and review of inmate mail from USPS" and Pharmacy Technicians and our lone Denturist to participate in the Health Service Classification Study concluded in a few months.
The state proposed a salary selective one step increase for Correctional Counselors that we improved to be effective in March 2008. As part of reaching the TA we are made party to an additional AFSCME Letter of Agreement that provides an increase effective after June 30, 2009, which will remove the bottom step and add a new top step to all classifications on a least-cost implementation basis. It also will provide a separate process for a Salary Selective Committee that will devise parameters for the study and proffer recommendations on up to 20 classifications in a separate, less divisive process than bargaining.