Monroe County Corrections Officers Fight for Safety in the Workplace

Workers File for Impasse with PERC Following Six Months of Negotiations

May 06, 2008, 01:00 ET from Teamsters Local 769

    MIAMI, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representatives of Teamsters
 Local 769 in Miami, Florida filed for impasse today with the Florida Public
 Employee Relations Commission (PERC) on behalf of nearly 100 Monroe County
 corrections officers after six months of unsuccessful negotiations.
     The union and sheriff's department began negotiations in November 2007
 after PERC certified Local 769 as the unit's bargaining representative in
 September of that year. The two sides have been unable to reach an
 agreement because of unreasonable staffing changes and cuts proposed by the
 sheriff's appointed bargaining committee.
     "These corrections officers work in an environment that is inherently
 dangerous," said Mike Scott, President of Teamsters Local 769. "But instead
 of taking steps to improve safety in the facility, the sheriff's department
 is making ill-advised demands that could compromise the precautions
     already in place."
     These demands include cutting staffing in the most dangerous block of
 the Monroe County Jail called the 'Alpha Unit', an area that houses violent
 offenders including murderers and rapists. The sheriff's committee has also
 demanded that a key position in the control center of the jail be manned by
 cheaper, less experienced civilian personnel rather than a certified
 corrections officer.
     "We have made multiple proposals designed to offset any costs
 associated with keeping these positions as they stand, but the committee
 refuses to even consider them," Scott said. "Ensuring the safety of these
 workers is our primary concern. Frankly, it's disconcerting that the
 sheriff's department doesn't share our concern."
     Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents
 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and
 Puerto Rico.

SOURCE Teamsters Local 769