Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Update! What's Going on with the Council of Prison Locals?

As many of you know, we've come to a LMR crossroads with the Agency.  Last week, Council President, Dale Deshotel, sent a letter to Director Samuels outlining a number of problems we've had with Labor Management Relations recently.

At the top of the list, the Agency unilaterally implemented two new policies: Sexually Abusive Behavior Prevention and Intervention Program and Administrative Remedy Program, without giving the Union 30 days to review the policies or bargain over the changes that the policies made for the working conditions of staff.

Some of the other things that have gone wrong include, but are not limited to:

• The Agency taking the position there is no duty to bargain over the increase in the cost of meal ticket prices, despite the fact that he have a signed settlement agreement from a previous price increase stating that all future price increases will be bargained.
• The Agency taking the position that approximately 63 proposals submitted by the Union on the Staff Entrance and Search Procedures policy are non-negotiable after months at the table, despite the fact that multiple agreements to negotiate Staff Entrance and Search Procedures were signed by the Agency.
• A memorandum on possession of personal firearms was placed on Sallyport by the Director after the Agency recently lost a major arbitration on this matter. The message was in direct confict with the arbitrator's decision.
• The Agency’s continued abuse of the “covered by” argument from the DC Circuit Court decision on Mission Critical, despite the fact that it has been routinely rejected by most arbitrators or FSIP.
• Unprofessional actions toward Council officers for carrying out their fiduciary responsibilities (e.g., refusing to accept ULPs when hand delivered).
• The agency has not only failed to follow the current MOU on Electronic Search procedures, but has added to the MOU in many locations, even disciplining staff based on factors outside of the negotiated screening procedures.

We will be asking for the cooperation of all of the Locals in the Council if we need to act with one voice.  Remember, "alone we can do so little; together we can do so much" (Helen Keller)

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