Monday, September 30, 2013

Where Has Mike Been and Where is Mike Now? AFGE Leadership Conference and Council of Prison Locals Fall LEgislative Conference in Washington, DC

I attended the 2013 AFGE Leadership Conference last week, along with most of the Council of Prison Locals Executive Board.  The purpose of the Conference was to brainstorm ideas for bringing AFGE into the future.  You can read more about the Leadership Conference and the work that we did: (log-in required)

2013 AFGE Leadership Conference
CPL33 Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice President, Dwayne Person, and other members of the Leadership Conference Planning Committee address the assembly.

This week, we are headed into Washington, DC, for a Fall legislative event focused on staff safety and our budget.

We're holding a press conference at the National Press Club tomorrow morning; the Reuter's press release is included below:

Sen. Casey, Families of Slain Federal Prison Officers to Join AFGE in Speaking out Against Low Staffing, Funding in Bureau of Prisons

PR Newswire

Sept. 26

AFGE Council of Prison Locals to hold press conference requesting immediate funding relief at BOP

WHO: Council of Prison Locals President Eric Young
AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr.
Terry Rivera (mother of Jose Rivera)
Don and Jean Williams (parents of Eric Williams)
Helen Andujar, Ramona Casanas and Osvaldo Albarati Jr. (partner, mother-in-law and son, respectively, of Osvaldo Albarati Sr.)
Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.) – Invited

WHAT: A press conference calling for immediate staffing and funding relief in the Bureau of Prisons to address dangerous working conditions.

WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: National Press Club
4th Estate Restaurant
529 14th St. N.W., 13th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20045

Washington, D.C.—The American Federation of Government Employees and its Council of Prison Locals will hold a press conference Tuesday to highlight the dangers of understaffing and underfunding in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and call on Congress to provide immediate funding relief to BOP.

Speakers will include Sen. Bob Casey, AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr., CPL President Eric Young and the families of three slain correctional officers. Jose Rivera, killed in 2008 by two inmates with homemade weapons at the U.S. Penitentiary Atwater in California, will be represented by his mother, Terry. Don and Jean Williams will speak for their son, Eric Williams, who was killed in February while working at the U.S. Penitentiary Canaan in northeastern Pennsylvania. Osvaldo Albarati, who was killed in February in an ambush attack while he was driving home from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, will be represented by his son, Osvaldo Albarati Jr., his significant other, Helen Andujar, and her mother, Ramona Casanas.

The press conference will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the National Press Club in Washington. Media are asked to RSVP by calling 202-639-6419.

The union says serious inmate overcrowding and correctional worker understaffing plague the BOP system nationwide, and create potentially hazardous conditions for federal prison inmates, correctional workers and the communities in which they work.

BOP correctional officers and other staff members inside federal prisons are unarmed, leaving them vulnerable to attacks by inmates with homemade weapons. For years, AFGE and CPL have fought not only for additional staffing and funding at BOP but also for protective equipment such as pepper spray and stab-resistant vests. The need for additional resources can be seen with the countless violent outbreaks occurring at BOP facilities across the country. A correctional officer can be responsible for supervising as many as 150 inmates at once and is unarmed inside the facility. Low staffing levels and a more aggressive inmate population have led to a spike in violence – something AFGE says cannot continue.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

/PRNewswire-USNewswire -- Sept. 26, 2013/

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