FENTANYL HAZARD FOR LEOs

 

Extreme Caution is Required when Testing or Handling Unknown Substances

Law Enforcement officers are encouraged to use extreme caution when handling any unknown substances in the field, jail or prison. The story below highlights the dangers all our LEOs are exposed to everyday while executing their duties and responsibilities to protect and serve, and provide care and custody for those detained or incarcerated. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment on hand to safely handle these dangerous and deadly substances. If the appropriate equipment is not currently available, please contact your Business Agent and steward for immediate action.

http://turnto10.com/news/local/aci-correctional-officers-rushed-to-er-after-fentanyl-exposure

Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Padellaro’s Letter to the Editor

Union Leader – August 3, 2017 Edition – Letter to the Editor

NH’s prison problem

To the Editor: Gov. Chris Sununu delivered the 2017 budget address on Feb. 9, 2017.

As part of this address, the governor stated, “We are building a new women’s prison … a desperately needed asset and we’re going to get it open. We are going to be aggressive and fully fund our corrections system to end the pattern of forced overtime and personnel shortfalls.”

This promise was a breath of fresh air to the correctional officers who faithfully go to work knowing more than half the time they will be forced to work overtime and more than an eight-hour shift.

The men’s State Prison in Concord requires 371 officers to operate normally, according to a state audit published in 2012. Today, it operates with only 187 officers. The state is unable to recruit new hires or retain officers, who choose to leave for more lucrative opportunities. Compounding the problem, our new women’s prison remains shuttered because nothing has been done to address the staffing crisis that exists.

The problem is simple, but New Hampshire leaders haven’t fixed it. Our state’s compensation for correctional officers is not even close to being competitive with other like professions in the same labor market.

This crisis may have preceded Gov. Sununu, but he is the CEO of the state. He’s aware of the staffing shortage in our prisons and aware of what’s needed to address it. Now it’s time he worked with the stakeholders to resolve this dangerous situation.

JEFF PADELLARO

Secretary Treasurer Teamsters Local Union No. 633

 

 

Text of Original Letter

To the Editor:

Governor Sununu delivered the 2017 Budget Address on February 9, 2017.  As part of this address, the governor stated, “We are building a new women’s prison – as we speak – a desperately needed asset and we’re going to get it open. We are going to be aggressive and fully fund our corrections system to end the pattern of forced overtime and personnel shortfalls.” This promise to aggressively address the chronic staffing shortages was a breath of fresh air to the men and women who faithfully show-up to work knowing that over 50% of the time they will not be going home after their 8- hour shift. The critical staffing shortages routinely result in up to 50% of the posts being staffed by correctional officers who are forced to work overtime.

The Men’s State Prison in Concord requires 371 officers to operate normally, according to a state audit published in 2012, but is now operating with only 187 officers. This has occurred because of the failure of the state to recruit new hires or retain officers who choose to leave for more lucrative careers with reasonable hours.

Adding to the staffing shortage crisis is the new Women’s Prison to which Governor Sununu referred as “a desperately needed asset.”  This necessary facility will remain shuttered because nothing has been done to address the staffing crisis that currently exists.

The state has not addressed the systemic issues underlying this crisis which include a compensation package which is not competitive with other like professions in the same labor market. The governor is a business man and is aware of the solution. In fact, in Governor Sununu’s Budget Address, when addressing a shortage of healthcare workers, he stated:

 “We need to appreciate the realities of our economy, something I say a lot: markets matter. We have a serious workforce issue in virtually every area of health care. This is not a secret, we know the realities, we’ve seen the numbers.

When you don’t pay anyone any more money, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us who believe in capitalism that you’re going to have serious shortages, and that’s exactly what we have today.”

The same argument is true for the correctional officer staffing crisis. This crisis may have preceded Governor Sununu, but he is the CEO of the state, he is aware of the staffing shortage, he is aware of the action needed by the state to address same, and it is time that the governor work with the stakeholders to resolve this dangerous situation in our prisons.

 

 

WMUR – “Staffing Issues Delay Opening of New Women’s Prison”

WMUR reported on the issues concerning the proposed opening of the new Women’s Prison. The numbers put forth by the state refer only to the Women’s prison and did not address the severe shortages presently occurring at all the facilities. Jeff Padellaro and the Teamsters are continuing their efforts to educate the legislature and the public of the staffing crisis happening presently which will only be exacerbated by the opening of the new prison for women. See www.safeprisonsnh.com

Watch the WMUR report:

http://www.wmur.com/article/staffing-concerns-delay-opening-of-new-womens-prison/10357403

NH DOC Unsustainable Overtime – A Snapshot

Jeff Padellaro has made the Governor aware, through direct communication, that the current staffing levels of the Department of Corrections are unacceptable. The overtime necessary to maintain critical staffing for the Concord facility on July 8th and 9th was beyond unacceptable. On the 8th of July over 49% of the posts were filled by officers working overtime; on July 9th, over 47% of the posts were filled by officers working overtime. The majority of those officers are forced to work double shifts several times a week. The men and women who work for the Department of Corrections are dedicated professionals who have continually reported to work knowing that their 8- hour shift will more likely than not result in an 16- hour stay. The state has failed to recruit a sufficient number of recruits to reverse this dangerous trend. The only way to increase recruitment in this tough and dangerous profession is to offer a compensation package that is comparable to other law enforcement opportunities that exist in NH or close-by in Massachusetts.  Jeff Padellaro, along with your negotiating team made up of veteran COs, will continue to educate the state and the public regarding the need to properly fund this department and support the men and women who make it work.

New Hampshire Corrections

The New Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified by the membership and the legislature in Concord. The printed version of the CBA will be delivered to the membership. The Teamsters’ Bargaining Committee, chaired by Business Agent Jeff Padellaro, was able to negotiate a contract with raises and to avoid the implementation of the terms concerning the use of unscheduled sick time and the negative effect on overtime. The CBA also increases the Life Insurance Benefit along with increases in the Dental Benefits.  The CBA requires the state to utilize one sick bank, as requested by the majority of the respondents, along with maintaining the Short Term Disability Benefit. The state has finally recognized the outstanding performance of the men and women of the Department under extreme conditions. A job well done by the Teamsters’ Bargaining Committee which included CO Glenn Bergeron (NCF), CO Frank Logan (Concord), CO Steve Sullivan (North House) and Annie Wrenn (Goffstown).

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