NH DOC Fact Finder’s Report

This is the report of the fact finder and the basis for his findings and recommendations. As you review this report please note that this report is NOT binding on either party. The report must remain confidential by law unless released by mutual agreement which is the case here. The final Memorandum of Agreement has not been completed, however, the agreement includes moving our members from the X208 Wage Schedule to the X416 Wage Schedule (Law Enforcement Employees). This is a wage increase of 9.1%. The Bonus Time has been replaced by an additional floating holiday which will benefit 68% of our members who receive no bonus days under the present system. The state did not agree to retro pay to any union.

This has been a long and grueling process. Jeff Padellaro stated, “It was a group effort that included selfless and dedicated members of the Department of Correction who not only worked the long hours at their respective assignments but took additional time away from their families to represent their brother and sister officers at the table. Our concerted efforts to push this matter to fact-finding was instrumental in getting this substantial wage increase on the table.”  The Negotiating Team included officers  Frank Logan, Annie Wrenn, Erik Turner, George Bigl and Tom Macholl along with Attorney Bill Cahill and Principal Officer Jeff Padellaro as the Chair.

Once we receive the final Memorandum of Agreement, the information will be forwarded to the membership for their vote.  

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TEAMSTER PROFILE – Frank Logan NH DOC

 

TEAMSTER PROFILES

Frank Logan

Correctional Officer – Union Steward

Principal Officer Jeffrey Padellaro created this section to profile our members in more depth so that our brothers and sisters have a better appreciation for members working in careers with which they may not be familiar.

Frank Logan is currently assigned to the Concord Prison for Men’s Secure Psychiatric Unit (SPU). A 49-year-old Army Veteran, Frank has worked for the Department of Correction since 1999. He recalled the hiring process as slow and that new Correctional Officers were assigned to one of three locations prior to attending the academy. Frank described a situation where the new officers would be introduced to the new environment with little training. The assignments for the Correctional Officers in Training (COT) included a post in the Chapel, a post in the old weight room located near Box 1, and the visiting room.

“The visiting room was a difficult assignment for a COT as the inmates had the ability to meet with visitors and potentially introduce contraband,” Frank said. In addition, to bring attention to the status of the COT, they were required to wear a cover with the word “TRAINEE” emblazoned on it.

Frank described attending the Academy located in the Berlin facility administrative house. Three COTs were housed at the building for the duration of his training. The Admin building was described as an old farmhouse.

Frank recalls the introduction of cameras within the facility and described the apprehension felt by many of the experienced officers. Frank believes the stationary and hand-held cameras have generally been a good addition to the security infrastructure of the facility. Other improvements over the years have included the upgrading of radios and the introduction of Tasers within the department. Frank stated he would like the Tasers distributed to any officer who requests them.

Over the years, Frank has worked at every post within the facility except the Main Control Post. During his career he has been assaulted seven times, one of which was extremely serious, resulting in time off from work and the criminal prosecution of the inmate. The inmate was sentenced to additional time for the assault.

Frank stated that being an officer is a difficult job but believes it is important to remain positive. He said that Correctional Officers “work with your head on a swivel and to always look out for your brother and sister officer.”  Frank expressed sincere concern over the number of hours officers are forced to work as a result of the critically low staffing numbers. Frank says that, unfortunately, some officers develop serious health issues, have difficulty maintaining healthy personal relationships at home and experience serious child care issues as a result of officers being forced to work two to four forced overtime shifts a week. In addition, because the staffing is always at the minimum, the officers available to respond to inmates acting out is severely limited.

When asked about his interaction with the Union, Frank responded that he had tried to get involved when previous Unions represented the group, but felt it was a closed system. Frank stated he is extremely satisfied with the Teamsters’ approach to servicing the members. He cited the Tours of Teamster Union officials on a regular basis and the availability of the Business Agents, Field Representative and legal counsel by phone and email between face- to- face meetings. He also appreciated Local 633 sending two of the stewards to a 3-day critical incident/internal affairs seminar and hopes to attend additional training provided by the Local.

When asked about his participation at the Labor Management Committee (LMC), Frank said, “It is an excellent forum to bring up issues directly to the Commissioner without it being filtered by the other members of the Administration.” Frank stated that he hoped the Governor and the other decision makers in the legislature would visit the facility and meet the men and women who, through their professionalism and commitment, make it work under difficult conditions. They make it work with staffing shortages that are unbelievably taxing on the officers. Frank said, “It is a pleasure to work beside the many men and women who do such a great job and I know have my back.”

Frank Logan is a Teamster Steward, LMC member, and he is on the Negotiating Committee.

On behalf of the Executive Board, I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation for all the time and effort Frank dedicates for all of our members employed by the Department of Correction. JP

Editor’s Note: Frank, we agree, the Governor and company should tour the facility, and, when their tour is complete, they should be notified that their tour has been unexpectedly extended another 8 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Secretary-Treasurer Jeffrey Padellaro visits Concord Prison for Men

On December 14, 2017, Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Padellaro visited the Concord Prison for Men along with Field Representative Keith Judge and Attorney Bill Cahill. Jeff stated he likes to visit the facility every 4 to 6 weeks to hear from the men and women who keep the facility under control 24/7 while working mandatory overtime 3 to 4 times a week. Updates were given regarding the Contract Negotiation process which is currently in fact finding status. (Updates will be posted.)

Last week, there was an incident in the Hancock Unit that resulted in a member being assaulted by an inmate. The situation was compounded by other inmates not following the lawful directives of the officers in a timely manner. This serious incident was prevented from becoming a more explosive incident by the fast, decisive and professional response of our members.  These types of incidents become even more critical because of the limited staff available to respond to these flare-ups. This incident will be added to the arguments made in fact finding to support our demand for higher wages commensurate with the professional services rendered on a daily basis.

A member inquired whether the Union was doing anything, referring to the expiration of the current CBA. Jeff Padellaro emphatically stated, “Yes.”  Upon the expiration of the current contract, the “Status Quo” doctrine applies. This means that terms and conditions of employment must be maintained while the parties continue to bargain in “good faith.” In fact, legal counsel for the Teamsters is at the Concord facility almost weekly to represent members that are called into the Warden’s office on various disciplinary issues. In addition, Bill Cahill represents members at the Police Standards and Training Council for certification issues. Investigations also require Teamsters’ legal counsel to travel to Goffstown,  NCF and Headquarters for similar issues that arise. On a weekly basis, Principal Officer Jeff Padellaro and Field Representative receive and respond to emails and texts from our stewards and members who reach out with questions and/or concerns. In addition, it is the enforcement of our Teamster Contract that allows our members to use sick time without negatively affecting overtime that has been worked.

Preparation for our presentation to the Fact-Finder continues. Please thank your Negotiation Team Members for their efforts during the negotiations, mediation, and now, through the fact- finding process. Frank Logan, George Bigl, Erik Turner and Annie Wrenn have all devoted countless hours to the process.

On behalf of all your brothers and sisters throughout the state, have a Happy Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!

Be Safe.

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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