Union Files Injunction in Circuit Court to Prevent Sheriff from Sending Deputies to Jail Without Proper Training
By Sander Weiner, Attorney - Thursday, April 23, 2020
The Sheriff is struggling to staff the CCDOC. Based on emergency provisions of the CBA, the Sheriff has assigned all crossovers from 2012-2019 to CCDOC due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the crossover group, the Sheriff announced he will be temporarily reassigning approximately 170 deputies by seniority. Those with seniority dates up to February 25, 2002 have been called upon. The Sheriff has also asked for volunteers. Several Deputies have already done so. The temporary assignment is expected to be made on or about April 25, 2020.
This pandemic is unprecedented. Now, more than never we must ensure that the Sheriff’s contingency plans include proper safeguards for our members. Like all of you, we will continue to adapt during this crisis and do everything in our power to keep members as safe as possible. Some deputies have the necessary experience and training to be safely assigned to CCDOC. Those who have never worked the jail may not. Per our CBA, the Sheriff shall not assign our members to any known unsafe operation. The employer must also make reasonable provisions for the health and safety of its employees. The employer has assured the Union that training and experience will be taken into account when it comes to assigning posts to deputies who have never worked in corrections. However, those who have received their prospective assignments are being detailed to Divisions they have no business working in. Many of you want to answer the call. However, without the necessary experience or training, the risks to Deputies, Corrections Officers, and even inmates are just too great. Since the Sheriff has refused to arbitrate the matter, the Union has filed for immediate injunctive relief in circuit court in order to enjoin the Sheriff from assigning untrained deputies to work within the jail until the matter can be arbitrated or our concerns are otherwise addressed. This matter is ongoing, and updates will be posted as things progress.
Any court service deputy who would like to volunteer for a temporary reassignment to corrections should reach out to the Union or Chief Bellettiere ASAP.
Any Deputy who is currently assigned to the jail shall receive all additional benefits and pay as similarly situated Corrections Officers. Additionally, those working quarantine, isolation or emergency housing assignments, and the like, will receive an additional half an hour per hour per hour worked added to their compensatory time bank.
Deputies who cannot report to work due to quarantine, medical reasons, childcare due to school closures, isolation orders, or “greater risk factors” are covered under the 4/01/2020 amendments to SEAM Article T. If you have any questions regarding the amendments to the sick leave policy, please reach out to your Union steward as soon as practicable.
Thank you to all of our Sworn Deputies who must remain on the front lines during this difficult time. Your sacrifices shall not go unnoticed.