CCPOA, take note - Go Teamsters!
The Florida Current:
The state has worked out a $603,000 settlement with the federal government to settle a long-running dispute with the union representing prison guards, compensating them for time spent preparing for going to and from their duty stations.
More than 700 correctional officers, some of whom have retired during the negotiations with theU.S. Department of Labor, will receive compensatory time off or back pay for time they spent on shift changes.
The Teamsters Union filed the wage-and-hour complaint in 2011 on behalf of state prison officers at Florida State Prison in Raiford, who sought payment for time spent waiting to go through security checkpoints and receive their equipment before going to their duty stations. Employees said it could take nearly a half-hour in each direction, but the Department of Corrections contended that they didn't really go on the clock until they reached their assigned posts.
The Labor Department investigation covered the period from December 2009 through December 2011. The Teamsters office in Tampa, which bargains for the correctional officers, announced the settlement Wednesday.
"The settlement is a great benefit to correctional officers and recognizes the fact that preparing for duty and entering the facility is an essential part of the job," said Michael Filler, public services director for the union. "This problem should not continue as the department has updated its timekeeping system to ensure that officers will be paid for all compensable time worked."
The Labor Department will oversee the $603,237 settlement at the Raiford facility.
"While this case took over a year and a half to resolve because of the impact on many officers, I am pleased that our members will be made whole," said Teamsters Joint Council 75 President Ken Wood.
Some officers, including retirees, will be paid more than $3,000 while others can qualify for about two months off, under the agreement.