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New York – COs Demand Better Working Conditions

Understaffed, overworked and underpaid. These are the conditions corrections officers at the Sullivan County Jail in Monticello want to change now.

Monticello, New York

Understaffed, overworked and underpaid. These are the conditions corrections officers at the Sullivan County Jail in Monticello want to change now.

“Our working conditions affect us greatly,” says Joe Manning, a corrections officer at the facility for 17 years and the vice president of Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Unit 8800, part of Local 853 of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA)/AFSCME Local 1000. “They affect our home life and how we do our job the next day.”

Late last year, Manning and 15 other officers showed up in full force at a meeting of county legislators to express their demands. The lawmakers promised to act promptly in improving working conditions at the 100-year-old jail.

The COs have been without a contract since December 2007. They are forced to work stressful 16-hour shifts because of staffing shortages. The state is required to employ 102 COs but the county only has 91.

“I think these people have been vastly underpaid and neglected,” said County Legislator Dave Sager. The maximum pay in neighboring Ulster County is $14,268 more than Sullivan County.

Sager added that the budget crunch should not prevent the county from moving contract negotiations quickly and improving the CO’s working conditions. Several lawmakers from both parties signaled their support.

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