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For Immediate Release

Monday, May 02, 2011

“We Are Proud of the Work that Our Corrections Employees Do”

Statement of AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee on National Correctional Employees Week

Washington, DC — 

“The first week of May is National Correctional Employees Week. Every year since 1984, we take time during this week to recognize the extraordinary service provided by corrections officers and corrections personnel across the United States. More than 85,000 corrections officers and workers are AFSCME members. We are proud of the difficult work they do in both maximum- and minimum-security facilities, state prisons and county jails. These men and women are doing an important job, often under dangerous conditions, in our criminal justice system. They safeguard the public from those who would do us harm.

“Too often, those in government ignore the voice and experience of these workers, but our members refuse to be silent. We see that in states such as Wisconsin, where corrections officers like Chet Millard, a decorated hero of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stood with other public employees to support the fundamental American right of collective bargaining. We see that in states such as Ohio and Florida, where our members are battling governors who ignore real solutions and instead focus on failed privatization schemes to reward campaign contributors. We will not let the corporate CEOs behind these efforts succeed in destroying institutions that provide good jobs and help keep our communities secure.

“AFSCME is committed to fighting for safe facilities, proper equipment and procedures, better pay and benefits and high standards of professionalism. We are proud of the work that our corrections employees do, day in and day out throughout our country. We salute their brave and dedicated service. We will continue to fight for them and the valuable work they do for all of us.”

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