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April 12, 2004

CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
(617) 989-6650
cell: (617) 828-5134

SUFFOLK COUNTY CORRECTION OFFICERS OK NEW CONTRACT - Local 419 overwhelmingly ratifies pact; no wage increase

Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral today announced that AFSCME Local 419, representing nearly 500 officers at the Suffolk County House of Correction, overwhelmingly ratified a two-year contract with no wage increase.

"This contract is the result of open, respectful communication and mutual creativity between labor and management," said Sheriff Cabral. "I commend Local 419’s leadership and am particularly pleased that we have built a strong foundation for future relations. Because both sides negotiated in good faith, we were able to craft clear contract language that addresses both operational needs and important quality of life issues for officers," she said.

AFSCME, Council 93, Local 419, is the largest of the five bargaining units in the Department. Its membership ratified the contract by a nearly two-to-one margin.

"Our membership recognized the economic climate in this state and in this Department and elected to address quality of life issues in securing a new contract," said Chris McCray, president of Local 419. "Sheriff Cabral clearly displayed a willingness to meet us halfway," he said.

The contract calls for:

  • A review of the current promotional test and establishes new dates for exams;
  • Job assignments based on merit and seniority designed to acknowledge the efforts of productive employees and remove politics from operational decision making;
  • Incentives to reduce sick leave;
  • Allows officers to exchange regularly scheduled shifts with other officers to accommodate personal needs;
  • Establish a Credit Day Bank to be used by any member of the union in instances of long-term disability;
  • Extension of the probationary period of new employees from one year to 18 months;
  • Strengthening drug testing to better insure a drug-free workplace;
  • Define guidelines for investigatory procedures;
  • Shift scheduling flexibility.

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