NFFE Correctional Employees Ratify Contract and Win Big
Employees represented by the National Federation of Federal Employees at the Brooks County, Coastal Bend, and East Hidalgo detention centers have ratified their collective bargaining agreement with an affirmative vote of 88.8%. On top of a 17.5% wage increase over the life of the contract, employees covered under the contract have won a new paid time off (PTO) system as well as a commitment from GEO Group to seek out vendors for better quality uniforms.
Before joining NFFE, employees at the three facilities had an undifferentiated pool of PTO. The new contract breaks PTO into different categories and provides an increase in the total amount of PTO across the board. For example, under the previous contract employees with between 2 and 4 years of service were entitled to a total of 144 hours of PTO. Now, employees with between 1 and 5 years of service will receive between 216 and 284 hours of PTO (depending on what kind of shift they work), broken down into vacation, sick time, and holidays. For some groups of employees, this provision provides as much as a 200% increase in overall paid time off. On top of that, employees who work on paid holidays will earn double-time pay.
“We on the bargaining committee had a mission to improve our working conditions and we achieved it,” said Crystal Cruz, Mailroom Clerk Supervisor at the Coastal Bend facility and President of Local Lodge CE-3 (Correctional Employees). She represented the Coastal Bend facility on the bargaining committee along with Sandie Kennel and Maria Garcia. “From here, I plan on strengthening our committees and continuing to improve our work lives.”
The Brooks County facility was represented by Maria Moreno and Hector Garcia while Angela Rios and Billy Stephenson represented East Hidalgo. The bargaining committee was aided by NFFE attorneys Jefferson Friday and Renee Mantone Catalano as well as Business Representative Roosevelt Littlejohn Jr. Congratulations to all on a successful contract campaign!