A Strong Start

Officers with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC), as well as security specialists with the Department for Children and Families and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, have ratified their first Teamster contract with 84 percent of the vote.

The contract victory capped a busy year for the 20,000 correctional, probation and parole officers, and security specialists. Officers voted to join Teamsters Local 2011 in November 2011 in a decisive win over the officers’ previous association.

Soon after, they made history by helping defeat a privatization bill in the Florida Legislature that would have closed 27 facilities and cost about 5,000 officer jobs.

The officers’ first contract will be in effect through June 30, 2013.

“This contract provides notable improvements for members and will strengthen the union’s ability to effectively represent them,” said Ken Wood, Acting President of Local 2011. “This is an important starting point that we will build on in future years.”

Officers’ Support

Officers who served on the Local 2011 Bargaining Committee praised the one-year agreement as a solid first contract that can be improved upon in coming years during negotiations with the state.

“A number of changes for the good were made, and with member support we can continue to bargain for a stronger contract,” said Bill Bishop, a correctional officer at the Walton Correctional Institution. “Local 2011 can prevail when we work together.”

“This is a contract employees can truly call their own since for the first time our voices were heard,” said Kimberly Schultz, a probation and parole officer. “We sat down face-to-face with the state and negotiated for a better contract. Local 2011 fought hard to protect and maintain the rights and benefits of its union members and to forge the best possible contract.”

“The contract negotiations for this year were very contentious and much of what the state proposed would have been devastating to us,” said Brett Pruett, a correctional officer at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution. “We fought hard to improve the contract language and we were successful stopping the state in the wholesale theft of our special comp as well as protecting our rights against unfair and unlawful discipline.”

“By ratifying this contract we have secured the progress that has been made and gain the opportunity to negotiate a new agreement next year,” said Penny Reeder, a correctional officer who works at the Florida State Prison.

“We really made great strides that can be built on in years to come,” said Lloyd Lykins, a community corrections officer.

Keeping Florida Safe

The officers and institutional security specialists work hard to keep Floridians safe. The FDOC is the third largest state prison system in the nation, with more than 100,000 inmates behind bars and another 115,000 offenders on active supervision.

Teamster members work at 146 facilities statewide. This includes 68 prisons, 40 work/forestry camps, one treatment center, 33 work-release centers, five road prisons and one boot camp.

“Many eyes are on the Teamsters in the Sunshine State,” said Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division. “The power of Local 2011 has become significant as we increase our membership base, mobilize more members, and expand our army of stewards from coast to coast.”