(TAMPA, Fla.) – Teamsters Local 2011, which represents 17,000 Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officers, is in the process of filing an unfair labor practice charge against the FDOC to preserve the rights of newly-promoted correctional and probation officers.
In Sept. 2015, the union began negotiating a successor contract to the existing July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 agreement with the state of Florida. By statute, the parties were later considered to be “at impasse” and in March 2016 the Florida Legislature got to choose which proposals would go into the contract – the state’s or the union’s. The legislature selected the state’s proposal which unfairly allows the FDOC to fire an officer without reason, for up to one year after he or she has been promoted without any ability to challenge the termination through the grievance and arbitration process. As this developed, Les Cantrell, statewide coordinator for Local 2011 discussed, with the union’s negotiation team, the idea of standing up against this injustice and of filing an unfair labor practice charge.
“The language that the state of Florida has forced into the contract penalizes correctional and probation officers by taking away their union protection should they be unable to perform new duties after a job promotion, and allows the FDOC to fire an officer without reason and without the ability to challenge the termination through the grievance and arbitration process,” said Ken Wood, Teamsters International Vice President.
“This discourages officers from applying for a promotion – thinking that if they are promoted, they are at risk of losing their entire careers for up to one year without any reason,” Wood said. “Our men and women, who work hard every day, deserve to maintain their union representation and protections. Therefore, it is essential for the Teamsters Local 2011 to consider filing an unfair labor practice with the Florida Public Employees Commission to protect officers and their rights under Chapter 447 of the Florida statutes.”
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including more than 260,000 public service employees. For more information, go to www.teamster.org. “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @Teamsters.