Team­sters ap­plaud pay raise, af­firm com­mit­ment to cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

To the Ed­i­tor: Just re­cently, Ch­ester County an­nounced a pay in­crease for the Ch­ester County Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers of 14-17 per­cent. The Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers are cur­rently in the midst of a union or­ga­niz­ing cam­paign with Team­sters Lo­cal 384.

To­day, Team­sters Lo­cal 384 is­sued a state­ment sup­port­ing the re­cent pay in­creases at Ch­ester County Prison, and reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to seek­ing a bet­ter qual­ity of life and im­proved safety and work­ing con­di­tions for the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers as they con­tinue their or­ga­niz­ing cam­paign. In a state­ment, Team­sters 384 Or­ga­nizer Chris O’Don­nell said:

The Ch­ester County Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers have been un­der­paid for years. In the wealth­i­est county in the Com­mon­wealth, and one of the wealth­i­est coun­ties in the coun­try, it was shame­ful that the hard work­ing cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers were among the low­est paid in the re­gion and didn’t even make a liv­ing wage for Ch­ester County.

A pay raise in the mid­dle of a union or­ga­niz­ing drive could be con­strued as an at­tempt to de­rail the or­ga­niz­ing ef­fort, and is typ­i­cally grounds for a com­plaint to the La­bor Re­la­tions Board. In this case, Team­sters Lo­cal 384 has ab­so­lutely no in­ten­tion of fil­ing such a com­plaint. In fact, we ap­plaud Ch­ester County for giv­ing the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers a raise that is long over­due, and we want to go on record sup­port­ing th­ese well-de­served pay raises.

Th­ese pay raises have no ef­fect on the ef­fort to or­ga­nize the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers. The pay raises are an im­por­tant first step in giv­ing the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers the fair treat­ment they de­serve, but lock­ing in this pay in­crease and mak­ing sure that fair pay prac­tices con­tinue into the fu­ture will only be ac­com­plished through col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing.

Also, this is about more than money. Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers do a hard and dan­ger­ous job to keep our com­mu­nity safe. While the of­fi­cers are re­ceiv­ing a pay raise, there are still sig­nif­i­cant safety and qual­ity of life is­sues that need to be ad­dressed.

Ad­e­quate staffing lev­els to make sure that the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers are work­ing in the safest en­vi­ron­ment pos­si­ble is equally im­por­tant, as is time off to be with their fam­i­lies. Un­der the cur­rent sys­tem, it is not un­usual for Ch­ester County Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers to have only two week­ends off over the course of an en­tire sum­mer.

Pay in­creases don’t mean much if an of­fi­cer is bru­tally at­tacked at work, or if they have no time to spend with their fam­i­lies. Safe work­ing con­di­tions and time with our chil­dren and fam­i­lies are all things that most of us take for granted. We con­sider th­ese things as fun­da­men­tal to our work­ing lives, but that is just not the case for the Ch­ester County Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers. Team­ster Lo­cal 384 is ded­i­cated to stand­ing up for the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers to get them not just the fair pay they de­serve, but also the safe work­ing con­di­tions and qual­ity of life that they should be able to count on.

Col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing will sim­ply give the Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers and voice and a seat at the ta­ble. There is no need for this or­ga­niz­ing drive to be con­tentious or con­tro­ver­sial. Fair pay and ben­e­fits, work­place safety and a rea­son­able qual­ity of life are fun­da­men­tal to the val­ues we all share in Ch­ester County. Team­sters Lo­cal 384 is ded­i­cated to fight­ing for those val­ues for the peo­ple we rep­re­sent. We look for­ward to tak­ing a stand for the Ch­ester County Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers, and we en­cour­age the com­mu­nity and County Com­mis­sion­ers, who are sup­posed to rep­re­sent those val­ues, to join us. In neigh­bor­ing coun­ties, the Team­sters rep­re­sent Cor­rec­tional Of­fi­cers fairly, in a way that works for ev­ery­one from tax­pay­ers and county lead­er­ship to prison man­age­ment and the cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers and their fam­i­lies. We are con­fi­dent that we can do the same in Ch­ester County. Chris O’Don­nell Team­sters Lo­cal Union No. 384

Al­low pipe­line projects to get built

To the Ed­i­tor: In a few short weeks the Elec­tion Cy­cle for 2016 will be end­ing and many in South­east Penn­syl­va­nia will be­gin to cast a longer view. For many in the re­gion, the econ­omy re­mains top of mind. Luck­ily, there’s some good news for the econ­omy of South­east Penn­syl­va­nia on the hori­zon, namely, the in­vest­ments at the Mar­cus Hook In­dus­trial Com­plex.

The new in­vest­ments come al­most en­tirely from Sunoco Lo­gis­tics and their Mariner East 2 Pipe­line project which prom­ises to re­vi­tal­ize the MHIC by mov­ing up to 270,000 bar­rels of eth­ane, propane and bu­tane on a daily ba­sis to be stored, pro­cessed and even­tu­ally dis­trib­uted. Con­tracts have been signed, work­ers trained, and land ac­quired for the project. We stand ready to get to work, but we need Penn­syl­va­nia’s lead­ers to ap­prove the pipe­line in quick order.

Reestab­lish­ing Penn­syl­va­nia as the north­east­ern hub for nat­u­ral gas dis­tri­bu­tion will re­vi­tal­ize our state and lo­cal economies and ben­e­fit hun­dreds of thou­sands of cit­i­zens along the way. The Mariner East 2 Pipe­line will al­low that to hap­pen by bring­ing an abun­dance of vi­tal nat­u­ral gas sup­plies to the fa­cil­ity on a daily ba­sis. It is a once-in-a-life­time en­deavor for the state of Penn­syl­va­nia and the thou­sands of work­ers and busi­nesses that stand to ben­e­fit from its con­struc­tion. In light of this, we need to stand in sup­port of its de­vel­op­ment and en­cour­age Penn­syl­va­nia’s lead­ers to quickly and thor­oughly vet and ap­prove per­mits to al­low pipe­line projects to get built. Bill Adams IBEW Lo­cal 654 Booth­wyn

Not happy with head­line

I was sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed to see the of­fen­sive ban­ner head­line in yes­ter­day’s pa­per. Nei­ther Dr. Bi­den nor At­tor­ney Judge Holton are “girls.” Nor were the other women at the event. Nor are all of the fe­male peo­ple who will vote in the elec­tion. “Girls” may be pow­er­ful, but they can­not vote. Eleanor Il­loway

What is re­ally scary

To the Ed­i­tor: Hal­loween, of course, is not re­ally scary. It’s a lot of fun for many of us.

What is truly scary is the pres­ence of a cou­ple groups of adults that are act­ing in ways that should frighten all in­tel­li­gent cit­i­zens.

First – and a clear and present dan­ger to all re­spon­si­ble Amer­i­cans – are those who would put into of­fice the most in­ap­pro­pri­ate, in­ex­pe­ri­enced, in­com­pe­tent can­di­date ever in this na­tion’s his­tory. We should be fright­ened by the num­bers of po­ten­tial vot­ers who have come so close to en­abling the pow­ers of the Amer­i­can Chief Ex­ec­u­tive to be handed to this dem­a­gogue.

Sec­ond are those lead­ers and con­stituents, many of the same po­lit­i­cal per­sua­sion as above, who are en­dan­ger­ing not just all US cit­i­zens but the world’s pop­u­lace. That dan­ger is not just to our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren, but to in­creas­ing num­bers (al­ready in the mil­lions) who are im­pacted right now by man-caused global cli­mate change.

Read about the vul­ner­a­ble na­tions – many are is­land na­tions – like the V20 (look it up), who are plead­ing for help from the de­vel­oped, in­dus­trial, and much

wealth­ier na­tions who are re­spon­si­ble for this present global prob­lem. Con­sider how our ac­tions have been and con­tinue to be the cause of sea level rise and ex­treme weather, lead­ing to the dis­place­ment of large groups of peo­ple and an­i­mals.

Ask Amer­i­can fish­er­men in New Eng­land about the warm­ing changes to their fish­eries that are im­pact­ing their liveli­hoods. Talk to the Mi­crone­sian teenage girls go­ing to high school in Kansas who can no longer at­tend school where they would pre­fer, where their par­ents and grand­par­ents did, in the western Pa­cific due to sea level rise. If you look, you’ll find end­less sto­ries of per­sonal im­pact

right now.

The US has ex­er­cised lead­er­ship for well more than the 50 years in an un­for­tu­nate area: that is, per capita con­tri­bu­tion of car­bon diox­ide into the at­mos­phere. 30 years af­ter warm­ing was so widely rec­og­nized that global re­search was in­ten­si­fied – un­der bi-par­ti­san lead­er­ship in the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion! – each US cit­i­zen con­tin­ues to con­trib­ute more than twice as much to this man-caused prob­lem than any other na­tion’s cit­i­zens.

We should fear the im­pact of this, not only for Amer­i­cans but the world.

Please con­sider this and vote re­spon­si­bly. John Conrad West Ch­ester

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