Teamsters applaud pay raise, affirm commitment to correctional officers
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
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