The Florida PBA has been fighting to preserve the 12-hour work day and consistently opposed efforts by the FDC to force officers to work 8-hour shifts. Approximately 85 percent of Correctional Officers are in favor of staying on 12-hour shifts. Of course, there are administrative and swing shift positions at institutions for officers who prefer the 8-hour shift.
Our position is this – over 20 institutions are grossly understaffed well above 10% and the 8-hour shift has created a much bigger problem.
The FDC failed to negotiate the change to 8-hour shifts with the PBA before changing the mental health units and two institutions to the 8-hour shift. The PBA repeatedly told the Department that a change in hours of work must be negotiated.
The PBA filed legal action to reverse the shift changes and, today, the hearing officer has issued the following ruling in favor of the PBA:
This grievance is granted. The Employer is hereby ordered to cease and desist any unilateral implementation of converting and scheduling 12-hour employees to 8-hour employees and return any such employees to the status quo. The Employer is furthered ordered to bargain with the Employee Representative, in accordance with Article 23, Section 1(A) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and this Arbitrator’s decision, prior to making such a change. This Arbitrator will retain jurisdiction, over the remedy portion of this award, for a period of 90 days, should a disagreement, between the parties, arise. It is hereby so ordered, this 23rd Day of April, 2019.
The decision just came in so we do not know the Department’s response to the ruling. This is a big victory for employees and their right to collectively bargain mandatory work subjects.
Stay safe and we will update you when we have more information.
Yours in Corrections,