I’ll cut to the chase. We are nowhere close to an agreement. Throughout negotiations, we made it very clear to the state that there is zero debate about the ongoing staffing crisis. There is zero debate that the state of Michigan needs to pull its head out of…… the sand and start taking immediate steps to fix the problem. We presented information and examples of how other states and counties have acknowledged the importance of addressing their corrections officer staffing problems and have approved significant pay increases to attract and retain officers. We presented examples of other jobs here in Michigan that have the same starting pay as we do without the dangers of working in a prison. We presented our staffing crisis spotlight reports and how the current working conditions are driving more officers away from the job. We acknowledged that our proposed wage increases and pay scale adjustments are expensive, but pale in comparison to the amount of money the state has been and will continue to spend on overtime.
The state’s bargaining team rejected our proposals and countered with a base pay increase of 4%. The MCO bargaining team has zero interest in the state’s proposal and it is unlikely that we will return to the bargaining table unless the state contacts us with a proposal worth discussing. As a reminder, if we are unable to reach a mutual agreement, we are required to file for impasse with the Civil Service Employment Relations Board, whose members serve as the impasse panel. The impasse panel has the authority to review the breakdown in negotiations and allow both parties to present their arguments. The panel then has the authority to make recommendations to the Civil Service Commission to resolve the impasse. Negotiations can continue up until Oct. 31, 2023, which is the designated date for the impasse hearing.
If negotiations resume prior to the impasse proceedings, further updates will follow. Otherwise, our focus will be on impasse preparations and further updates on our position.
On behalf of the MCO Executive Board