March 22, 2011

Binding arbitration over safety issues good for Community Corrections - and good for law enforcement

The Federation-backed bill to bring binding interest arbitration over safety issues for Community Corrections members will help CCOs “resolve issues that involve personal safety.”

That’s what King County State Corrections Local 308 President Ginger Richardson told the Senate Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee Monday (March 21).

It was the first hearing in the Senate for EHB 2011, which passed the House 59-36.

“The state of Washington needs to recognize corrections and supervision is a dangerous occupation,” Richardson said.

Attempts to address some safety issues through agency-specific, or supplemental bargaining, hit a brick wall in 2010, Richardson said, so Community Corrections officers had no where else to turn except the Legislature and EHB 2011.

“”Our issues are often not addressed,” she said.

Supporters have worked to keep costs low on the binding arbitration bill, but, said Richardson:

“I don’t think you can put a price on my safety and my co-workers’ safety to be able to go home at night.”

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