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Macomb County Corrections pleased with first POLC contract

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: September 18, 2017

— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor 

Macomb County Corrections, a 161-member unit, chose POLC representation in the summer of 2016 and POLC Labor Rep. Hal Telling is already busy showing them just how hard the Union works for its members.

The POLC negotiated a three-year contract with a two percent raise and $2,100 bonus this year; a two-percent raise and $1,000 bonus in 2018; and a one percent raise and wage reopener in 2019 based on a class and compensation study performed by an outside company.

“They are going to determine what comparable county deputies make,” Telling said. “If they’re below the average wage, we’re going to try to get them up where everybody else is at.”

Macomb County Corrections had not previously been represented by a union. Their contract with the County expired Dec. 31, 2016 and in March 2017 the POLC settled a new one. “As a negotiations board and executive board we’re very satisfied with the service they provided so far,” said local union Recording Secretary Chris Conaway.

“They were independent. Now we do everything for them,” Telling said. “In the past they just employed an attorney to do the things we do for them. We have attorneys that do the things they need to do and a labor rep with a higher degree of experience than just one of their local guys.”

“We just weren’t happy with the results,” Conaway said. “We wanted more structure, more resources. POLC has a lot more to offer. We were just looking for change.”

Before working with the POLC, Telling said, Macomb County Corrections used to have to file grievances without any assistance. “They had to deal with all of that themselves,” Telling said. “Now when it’s a step three or four, I’m there to assist them with that. The lawyer wouldn’t get involved until arbitration or mediation.”

Their new contract removes four pay level steps, allowing deputies to receive faster pay increases. “Sixty deputies will receive a substantial wage increase because they removed some of the steps,” Telling said.

The sick leave payout upon retirement increased from 50 percent to 70 percent. They received three to five extra Personal Leave Days depending on seniority and an increase in uniform allowance from $645 to $1,200 annually for the first year and $750 annually in subsequent years.

Macomb County Corrections Deputies received an additional three preferred job assignments, having the ability to bid on weekday, daytime shifts. “Deputies with preferred job assignments will know their job everyday when they go into work,” Telling said.

“In previous years we hadn’t really gained a lot,” Conaway said. “This is a great contract. It’s one of the better ones we’ve had in the past 10 plus years. We actually have gains. We didn’t lose anything. We’re used to always bargaining (in order to) gain something we have to lose something.”

“It builds up morale in the department,” Conaway said of the POLC bargained contract. “It brings up people’s spirits and gives them hope. It’s hard to come into work at a place where today you lost something you had yesterday.”

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