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Sanilac County Corrections, Clerical touts POLC for ‘phenomenal’ raises

Posted by: jgomori Posted date: July 29, 2020

By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor

Sanilac County Corrections Officers and Clerical Staff were not feeling the love from their former union, Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM), when they decided to switch to the POLC for representation.

The 27-member unit was forced to separate from their shared unit with Sanilac County Road Patrol Deputies. “The POAM wanted them split out because Corrections are not 312 eligible,” said POLC Labor Rep. Frank Klik. “By splitting them out they’re no longer going to 312 for arbitration.”

“We were forced to split. We didn’t feel like we were properly represented by the same union, so we decided to go with POLC,” said Local Union Vice President Jessica Ratcliff.

Klik said Corrections and Clerical were riding on the shirttails of Sanilac Deputies. “Corrections and Clerical people wanted POLC because they said POAM never spoke to them in regard to what their concerns were,” Klik said. “No one ever really talked to them about their problems or what they were looking to do. They appear to be very happy with us because we take into consideration what their group wants.”

“We had been with POAM for years and not satisfied with them,” said Ratcliff, a Records Clerk. “Since we’ve been with POLC, we have been more informed and better represented than we ever were with POAM. POLC appears to be more attentive.”

The POLC reached an agreement with the Employer in January, less than a month after their contract expired Dec. 31, 2019. In their first contract with POLC, Sanilac Corrections Officers and Clerical Staff received several advancements.

“They did a complete readjustment of the wages,” Klik said. “They eliminated the starting wage and added another wage step at the end.”

The new starting wage of the pay scale is the old pay scale 6-month step plus a 12-cent per hour increase. Additionally, a seventh step was added to the pay scale. Employees also received a 1.5 percent wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2020. The combined changes add up to 3 to 5.7 percent wage increases in the first year of the contract, Radcliff said. Additionally, effective Jan. 1, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022, Employees receive 1.75 percent wage increases.

“They did mirror other units in the Sheriff’s Department,” Klik said. “It helps the Employer to keep contracts very similar to each other instead of trying to keep track of each one. They picked up a Longevity payment after 15 years of service. It goes up every five years thereafter. They never had longevity.”

Longevity payments start at $500 annually for 15 years of service and reach $2,000 annually for 30 years of service or more.

Night shift premiums increased from 45 to 50 cents per hour. One-half of anything over 640 hours of Sick Time can be cashed out annually. Clerical staff were added to the $10,000 life insurance double indemnity clause. Tuition reimbursement of $100 per year was added for Employees with 60 credits or more of college and law enforcement courses or four years of active military service. A $50 annual tuition reimbursement will be given to those with 30 college credits or two years of active military service.

A unique new benefit is bed rental. Employees will receive an extra 5 cents for every federal inmate bed filled during each of their worked shifts. Bed Rental payments will be made annually in December. “That’s something I’ve never seen before – bed rental,” Klik said. “That number is constantly changing. They usually hover around 80 to 90 beds filled every day.”

“Everything in this particular contract was great,” Ratcliff said. “Everything we asked for we got. We got phenomenal raises. We got all the contract language cleared up. There was nothing negative about our contract this year.”

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