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  #1  
Old 07-04-2005, 09:25 PM
BG799 BG799 is offline
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Exclamation Prison Guards at Menard going on Strike?

My mom just heard on the news that the Prison Guards at Menard is going on strike. Has anyone heard anything about this. I want to call, but I'm afraid I might not get an answer.

I'm suppose to visit my husband this weekend, and I would hate to take the long drive and find out that I can't.
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Old 07-04-2005, 09:47 PM
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June 30, 2005

IDOC Healthcare workers could strike come Tuesday

If a new contract agreement hasn’t been reached by Tuesday, healthcare workers who provide medical, mental health and dental care to inmates at prisons around the state could be walking the picket lines.

Those workers recently voted in favor of a strike if negotiations between their union, AFSCME Council 31 and their employer, Wexford Health Services, fail to produce an agreement.

The current contract will expire tonight at midnight. Recently, on a vote of 356-5, some 350 healthcare workers at 23 Department of Correctional facilities voted in favor to authorize a strike if an agreement is not reached. Workers could be on strike as early as Tuesday morning.

A federal mediator is participating in additional bargaining sessions at the request of AFSCME. Another session was scheduled for today.

I found this newspaper article
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:06 PM
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I just asked my mom if the news she was watching mentioned anything about health care workers and she said they mentioned the prison guards. This would be something indeed. Can you imagine what it would be like down there? If anyone hears anything else I would certainly like to know. Thanks TONYGIRL.
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:47 AM
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It's just the medical staff that are planning on strike action. They are putting out picket lines and have asked other prison employees to support them, but I doubt that will happen. These are contract workers and are not actually employed by the State. As I understand it, the guards have a 'no strike' clause in their contracts so, if they didn't go to work, they'd lose their jobs.

I've spoken to a friend who lives in Chester and visits Menard weekly and she says there's no talk about guards joining the protest, they may agree with the reasons for the strike but there's no way they're going to put their own jobs on the line and support the nurses.

The following article explains it all:



Prison workers prepared to start picketing

By Ralph Loos
The Southern
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -Some Illinois prison workers apparently are spending their Fourth of July holiday building signs and locating portable restrooms.

With a strike deadline set for 7 a.m. Tuesday, the union representing more than 350 employees of Wexford Health Sources at Illinois Department of Corrections facilities confirmed that planned picket lines indeed will be in place tomorrow morning, barring any last-minute agreement.

Such an agreement seems unlikely.

"No bargaining sessions are scheduled," Buddy Maupin, chief negotiator for Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said Sunday night. "Since talks broke down Friday, we've not even talked about meeting.

"Our members have been spending the weekend making strike signs and getting port-a-potties ready to move to the strike sites."

Members of AFSCME Council 31 provide medical, dental and mental health care to inmates in 23 prisons, including Tamms, Menard and Pinckneyville facilities. Because they are employed by Wexford, a private company contracted by the state, the workers can legally strike.

Under collective bargaining agreements, other union prison workers cannot stage a strike.

AFSCME and Pittsburgh-

based Wexford met until after midnight on Thursday, the day the contract between the union and the company expired.

"We were prepared to go around the clock, throughout the weekend," said AFSCME Council 31 spokesman Anders Lindall. "They walked away from the table."

An Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman said the agency has a plan to deal with the walkout, and that the health care of inmates will not be compromised.

"We're not discussing those plans publicly, but they are in place," Dede Short said. "We continue to hope and expect that they reach an agreement."

Maupin said at that meeting the company provided its first written proposal since talks began last year.

But the proposal "wasn't well-received by our committee," Maupin said.

Wexford and AFSCME were set to talk again in Springfield on Friday, but a bargaining session did not take place and Wexford representatives returned to Pittsburgh for the long holiday weekend.

Calls to the company on Sunday were not returned.

On Saturday, AFSCME asked Gov. Rod Blagojevich to step in and prevent the Department of Corrections from hiring temporary workers. AFSCME claimed that IDOC and Maxim Staffing Solutions, an agency for temporary employment, are in talks about putting replacement workers in prison jobs if there is a strike. In a written statement, the union said a Web site belonging to Maxim is advertising for "Correctional Facility RN and LPN's in Illinois."

AFSCME claimed that Maxim's solicitations "violate state law concerning advertisements for replacement workers." The statement claims that Maxim's online solicitations violate the Illinois Advertisement for Strike Workers Act.

"This company's illegal activity should be stopped in its tracks," Maupin, AFSCME's chief negotiator on the Wexford contract, said.

A search for the reported nursing openings on Maxim's Web site Sunday resulted in no advertisement for "Correctional Facility RN and LPN's in Illinois."

When Wexford employees staged a 13-day strike at the Big Muddy Correctional Center in Ina in 1998, the company hired outside workers to cover health-care cases at the prison.

Maupin said AFSCME members are seeking equitable wages and retirement benefits, affordable health care coverage and improved working conditions.

"What they offered us Thursday was a cut in wages, some wage freezes for five years, and no talk about improvements in retirement benefits," Maupin said.

ralph.loos@thesouthern.com

618-351-5080





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Last edited by Rostonhall; 07-05-2005 at 01:58 AM..
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:13 AM
babygirl350 babygirl350 is offline
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They have had it on the news here in Kentucky. I believe they listed four prisons in Illinois that would be affected. I know two were Menard and Tamms. I didn't catch the other two. I really don't look for it to happen though. Hopefully not anyway. Good luck to all of you who have loved ones there.
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:34 AM
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It's all over before it began!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Prison strike averted

Pantagraph staff

Advertisement

A Tuesday strike was avoided late Monday night when the Illinois Department of Corrections canceled its contract with a private medical vendor, according to the local union.
IDOC canceled the contract with Wexford Health Sources of Pittsburgh, a private vendor that provides health care to inmates at 23 state prisons, according to a press release from AFSCME Council 31.

Wexford will be replaced temporarily by Health Professionals Limited, which provides health care in nine state correctional facilities, said the union which represents more than 360 prison health-care workers.

Wexford representatives walked out on talks about 1 a.m. Friday when the company and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees failed to agree on wages, health insurance and retirement benefits after two days of talks with a federal mediator.

The union was prepared to go on strike at 7 a.m. Prisons in Dwight, Pontiac and Lincoln would have been affected.

HPL and the union will enter contract negotiations Tuesday in Springfield, the union said.

"We recently settled a contract with HPL covering some 100 AFSCME members at other facilities," said Buddy Maupin, the union's chief negotiator in the Wexford talks. "We wanted to settle with Wexford, too, but they walked away from the table. Now that they're gone, we're hopeful that HPL will be a more responsible partner."

Because they work for a private company workers are allowed to strike. Other unionized prison workers cannot strike under the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.

Wexford was involved in a 1998 strike at the Big Muddy Correctional Center in Ina in 1998. The walkout lasted 13 days and the company brought in outside workers to keep prison health-care operations on track.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copyright © 2005, Pantagraph Publishing Co. All rights reserved.


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Old 07-05-2005, 05:15 PM
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Thaks to all those who replied. I really appreciate all your help.

Sometimes it seems like when you're planning a visit that's going to take you 5-6 hours to get there and 5-6 hours to get back you want to make sure everything is going to be somewhat ok.
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