Thursday in Baltimore, AFSCME public safety members met with state administrators
to discuss the staffing crisis in DPSCS. Their message was simple:
- Increase officer and agent pay. This will help draw in new,
high-quality recruits and retain experienced COs.
- Redouble its efforts to recruit and retain new officers/agents and retain current officers/agents.
- Conduct the legislatively required comprehensive staffing
analysis in conjunction with AFSCME members.
- Commit to staffing at proper levels to ensure workers’ safety on the job.
Members have been sounding the alarm about the conditions they face on the job. Instead of solutions, administrators for the state offered the same tired excuses and even blamed the crisis on officers’ use
of overtime and leave.
Patrick Moran, council president pushed back, called unscheduled leave an “infinitesimal aspect of the overtime problem” in an interview with Herald Media. The real problem is the shortage of correctional officers, he said.
It’s time for Governor Hogan and state administrators to take a stand for officer and agent safety before
it’s too late.