Unions are necessary for many workers in New York City, but it is exceedingly important for those who do the most dangerous jobs to have union protection. Specifically, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency responders fall into that category. Also in that category are the most overlooked of people in law enforcement: New York City corrections officers. While their union can provide them with various benefits, such as retirement, sick days, off days and medical coverage, it also shields them and acts as their advocate.
A plan is underway to move teenagers who were held at Rikers Island to new detention facilities. Corrections officers will be stationed at these new locations. Corrections officers who were trained to deal with adult prisoners and the dangerous conditions at Rikers Island do not believe they are equipped to handle younger people.
There is a mandate from the city stating that the teens must be moved by October. The goal is to stop younger offenders from being housed with older criminals who might be more violent and experienced in prison culture. The unions for the corrections officers say that they should not be shifted to a different location for this reason. They assert that rules and regulations are being ignored and workers are having their jobs "stolen." They view it as an attempt to break the union.
People in dangerous jobs, such as corrections officers, rely on their unions to protect them. For unions, helping workers get their benefits and protecting them by filing legal claims requires experienced legal assistance. A law firm that specializes in contracts, negotiations, and disputes is needed to help the union. Union members and their representatives must make certain they understand this and call a qualified law firm as soon as possible.