Proposal would give corrections officers access to arbitration
The House Commerce and Tourism Committee this week approved a plan to give local corrections officers the same benefits as other police officers and firefighters.
State Rep. Jack O’Malley of Lake Ann sponsored the plan, which would allow corrections officers to engage in an arbitration process during disputes at the local level. Compulsory arbitration was put in place to help resolve labor disputes involving police and firefighters, as they are not permitted to strike. State law does not currently allow corrections officers to strike or engage in arbitration.
Both O’Malley and Rep. Steve Marino, who chairs the committee, called the plan a huge victory for Michigan’s corrections officers.
“Corrections officers serve the public honorably, and they deserve the same treatment as other law enforcement officers,” O’Malley said. “Every time they put on their uniforms, these hard-working professionals strike a balance between being the voice of authority, ensuring order within our jails, and playing the role of counselor. There is no question they deserve the same benefits as our other first responders.”
Marino said he looks forward to watching House Bill 5623 make its way through the legislative process.
“Our corrections officers face tremendous challenges every day,” Marino said. “They deserve the same respect and benefits as other branches of law enforcement.”
The plan now heads to the Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.
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