It has been estimated that there are in excess of 21,000,000 government workers, the majority of which are employed at the state and local levels. It has also been estimated that nearly eight million of these workers belong to a labor union. While unions have the strength of numbers and because of their political contributions and voting record in the end in some cases the unions may have enough influence to counteract the push to cut their pay and benefits.
Binding arbitration- this model is used in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In this model public employees are given the right to bargain with their employers. Meet and confer- only three states use this model, which grants very few rights to public employees. As with the binding arbitration model criminal justice employees in meet and confer states have the right to organize and select their own bargaining representatives. Bargaining not required- the 22 states that while this model either do not statutorily require or do not allow collective bargaining by public employees.
Mediation occurs when a third party, called the mediator, comes in to help the adversaries with the negotiations. Fact finding primarily involves the interpretation of facts and the determination of what weight to attach to them. Arbitration is similar to fact finding but differs in that the “end product of arbitration is a final and binding decision that sets the terms of the settlement and with which the parties are legally required to comply.”
Vote of confidence- This job action is used sparingly; a vote of no confidence signals employees’ collective displeasure with the chief administrator of the agency. Work slowdowns- Employees continue to work during a slowdown, but they do so at a leisurely pace, causing productivity to fall. Work speedups- These involve accelerated activity in the level of services and can foster considerable public resentment. Work stoppages. These constitute the most severe job action. The ultimate work stoppage is the strike, or withholding of all employees’ services.
Correctional officers (COs) were probably the last group of public workers to organize. As with the police, negotiations usually involve pay and benefits for correctional employees, including seniority rights, how staff members are selected for overtime, the type of clothing provided to staff by the agency, educational programs, and so on.
When a collective bargaining unit exists in a court system, the process has all the basic elements found in other systems: ◦ (1) recognition (the employing court recognizes that henceforth employees will be represented by their chosen agent); ◦ (2) negotiation (there are established methods for arriving at collective bargaining agreements, breaking deadlocks, ratifying contracts, and so on); and ◦ (3) contract administration (the day-to-day management of a court is accomplished within the framework of the labor contract).
Assuming traditional labor-management roles Rushing to judgment Ignoring or not recognizing the pressures on management or union leaders during a crisis for controversy Defending the indefensible Forgetting that elected officials do not like to make waves Making an end run
Negligence can arise when a criminal justice employee’s conduct creates a danger to others. Intentional torts occur when an employee engages in a voluntary act that is quite likely to result in injury to another; examples are assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and abuse of process. Constitutional torts involve employees’ duty to recognize and uphold the constitutional rights, privileges, and immunities of others
This legislation was intended to provide civil rights protection to all persons protected under the act, when a defendant acted under the color of law and provided an avenue to the federal courts for relief of alleged civil rights violations. This section also allows for the finding of personal liability on the part of police supervisory personnel for inadequate training or if it is proven that they knew, or should have known, of the misconduct of their officers yet failed to take corrective action and prevent future harm.
Another trend is for such litigants to cast a wide net in their lawsuits, suing not only the principal actors in the incident but also agency administrators and supervisors as well; this breadth of suing represents the notion of vicarious liability or the doctrine of respondeat superior, an old legal maxim meaning “let the master answer.” In sum, an employer can be found liable in certain instances for wrongful acts of the employee.
Basically, with regard to operation of their vehicles, officers are afforded no special privileges or immunities. While driving in nonemergency situations, officers do not have immunity for their negligence or recklessness and are held to the same standard of conduct as private citizens. When responding to emergency situations, however, officers are governed by statutes covering emergency vehicles.
The liability of corrections workers often centers on their lack of due care for persons in their custody. When an inmate commits suicide while in custody, police agencies are frequently—and often successfully—sued in state court under negligence and wrongful death claims. State courts generally recognize that police officials have a duty of care for persons in their custody. Thus, jail administrators are ultimately responsible for taking reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of persons in their custody
One of the most important responsibilities of criminal justice agencies is implementing sound disciplinary policies and practices and responding to employee misconduct or performance problems at an early stage. Employee misconduct and violations of departmental policy are the two principal areas in which discipline is involved. Employee misconduct includes those acts that harm the public, including corruption, harassment, brutality, and civil rights violations.
Be afforded a public hearing. Be present during the presentation of evidence against them and have the opportunity to cross examine their superiors. Have an opportunity to present their own witnesses and other evidence concerning their side of the controversy.
Be permitted to be represented by counsel. Have an impartial referee or hearing officer presiding. Have a decision made based on the weight of the evidence introduced during the hearing.
Counseling Documented oral counseling Letter of reprimand Suspension Demotion Transfer Termination
A complaint is an allegation is misconduct or illegal behavior against an employee by anyone inside or outside the organization. Complaints may come in through primary, secondary, or even anonymous sources. Every complaint, regardless of the source, must be accepted and investigated. Complaints may be handled both formally or informally, depending on the seriousness of the allegation.
The majority of complaints fall under the categories of verbal abuse, discourtesy, harassment, improper attitude, and ethnic slurs. All but a small minority of departments have a process for investigating police misconduct. Normally the employee’s supervisor will conduct a preliminary inquiry of the complaint.
Unfounded Exonerated Not sustained Misconduct not based on the complaint. Closed Sustained
Grievances- police officers may complain and grieve contractual or other matters about which they are upset or concerned. Appeals of disciplinary actions- these are frequently outlined in civil service rules and regulations, labor agreements, and departmental policies and procedures. An early warning system (EWS) is designed to identify officers whose behavior is problematic (involving citizen complaints or improper use of force) and provide a form of intervention.