Correcting the Corrections Contract

Republican legislative leaders said Monday that a vote on an arbitrated contract for the state's correctional officers should be put off until June 3.   They said that by approving the eight percent increase over three years, 10 other contracts coming down the pipeline will also probably mean increases, to the tune of billions of dollars. 

They said with an $8 to $10 billion budget deficit staring lawmakers in the face, the correctional officers vote should be delayed.

Democrats were slow to react to the Republicans' proposal.  But Cam Staples, the co-chairman of the legislature's Finance Committee, said it probably is not a good idea, that there are larger problems the state has to deal with. 

He also said he's convinced state unions want to be part of the solution in solving the budget crisis.

Larry Dorman, spokesman for AFSCME Council 4, the union representing the correctional officers, said the Republicans are simply assaulting the arbitration process and the negotiating process.  He said the governor's office knew the budget problems were severe when it approved the arbitration award.

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