Madison – State Senator Jon Erpenbach is currently circulating a proposal in the Legislature to prohibit the Department of Corrections (DOC) from enacting policies for costly, forced overtime.
“We allow our agencies to set policies for the management of staff within the agency. However we have, at many times, set parameters on how much those policies can cost. The DOC is set to roll out a policy that will cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin an undetermined amount of money while further eroding the morale of corrections officers. This bill would put the brakes on those plans,” said Erpenbach.
Department of Corrections has shared with staff a plan to change the forced overtime policies. Although concerns have been raised regarding cost and morale the DOC is still moving ahead with the change. A 2014 strategic planning initiative with the DOC surveyed staff and the number one issue of concern as a “pressing issue facing DOC?” was staff morale, with 82% of respondents saying staff morale is a top problem.
“My office has gotten calls from all over the state from DOC front line staff who are frustrated management does not hear their concerns. Further eroding the morale of officers at our institutions puts not only our communities at risk but threatens the safety of inmates at our institutions,” said Erpenbach. “We need to make better choices with our tax dollars and for our hard working public servants.”
Erpenbach has recently shared the proposal language with his colleagues. Interested Legislators can add their name as a “co-sponsor” before the bill will be introduced.