Correction officers without a contract for 4 years demand benefits increase at demonstration

Westchester COBA, the union that represents Westchester County correction officers, held a demonstration on Monday to highlight its need for help and to motivate future talks for a fair contract.

Emily Young

Nov 13, 2023, 1:34 PM

Updated 163 days ago

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Westchester COBA, the union that represents Westchester County correction officers, held a demonstration on Monday to highlight its need for help and to motivate future talks for a fair contract.
Being a corrections officer isn't for the faint of heart. In fact, the life expectancy of a corrections officer in New York state is said to be only 59 years old, according to COBA officials.
"A big part of what we do here impacts your personal health, your physical health your mental health," says Rahsaan Paris, a Westchester County corrections officer.
"When you retire after 25 years, it's as if you did 9 ½ years of a prison sentence," said Westchester COBA President Neil Pallone.
And now they're paying for it in more ways than one.
"You got the DA investigators that make $134,000 a year and pay $182 per paycheck. County correction officers, the boldest, make $97,000 a year, and we pay $281 into our premiums. What does that show you? We pay the most, we make the least!" says Pallone.
With numbers like this, the union says recruitment will be nearly impossible.
In addition, they've been working without a contract for four years, because every time they go to the table, talks break down over this.
"It's convenient to forget those people [prisoners] and it's convenient to forget the people that work with those people, so were hurt as well as not being compensated. It hurts," explained Rahsaan Paris.
The officers hope that today's demonstration will motivate future talks for a fair contract.
During his weekly briefing,  Westchester County Executive George Latimer said his administration is working to set up a date to sit down at the bargaining table for discussions....He also said they have to be sure that they can afford to pay the price because ultimately, it's a bill that the taxpayers will pay.


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