Lebanon County Commissioners found themselves stunned last Thursday by the remarks made during the public comment portion of their meeting.
Tara Wilson, Council Director for AFSCME District Council 89, which represents the correctional officers at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility spoke out about the sweeping wave of resignations that have taken place over the past several months because a new contract has not been ratified.
Wilson broke the bonds of confidentiality in the negotiations by speaking out, saying she had been at the prison earlier that morning and things are were so bad, there were only about a dozen guards overseeing some 300 inmates:
She said the skeleton crew of guards who are still on the job are at their limits:
Wilson said the union is asking the county to use some of their American Rescue Plan funds to augment the salary package they’re currently offering.
After making her comments to Commissioners, The Lebanon Valley Daily News asked Wilson if other prisons that paid more saw their open positions get filled:
Chairman Commissioner Bob Phillips would not comment on Wilson’s statements, except to say that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for the end of the month. He said speaking publicly about their contract talks would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME.
Meantime, during the personnel portion of the meeting last Thursday, four more correctional officers were lost; three to resignations and one to job abandonment.