Last year, due to the hard work of our Corrections Members, the legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 210, which put an end to the 28-day work period and improved overtime pay for Corrections Officers (COs). This year, the Dept. of Corrections changed their interpretation of when overtime payment is due to COs.
DOC will now pay overtime after 8.5 hours, if you work 12 or more consecutive hours in one shift. Previously, DOC was paying overtime on hours worked in excess of 12 in a 24-hour period, when those hours accrued during non-consecutive shifts.
Despite this change, COs will still receive close to $2 million in overtime pay this fiscal year. That is $2 million worth of work they were not being paid for a year ago.
Here are the other details you need to know about SB 210 and your overtime rights in DOC.
- The new 14-day work period is in effect and Corrections Officers will still receive overtime for any hours worked in excess of 85 during that 14-day work period.
- COs will still receive overtime for working 12 or more consecutive hours.
- COs will still be getting paid for overtime and will not be forced to take comp time.
- Members will continue to work with DOC through partnership to implement a new timekeeping and scheduling system in order to ensure Correctional Officer safety as well as fairness in the system.
When Executive Director Tim Markham personally met with DOC Director Raemisch on this issue he told him that working people on two non-consecutive shifts in a 24 hour period is a serious safety concern. However, DOC can make this change to their interpretation of the law unilaterally. They do not need to seek legislative approval to change their interpretation of ambiguous statutory language. And while they notified us of the change, given our current membership within DOC, our options to affect this are currently limited.
Our power to affect working conditions as a union is derived directly from the number of members pushing to make things better. Members were able to get the overtime bill passed, and should be very proud of that, but we are witnessing first hand that legislative victories need to be backed up with members working actively to enforce those victories.
The union is not the person in your facility once a month and the union is not the Executive Director. The union is US. Colorado WINS staff are here to give us the training and tools we need to build our union but they can’t build our facilities to majority – only we have the power to do that.
There are CO union members who have carried the water for the whole department for far too long. Others need to step up to join and lead.