FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2006
MAYOR BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION MODIFYING TOUR OF DUTY ROTATION FOR CORRECTION OFFICERS
Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The next bill before me is Introductory Number 370, sponsored at the request of the Administration by Council Members Addabbo, Comrie, Mark-Viverito, Seabrook, Stewart, Nelson, Sears, Monserrate and Weprin. This bill will allow the Department of Correction to assign a larger proportion of Correction Officers to steady tours of duty and will also eliminate the provision of punishable action on the Commissioner of the Department of Correction for having failed to institute a lock-step system of rotating tours of duty.
"Currently, the Department of Correction is required to maintain a three-platoon system, whereby correction officers are rotated through day, evening and night tours of duty. The system then changes weekly from one part of the 24-hour schedule to another.
"Amending this current practice to allow more steady tours of duty generates a positive atmosphere within the correctional facilities by creating greater management efficiency and accountability. Many of the officers would prefer to be assigned to the same tour on a steady basis to provide continuity in their daily lives. However, a greater number of Corrections staff is precluded from working steady tours due to the built-in limitations of the Rotation Law in its current form. Introductory Number 370 will provide a greater number of officers the opportunity to have schedules with steady tours of duty remaining the same from week to week. The current provision that holds the Department of Correction Commissioner accountable to institute this system or otherwise face punishable action will also be eliminated.
"It is important to note that this piece of legislation is a direct result of a collective bargaining agreement between the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association (COBA) and the Office of Labor Relations (OLR). I would like to thank Norman Seabrook, President of COBA and OLR Commissioner Jim Hanley for their work on this agreement. I would also like to thank Department of Corrections Commissioner Martin Horn and his staff for their hard work on this legislation. In addition I would like to thank the Assistant Deputy Wardens Association and its President Sidney Schwartzbaum for their support of this legislation. Finally I would like to thank the Council for approving this bill."
Stu Loeser / Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958