LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - It’s been reported nationwide that several of Ohio’s prisons have more positive cases of COVID-19 concentrated in one place than anywhere in the country. Inmates have died from the coronavirus, as well as staff members who report to work daily to take care of those ordered to serve time.
Now, a Lorain Corrections Officer is speaking out, saying prison guards statewide at 32 facilities are allegedly not being paid the $8 an hour in additional “Emergency” pay agreed to in their OCSEA-AFSCME Local 11 contract, an agreement that runs through February of 2021.
The Corrections Officer, who did not want to be identified because of concerns over her job, said she feels the state’s responsibility is spelled out clearly.
19 News was able to view a portion of the union contract between the Corrections Officers and the state of Ohio, and it says their payment for hours worked for other than weather emergencies is pursuant to a section in the contract that has been in place since 2018.
It does list the additional $8 an hour for emergencies.
It states that an emergency exists when it’s unforeseeable and declared by employers. Governor Mike DeWine declared a State of Emergency due to the coronavirus on March 9, 2020.
“Some of us have family and kids at home that we are concerned about bringing anything home to. Some of us have elderly parents that we have to take care of, and I just don’t think it’s right,” the Corrections Officer said.
After reaching out to the Department of Corrections, I was contacted by Department of Administrative Services.
They said they need time to look into the issue.