Today, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction finally gave OCSEA appropriate notification that they intend to layoff the remaining prison farm workers. This comes after DR&C closed Ohio’s prison farms and sold off the farm equipment last year. Not only does the “layoff rationale” trigger certain rights for affected employees under the contract between the State of Ohio and OCSEA bargaining unit employees, it also is meant to make transparent to the taxpayers the reason for closing state facilities.
OCSEA’s contract with the state gives state bargaining unit employees layoff rights that can allow them to move into other available job positions. It also ensures the layoff process is fair for everyone. But for nearly a year, DR&C failed to give the union notification of the layoff or a rationale of why the farms were even closing.
OCSEA activists held a series of pickets last year protesting the farm closures and the impact it would have on employees, inmates and communities.
Union leaders were particularly concerned that without the proper layoff notification and rationale, employees’ rights would have been compromised. Circumventing the contract could have left the layoff process up to a handful of people and led to managers picking and choosing the employees who got positions.
Read the union's press statement.