On Monday, June 20, Local 700 received multiple media inquiries regarding the lockdown at the Cook County Department of Corrections. Below is a response we gave to the media, and following are links to the stories that published some of our comments.
We are sick of hearing about officers taking their earned time off. Instead of listening to a career politician that talks about his agenda over and over again, why don’t we discuss the real issues at the Cook County Department of Corrections.
The earned sick time of our members can be used at their discretion as long as it coincides with the rules of their contract, which Sherriff Tom Dart agreed to. Regardless of how earned sick time is used, we won’t let our members be subjected to the ridicule that the current jail administration puts forth in an attempt to hide the real issues that they should be paying attention to.
Through a union poll of 1,250 members at the Cook County Department of Corrections, 96 percent of those officers said they do not feel this administration does enough to keep them safe at work. Our officers fear coming to work and getting hurt or being disciplined or terminated for simply defending themselves.
The Sheriff has broken the faith with his own staff.
Local 700 will be sending another request to Sherriff Tom Dart to sit down and talk about the real issues at the Cook County Department of Corrections. We hope he takes this last opportunity to do so.
-Michael G. Melone
Teamsters Local 700 Secretary-Treasurer