January 30, 2023
AFGE is seeking an 8.7% raise for federal workers in 2024 to help close the double-digit pay gap between federal- and private-sector employees.
An independent arbitrator has found a Special Investigative Agent (SIA) supervisor guilty of abusing his authority at the Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Center Yazoo City in Mississippi.
The SIA was found to have violated the civil rights of a correctional counselor and Black inmates at the facility.
Grievant Jermaine Patrick was physically assaulted by the SIA in May 2021. During an investigation, it was discovered through the SIA’s own admission that he had tampered with the video surveillance of the incident to prove his innocence. Knowing this was a violation, AFGE Local 1013 President Cyndee Price reported it to management, but no management official wanted to hold the SIA accountable for engaging in unethical behavior and workplace violence, prompting the union to file a grievance.
During the hearing, there were multiple professional law enforcement witnesses who, swearing under oath, described the SIA engaging in extortion and bribery of inmates asking them to falsely accuse staff for engaging in inappropriate relationships with inmates and/or introducing contraband to the inmate population. There were several inmate-written documents introduced as exhibits expressing the SIA’s interaction with them to make these false allegations.
It was also discovered in the hearing that the SIA only targeted African American staff and inmates with threats of investigations against the staff, transfers to facilities further from their families if they failed to cooperate. It was also found that he initiated his own investigations against staff while simultaneously conducting the investigation process. This is a direct violation of policy.
Based on the testimonies unrebutted by the agency, the arbitrator found that the SIA abused his authority and discriminated against staff members and inmates on the basis of race.
“As the union president, I am charged with protecting the rights of the bargaining unit employees,” said Local 1013 President Cyndee Price. “FCC Yazoo City management has been found to have engaged in discriminatory and retaliatory behavior against its staff under their prior protected activities on two different occasions in one year. This behavior has not stopped and nor has it been corrected by higher authorities.”
“Local 1013 is asking the Attorney General to step in since the director of the Bureau of Prisons will not,” she added. “These are already stressful times being on the frontlines of a continual pandemic. Our professional law enforcement officers should not be subjected to bullying, harassment, intimidation, coercion, and reprisal while trying to protect our communities from foreign and domestic enemies alike. An oath, in which we swore to honor. Our basic statutory rights should be protected in the same regard.”
This is the second discriminatory case the local won against management at FCC Yazoo City within the same year. The first case involved discrimination against Price herself. Read about her case here.
AFGE won certification to represent Defense Department employees who have been transferred to a new agency, the Defense Health Administration (DHA).
The manufactured debt ceiling crisis created by some in Congress is back.