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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, April 08, 2013

A Few NorCo Corrections Officer Color Guard Details

On Friday, the Northampton County Corrections Officer Color Guard added some dignity to the dedication of a new Archives building in Forks Township. These guys take hits left and right, both from the imprisoned and the public. It's only fair to give them an 'attaboy for the terrific job they've done, both at the West Easton and Archives dedications.

Here's a few additional details. The cost of the Prison Honor Guard Equipment is split between the Prison and the Corrections Officers Union. The M1Garand rifles come from the US Army Civilian Marksmanship Program. The bagpiper is using his own purchased bagpipes.


Anonymous said...

There is another fact I'd like to share. It is unfortunately a hard truth that the D.O.C. Honor Guard may not be able to perform as much as we'd like to....or as often as requested / possible.
You see, our Union contract is about to go to arbitration because the entire Officer Union voted it down...to the tune of (+/-)153-0. Why?
Well, for starters there's the matter of "no raise" except for a $1,000 "bonus" for those at the top pay tier...but the increase of Medical contribution and other 'pro-County'/'anti-Officer' factors would render my paycheck $1,200+ less this year and approx. $2100 NEXT year. And that's all before Obama screws us royally with his Social(ist) Security and Medical proposals...
The past 3 contracts have been a laughing joke. The officers have not had a meaningful raise in 6 years. The raises we DID get BARELY even covered the cost of living increases...don't even ask if they covered our increased Medical Contribution increases. We went back to the table 14 times in negotiations, with compromises that would have paid for the (ridiculously) low raises we asked for. Each time we went back, the County removed even more from their previous offer.
Many of the Officers on the DOC Honor Guard are scheduled off during events like this...others voluntarily disrupt their normal lives to swap shifts to accommodate the timing of the event. Those of us that come in on our days off to perform for the County, do so at our own cost. For those of us raising a family, that cost can mean a lost meal or a cancelled doctor's visit for a child who needs it.
I challenge those in County Government who make in excess of $70,000 to live for 2 years on 1/3 - 1/2 that income...because that's the median pay scale for the Officers of Local 2549 in the Prison.
It would be an absolute shame to have to refuse to perform an event because we can't afford to.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I actually agree with you on this one. I would like to see a better deal offered. Don't give up hope.

Anonymous said...

Hope" doesn't put food on the table, gas in my vehicle or help plan a vacation that my family hasn't been on during the past 7 years.

"Hope" is for the romantic or poet.

What we need is for someone to turn up the heat on County Government. What we need is someone to point out the fact that they spend $$MILLIONS++ on dozens of "studies" for one project (multiplied x's how many projects), re-re-and-refixing faulty construction projects (leaky rotunda, failed fountain and the gignormous flood in the prison's new "Tower" wing on start-up ring a bell?) instead of doing something right the first time...but give the prison staff a MEAGER 2.5% increase (with a plateful of concessions to add to it) that they asked for is out of the question?