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Welcome

from the DYS Workers of AFSCME 1368 Greetings from the Massachusetts Dept of Youth Workers, AFSCME Local 1368. If you are a member, please note that you will need to be logged in, to view much of the information that you are looking for. As always, please feel free to contact us with your questions! Paul Faria, President AFSCME Local 1368

Welcome to AFSCME Local 1368

Welcome to the web site for AFSCME Local 1368, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Employees. Most of the content on this website is only visible once you are logged in, so please be sure to register here to receive our updates. Be sure to take some time and go through the entire site, as you will find a great amount of information. Be sure to send your comments and suggestions directly to me. Thank you.

In Solidarity,
Paul Faria, President

ASFCME 1368 News

  • PREA Group Update

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

     

    On June 10th, we met with Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason and staff from the Department of Justice and the PREA Resource Center to discuss problems with PREA and potential solutions. In addition to AFSCME staff, ACU members John Hillyard and Marty Hathaway attended the meeting.

     

    The meeting included candid discussion of a number of our questions and concerns with PREA, including:

    • Announcing the entrance of female officers onto male housing units
    • Cross-gender monitoring of female inmates in the hospital
    • Improper use of background checks
    • Cross-gender monitoring of inmates on constant observation status

     

    Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason and her staff demonstrated a willingness to listen to our concerns, and have committed to working with ACU on an ongoing basic. Specifically, Department of Justice staff have committed to:

    1. Submit the questions we raised to the DOJ-PREA Working Group, and to provide answers publicly where possible
    2. Accept additional questions as they arise for consideration by the DOJ-PREA Working Group
    3. Include clarifying information on issues raised by AFSCME within the FAQs and other appropriate areas
    4. Attend the upcoming Public Safety Congress in September
    5. Consult AFSCME/ACU for input on certain documents produced by the PREA Resource Center including a current draft document related to staffing
    6. Create a process for more regular communication and sharing of information including scheduling another meeting between ACU and DOJ—with participation from Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason—in approximately six months to touch base and ensure that we are making progress in our efforts to address our concerns.

     

    Going forward, we will provide periodic updates to keep everyone informed on the progress of our work with DOJ. But, as always, please feel free to reach out any time with questions, comments or concerns.

     

    In Solidarity,

     

    Darrin Spann

  • Support Client and Worker Safety in the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services and Vote for H.111

    Please sign this Change.org petition and ask the Mass General Court to take the first step in ensuring the safety of clients and employees of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services which is the juvenile justice agency for the commonwealth.

    The petition urges Massachusetts state legislators to support H.111 which would create a special commission tasked with studying the issue of client and staff safety in DYS facilities recommending necessary changes to the administration.

  • GIC HIGHER PREMIUM COST REJECTED BY COMMITTEE

    The House Ways and Means Committee released its FY 16 budget proposal this afternoon. We are still in the process of analyzing the entire budget, but wanted to share some early good news with you:   

    The committee budget rejects Governor Baker’s proposal to shift more GIC premium costs to state and higher education employees.  The budget must still be voted on by the entire House and we must still fight to ensure that the Senate rejects Governor Baker's proposal.  However, today's action by the Ways and Means Committee is a major victory in this ongoing battle.  Jim and Molly will keep us informed of future developments. 

     

  • Early Retirement Incecentive

    Note If and when passed though legislation: Department of Youth Service Employees are eligible, but you must already qualify for retirement under group 1 provisions, meaning you must meet the minumun qualifing factors for group 1., which are at least 10 years of service and the age of 55. {See Link below to retirement percentage chart}

    http://www.mass.gov/treasury/docs/retirement/retpercentagechartbeforeapril2-2012.pdf

    The incentive is that Eligible employees must apply for retirement on or after April 6, 2015 and not later than May 29, 2015, The requested retirement date must be on or before June 30, 2015.

    It is important to note that this proposed legislation must be voted on and passed by the state legislature. AFSCME members should be aware that the legislature could make changes to the legislation including changes to eligibility requirements. Any changes to the proposed law that may occur will be posted on this website.

    Please see link below about the proposed early incentive by the Governor Baker.

    http://www.afscme93.org/2015/03/06/blogpost/early-retirement-incentive-legislation-proposed-by-governor-baker2/

  • DYS Safety Bill Filed by Union HB: HD2434

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    Please see attachment of a Bill that was filed by AFSCME Council 93.
     AFSCME Local 1368 Executive Board (your union) has been working with the D.Y.S. of many years to insure the Youth we care for and the staff that provide the service have a safe,secure environment to provide treatment.
    We feel at this time Department has not given the staff the ability to protect themselves and the clients, we are asking that the data from  D.Y.S. on assaults on clients and staff in Regions and Program types to be examine.
    Further that the best practices are look for to approach issues that have confronted us for years in regards to staffing shortages, policies and procedures that are or are not working.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or suggestions your input is valued.  

    In Solidarity,
    Paul L Faria
    President
    AFSCME Local 1368 

  • Abood decision at the Supreme Court

    The video details the pending legal challenge of the Abood decision at the Supreme Court, which is known as Friedrichs vs. the California Teachers Association, this case could have a serious impact on the future of public sector unions including our ability to charge agency fees.  Below is a link to the video..

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at any time. We will continue to keep you informed as this case moves forward.

    Paul L Faria President AFSCME Local 1368

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gdvZt4ksfk&authuser=0

  • Latest COFAR survey of corporate provider compensation

    COFAR’s Dave Kassel has just published a post about COFAR’s latest survey regarding executive compensation at corporate vendors.  The post shows that those executives received more than $100 million in annual compensation, leaving state taxpayers on the hook for up to $85 million of that amount. 
     
    Please comment and recommend:
     
    The post is on the COFAR Blogsite at  https://cofarblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/compensation-of-provider-exec...
     http://bluemassgroup.com/2015/01/compensation-of-provider-executives-in-...

  • Preventing the Spread of Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases in Facilities

    Preventing the Spread of Ebola and Other Infectious Diseases in Correctional Facilities

    Introduction

    Corrections officers are exposed to a variety of infectious diseases. Those raising the most concerns are bloodborne pathogens, which includes Ebola, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureous (MRSA) and Tuberculosis. 

    Microorganisms capable of transmitting diseases are called pathogens or “germs.” There are four general classes of pathogens: virus, bacteria, fungus and parasite. Pathogens must have a reservoir or a “host” for it to grow.

    Pathogens can spread disease in the following ways:

    • Contact with people or objects
    • Ingestion (oral-fecal route)
    • Inhalation (coughing or sneezing)
    • Through blood and mucous membranes

    Whether a person becomes ill depends on many factors, including the strength of their immune system. In the workplace, infectious diseases are a recognized hazard employers must control. This is mainly accomplished through the use of standard precautions and for certain diseases, by implementing an Exposure Control Plan (ECP).

    What are Standard Precautions?

    Standard precautions refer to the infection control practice of treating all human blood, body fluids, secretions, excretions (except sweat), non-intact skin and mucous membranes as infectious. Standard precautions include hand hygiene and depending on the anticipated exposure, the use of a barrier (gloves, gown, mask, eye protection or face shield) between people. Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of kitchen and eating areas, toileting and shower facilities, exercise equipment and health services areas are essential to preventing the spread of disease.

    Bloodborne Pathogens

    Bloodborne Pathogens are microorganisms present in blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) which can cause disease. Diseases are spread when a person has contact with the blood of an infected individual through a cut or opening in the skin, or through a mucus membrane.

    In correctional facilities, the main bloodborne pathogens of concern are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), however, the Ebola outbreak has raised concerns among corrections officers.

    Unlike HIV and Hepatitis B and C, Ebola can be found in the vomit, stool and most other body fluids of an infected individual. A worker can only be infected from a symptomatic person and the virus can be spread by direct contact with objects such as needles and bed sheets that contain infectious blood or body fluids.

    Facilities must be prepared to implement evaluation and isolation protocols to respond to the possibility of a new inmate having traveled to West Africa or been in direct contact with individuals who have, and are running a fever. These individuals should be isolated from the general population until the state health department can determine if further testing is needed. They should be treated at an Ebola treatment center, if necessary, not at the correctional facility.  Corrections facilities should have a written plan for dealing with a possible Ebola infected inmate in place and medical and other responsible staff should be familiar with the protocol.    

    It is estimated that 1 in 7 people living with HIV will pass through a correctional facility. In addition, co-infections (both HIV and Hepatitis C) are commonly seen in inmate populations.

    AFSCME locals should protect their members from exposure by ensuring their employer is following OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030). The standard was enacted to prevent occupational exposure to blood and other body fluids containing blood.

    The bloodborne pathogen standard covers private sector workers in all states. It covers state and local government workers in states with federally approved state OSHA plans and those in states with laws that cover public employees. Employers are required to develop and implement an Exposure Control Plan (ECP), which must be updated for possible Ebola exposure. The plan must identify workers at risk, provide safety needles and puncture proof containers, ensure that standard precautions are practiced, provide gloves, masks, and other protective equipment, provide prompt evaluation and treatment to workers who have a needlestick or other exposure to blood, or other body fluids, provide Hepatitis B vaccinations to workers who are exposed to blood, and train workers each year on bloodborne diseases. The ECP must be reviewed on an annual basis, and workers must have access to it. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has developed its own treatment and containment protocols. http://www.bop.gov/policy/om/007_2014.pdf and http://www.bop.gov/resources/pdfs/exposures.pdf

     

    Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureous (MRSA)

    Staphylococcus aureous (staph) is a bacteria commonly found on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. Some staph bacteria have developed resistance to the antibiotics most commonly used to treat infections, and are called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Staph, including MRSA, can cause minor infections such as pimples and boils, or it can cause more serious infections, such as abscesses, pneumonia and bone or bloodstream infections. The only way to know if a skin infection is caused by MRSA is to have it cultured and tested by a lab.

    MRSA is almost always spread person-to-person by skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread by objects, such as towels and clothing that have been contaminated with the bacteria. Correctional facilities have a higher prevalence of MRSA than the general population. Outbreaks have been documented in CA, GA, IL, MO, MS, NY and TX.

    The best way to fight staph and MRSA infections is to prevent bacterial growth on surfaces and limit direct contact with infected individuals. Frequent hand-washing, or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available, is most effective in controlling the spread of the bacteria. Regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, such as toilets, shower areas and fitness equipment is essential. Gloves should be worn during pat downs. When open skin contact is likely, gloves should be changed after contact with each inmate.

    Correctional officers should take care to protect their skin and to cover any open sores or wounds. Standard precautions should be practiced.

    Worker education is critical in preventing the spread of MRSA. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides educational materials for correctional and detention facilities. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/mrsa. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has developed guidance protocols for MRSA. http://www.bop.gov/resources/pdfs/mrsa.pdf

    Tuberculosis

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease that can affect several parts of the body. The most common form of TB disease is pulmonary (lung) tuberculosis, which can cause severe damage to the lungs, disability and death. The symptoms include fever, fatigue, night sweats and dramatic weight loss. Coughing up blood, severe chest pain and hoarseness appear in the later stages of the disease.

    Tuberculosis is transmitted through the air (airborne) by microscopic droplets of saliva or sputum containing the TB bacteria. Individuals with active TB disease spread infectious droplets by coughing, sneezing, singing or even talking. These droplets can be inhaled by anyone in the area. The bacteria can survive in moist or dried sputum for up to six weeks, but TB is killed by sunlight or ultraviolet light (UV) in a few hours.

    TB can only be spread by individuals with active tuberculosis disease. People who have been infected with TB but do not have active disease are not contagious.

    Fortunately, the number of adult cases of TB in correctional facilities in the United States has decreased from a high of 1,117 cases in 1994 to 359 cases in 2013.

    Because inmates and corrections officers are in close contact, it is extremely important that TB screenings are conducted annually. New inmates must have recent TB screening information included in their medical records to ensure that individuals with active cases are promptly isolated in a negative pressure room. Correctional facilities should follow the Federal Bureau of Prisons guidelines for Tuberculosis. http://www.bop.gov/resources/pdfs/tuberculosis.pdf

    Additional Resources

    Fact sheets covering these infectious diseases in more depth are available on the AFSCME website at: http://www.afscme.org/news/publications/workplace-health-and-safety/fact-sheets

    For more information on bloodborne pathogens, including Ebola, go to the following links:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/correctionalhcw/plan.html

    http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/

    January 16, 2015

     

     

     

     

     

     

    For more information about protecting workers from occupational hazards, please contact the AFSCME Department of Research and Collective Bargaining Services at 1625 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 or osha@afscme.org

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