Prison union seeks solutions

Editor, Gettysburg Times,

On Tuesday, July 23, two articles appeared in the Gettysburg Times titled “Former employees blame prison management for turnover” and “Warden: Turnover due to variety of factors.”

These included a statement attributed to Warden Katy Hileman claiming the collective bargaining agreement required prison administration “to formally place any staff member under a formal investigation,” and a statement from Adams County Solicitor Molly Mudd where she “indicated union officials requested a ‘formal investigation piece’ to protect their members.”

These statements are misleading to both the newspaper and to the public by making people believe the investigations referenced by former staff in the article were required by the union. Language in our collective bargaining agreement requires that staff receive notice in writing, and in a reasonable timeframe, of management becoming aware of the issue they are investigating prior to questioning.

Ms. Mudd’s statement implies that this is new language that she has some knowledge of, yet this is a complete misrepresentation. This language has existed in our collective bargaining agreements long before the current administration took over, and it has included a notice requirement since 2014 and had referenced investigations for well over a decade.

It rests solely with management on what issues they choose to investigate. In no way does the collective bargaining agreement require every issue, no matter how minor, to be investigated.

AFSCME District Council 89 and Local 2637 stand with and for the employees as it is the employees that make the union. If Adams County wishes to improve conditions and staff morale, the first step should be to listen to their employees. The union could go into details regarding numerous issues that could be affecting staff, but to do so in a public setting such as this would be counterproductive.

The union stands ready to discuss and attempt to find a resolution to the issues brought forth in these recent articles should the county choose to do so.

Steve Mullen, Director,

AFSCME District Council 89

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