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  • Mandatory Overtime...Do share my pain?

    Well, I've been a C/O only since March of this year. I love the job and truly have a passion for law enforcement. The only thing that gets under my skin is our problem to keep people working and forcing mandatory overtime.

    Everyone accrues sick leave. And most everyone (except myself and MAYBE 25% of the of my co-workers) "Earn and Burn" it. The second they accrue it, they burn it 'cause if they don't, the leave will never pay-out.

    When someone calls in sick, naturally a post can't be left un-filled. If no one volunteers, then someone on the soon ending shift is "ratcheted" into that upcoming position.

    This happens often. FAR TOO OFTEN. Almost on a daily basis. We are on an 8 hour rotation, so a ratchet is a 16 hour day. After a while this wears down on someone. I'm already at the point that i want to move on and hopefully go to the streets sooner than later.

    Does this ever happen to any of you? if so how do you deal with it? What keeps you motivated? I like the extra money, but by no means rely on it, and I enjoy my off time. Any suggestions on how to deal with this matter would be great!

  • #2
    Our Sheriff has a spaz fit if anyone works 2 seconds overtime. We very, very occasionally will ask for someone to stay 4hrs over from the previous shift, but it's on a volunteer basis (and out of 100+on shift, there's always someone willing to volunteer.) This happens maybe once every 6 months or so on average.

    Other than that, we just borrow from other facilities and do our best with a limited number of relief officers and/or having supervisors fill in as relief officers.

    Personally, my time is worth more than money and I will never again work anywhere that I have to work mandatory overtime.

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    • #3
      thats how i feel too! New guys will work so much overtime that they make over 100k in a year as an entry level C/O! I dont mind an extra shift or two here and there, but being forced to work overtime literally weekly is very annoying.

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      • #4
        I simply wouldn't do it. I'd rather quit and make $5/hr at McDonalds than deal with that crap. That's one of the reasons I left Wackenhut and went to work for the S.O.

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        • #5
          I have X number of posts to fill each night.
          I have X number of people on shift total
          I have X number of people on days off, vacation, military, sick ect

          When Shift Total minus people on days off/leave equals less than the number of posts I need to fill that night I NEED SOMEONE IN ON OT TO FILL THE POST.

          The administration is NOT going to give me more total people and it wouldn't matter anyway because more people WILL call in sick.

          We use a mixture of volunteer OT, Mandatory OT, and split shifts with previous shift staying over 4 hrs and next shift coming in 4 hours early to cover what OT is needed.................yea sometimes people are unhappy about it. Others LOVE it..................
          Unfortunately this is one of the pitfalls of working in a 24/7 service orientated career..............someone has to be here to do the job.

          I spent 4 yrs as the low man on totem pole on the 1600-0000 shift, at an institution that simply called the low man(at 2345) and told them (usu sally ME) that you were working a double until 0800. I hated the OT, didn't want the OT, and put up with it until the hiring freeze was over and someone else was on the bubble.......................so when I order someone in.....yes I know what it means to that officer..........sorry buddy.....I need the post filled.

          JMTX your situation is not normal.............most facilities don't have the resources to borrow from another facility............and supervisors filling in is a riot......................not happening in most places . I often am the only supervisor on duty at my institution.

          Micky D's doesn't have a very good retirement system like the state / county does.......I guess I'll put up with a few inconveniences while I am younger so I can eat when I get older.

          My warden hates OT also..................but he has over 30 yrs in working in a prison and knows that it sometimes is cheaper to pay the OT. He also budgets OT to the tune of about 15,000 monthly

          Boins...............It will take someone much smarter than I am to figure out a way to cut down on staff calling in sick, thus forcing others to work OT.
          So far no one has done it yet in the 50 State Departments of Corrections, the Federal BOP, and 500 or 600 or so county sheriff's depts/ county corrections depts nationwide.
          A couple yrs ago the union thought they had it down......give them the option of "trading shifts" and that would cut out the sick calls.....it did .......for about 1 week. Then we found out some of the senior staff were selling their day off (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) for up to $100........We are seeing about 10 shift swaps a week..................and 20-30 sick call ins.........go figure.

          Micky D's doesn't sound so bad some days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

          Comment


          • #6
            We allow shift trades and that does help out. Our union contract also states that any mandatory OT can only be for 4 hours. So one person from shift 1 has to stay for 4 and one person from shift 3 is called in early. Luckily we don't have to do mandatory OT that much.
            War to the knife and knife to the hilt.

            TERM LIMITS!

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            • #7
              Here in NY we call it getting "stuck" and it's probably the most hated practice around. I'm not an O.T hound like some but it always seems to happen when the one being stuck is most unprepared or has something going on that day.

              N.Y allows us to swap with officers on other shifts for extra days off so the simple cure to being stuck is to hook up doubles and work 2 days on and 4 off...especially in the summer when everyone takes their vacations and the jail is usually understaffed. We can't be stuck when on a double as we are only allowed to work 16 hours at a time. There is more than one way to beat the state at their game..........

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              • #8
                JMTX your situation is not normal.............most facilities don't have the resources to borrow from another facility............and supervisors filling in is a riot......................not happening in most places . I often am the only supervisor on duty at my institution.
                How large is your shift?

                We can often borrow from booking (they don't have a certain number of *have to have* positions like we do.) Also we have 3 separate facilities, and ours is the only one that's direct inmate supervisions, so they don't have as many "have to have" positions either.

                We always have enough people to fill up the pods...It's the 14 relief officer spots that we run short on...if we have to we can run the facility with only 7 relief officers (each relief does 4 lunch breaks instead of just 2.)

                We usually have the Lt, and 3-4 each of Sgts and Cpls. It doesn't hurt them to go give potty breaks and lunch breaks occasionally.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                  How large is your shift?

                  We can often borrow from booking (they don't have a certain number of *have to have* positions like we do.) Also we have 3 separate facilities, and ours is the only one that's direct inmate supervisions, so they don't have as many "have to have" positions either.

                  We always have enough people to fill up the pods...It's the 14 relief officer spots that we run short on...if we have to we can run the facility with only 7 relief officers (each relief does 4 lunch breaks instead of just 2.)

                  We usually have the Lt, and 3-4 each of Sgts and Cpls. It doesn't hurt them to go give potty breaks and lunch breaks occasionally.
                  I have 18 "must fill" slots every night unless we have hospital trips etc. Then its more.
                  30 total staff on shift = two supervisors & 1 Sgt Total (the Sgt post is one of the "must fill" slots so I can't use him as a relief.....he needs a relief.)
                  10 off duty each night leaves 20 -21 on duty each night!!!!!!!!!!!
                  Our entire facility is direct supervision. .......... relief officer...........yea we had one of those once, I have two activities officers if I am lucky other than that we take one of the 2 staff in our 500 person (direct supervision) cellhouse out for an hour to help with relief, another large cellhouse that is broke up into 3 small units share an officer between the three floors during supper

                  Days and evenings are abit better with +/- 60 needed each shift & a total working staff of around 100 each shift TOTAL. Each of those shifts can drop 5-6 posts per shift before needing OT.

                  There is no such thing as sharing staff between facilities since the closest one is 40 miles away.....next closest is 120 miles away

                  I'll bet my wife's paycheck (of course I wouldn't bet MY paycheck) that my situation is more prevalent than yours..............................as far as using OT. Most LE managers know that it is cheaper to use OT than to "over hire".

                  Difference between city/county/state facilities
                  Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                  My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Difference between city/county/state facilities
                    Yah must be. Our other facilities are just a few minutes away from ours.

                    Our low risk unit only has like 10 on shift plus a supervisor (I think.)

                    Not sure how many we run at our 2nd facility because I've only been out there once or twice...I'd guess they have 3-4 supervisors on shift plus maybe 40 jailers? Wild guess, as I'm not even sure how many beds we have out there right now.

                    I work at our biggest facility. We keep maybe 1 supervisor and 10 jailers in our "old jail" section. In addition to the supervisors I mentioned, we have 2 floors of special management housing (3 officers in medical, 3 each in our two segregation areas.) Then 7 floors that each have 4 pods. We try to have one relief officer to 2 pods.

                    Then we have however many work in booking (maybe 30 counting release, classification, etc plus 2 supervisors?)

                    Then we usually have around 10 officers out at the hospital.

                    I don't know how much that all adds up to, but it's usually enough to cover everything we really *have* to cover.

                    relief officer...........yea we had one of those once,
                    If you don't have reliefs, then who does lunch breaks, potty breaks, inmate transports, etc?
                    Last edited by JMTX; 07-28-2008, 07:49 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                      If you don't have reliefs, then who does lunch breaks, potty breaks, inmate transports, etc?
                      For Transports...........I normally pull an officer out of one of our cellhouses............the 500 person one or the 300 person one. We run each of those houses with 2 staff on midnights...................Yep.normally work transport with one staff....not armed to the local hospital (call local PD for assistance if needed)

                      Meal relief is handled by shorting each cellhouse for an hour............pulling 2 of the floor officers and letting the thrid officer make rounds on the other two in the cell house that was broke up into smaller units...............

                      Potty breaks....there are staff rest rooms in every area


                      The state (and especially our institution) thinks midnights is a fire watch only................I am waiting for something to happen and not have enough help to handle the situtation..............and see whos A*S*S* gets fried..........probably mine!................Oh well............they can't touch my pension and I am close enough for retirement anyway


                      Also JM, you are with one of the LARGEST SO's in the country.....................not many places have the resources your county does, including many State DOC's .
                      There are many, many small county jails where the 1, 2 or 3 jailers on duty have to do the booking, custody, make the meals, feed the prisoners, wash the dishes, and do the laundry. I would bet if you went 1 or 2 counties away from yours.................you would find one of those places down there in TX.........................We have one right across the road from my insitution...Normally 2 staff watching 20-30 inmates ...........................
                      Last edited by Iowa #1603; 07-29-2008, 06:48 AM.
                      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Meal relief is handled by shorting each cellhouse for an hour
                        Your physical set up must be different from ours.

                        We have 4 pods on each floor. Each pod is an independant unit (72 inmates, 1 officer). You are basically locked in that pod and can't leave it for any reason (food, bathroom, etc) until someone comes to relieve you. The way we're set up you can't just walk off and leave the inmates unattended.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JMTX View Post
                          Your physical set up must be different from ours.

                          We have 4 pods on each floor. Each pod is an independant unit (72 inmates, 1 officer). You are basically locked in that pod and can't leave it for any reason (food, bathroom, etc) until someone comes to relieve you. The way we're set up you can't just walk off and leave the inmates unattended.
                          Much different
                          I also added a paragraph in my last post......I didn't realize you were on line.........
                          Here is my place
                          www.asphistory.com

                          Some good photos of the place
                          Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                          My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm praying that if I make it onto the Denver Sheriff's Department that they'll let me work the maximum hours allowed by the agency. I have big plans for the cash over the next twenty years.
                            sigpic
                            Don't make me gassy.
                            You wouldn't LIKE me when I'm gassy...
                            _________________________________

                            If you're offended by something that I've said...it was just your turn.

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                            • #15
                              I'm in NY and as stated earlier mandatory O.T. is referred to as getting "stuck". Basically there is a list of all the officers and they're "supposed" to cycle through the list starting with the least senior officer and work their way up to the most senior, whether this really happens I dont know. A lot of officers do swaps, mainly 2's and 4's and some do 4's and 8's which means if they're on a double they cant get stuck because they're already working the max. of 16 hours. However there are a few officers such as myself that dont do doubles and dont volunteer for O.T. so we have a greater chance of being stuck. Now the prison about 25 miles from the one I work at just hired 700 hours of mandatory O.T. on one shift alone, they had to hire 70 officers for O.T. on a single shift, so I cant complain about the place I'm working at but if one wants a lot of O.T. thats the place to be.

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