Friday, June 17, 2011

The Central unit debacle continues

Central Prison Unit/ Houston Chronicle Photo
By Tonya Peters, Backgate Website

After news was released here that TDCJ would be closing the doors of the 102 year old Central prison unit in Sugarland, there has been little or no other information offered to it's staff. Although the agency states that the unit will not be funded after August 31st, the actual "final call" will be as late as December according to what some agency administrators are saying. Employees residing in state housing at the unit are said to have been given an August 31st deadline to be out of their houses. Those employees will then remain in limbo until they are transferred to other units in the area and beyond.

Many employees we spoke with are aggravated that the agency has not opened up positions in Region III for them to apply for. There are no security related jobs posted in Region III as of today. Being unable to apply for internal positions and not knowing when they will be released to transfer is taking a toll on some staff members we are told. The only two positions verified as being administratively moved to other units as Central closes are the unit Major and Captain. Others still have not been addressed.

Another employee we spoke to via email stated " We personally have small school age children that will need to be enrolled in school somewhere prior to August 31st. School starts the week before that and at this point none of us with families know where we will end up. We understand the issue wasn't created by TDCJ, and all we ask is that we know something soon so we can make arrangements and continue on with our lives."

This seemed to be the general consensus in the dozens of emails we received regarding the Central unit's closure. Employees weren't displacing blame on the agency for the closure. Only aggravated that no one in an administrative position has addressed the issues surrounding the closure and the plan as to where employees will be able to transfer to and when.

12 comments:

  1. The Central Unit Warden, Major, Captain, and Lieutenants know where they are going. They just aren't saying. That is so damn sorry. The officers have stopped writing disciplinaries and are calling in like crazy forcing the rest of us to work forced overtime. Mr. Morales came by the unit but he just laughed and joked with the warden. The few steps Morales did dare take into the real part of the unit, he hid behind his sunglasses and looked straight ahead in fear. He didn't talk to any of the working folks. Word is that he is hiding behind his sunglasses because he is worried about the dirt ex-Major Humphreys has on him. They say there may be a Anthony Weiner deal about to explode.

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  2. If anyone is RIFed after Sept 1st from Central, who is a TDCJ employee please call me at 1.800.374.9772. This does not include Windham or UTMB. All TDCJ employees should be able to transfer from Central to units nearby. If there is a single RIF from Central, I need to know, because there should not be a single TDCJ employee RIF from Central as per agreed upon with the Texas Legislature. TDCJ should have placed a hiring and transfer freeze in Region III on all jobs needed for people at the Central Unit. If there is any TDCJ employees RIFed from Central, this matter will be addressed with Austin.

    Respectfully,

    Lance Lowry
    AFSCME CEC 7 (Texas Correctional Employees)
    1.800.374.9772

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  3. Heck we as security staff just want to know where we are going to set up our families before Aug. 31. They have already gave us our notice to move out of state housing/BOQ's and yet we don't know where we are supposed to move our families.

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  4. AFSCME's not going to do anything for anyone. They have no power and just live off our dues. Has anyone thought that the reason nobody's heard anything from TDCJ admin is because they RIF'd hundreds of admin workers to make budjet for 2011? There's nobody left to do the work.

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  5. To anon 2:19 AM,

    You better do your research on AFSCME before you say they are powerless. AFSCME PEOPLE PAC was the largest single contributor during the last two elections in the Unites States. AFSCME is the only employee's organization to get legislation passed increasing TDCJ offficers benefits this session (see House Bill 988 witness list).

    Secondly, if you wish to attack me, please sign your name to the posting like I did. Cell warriors do not impress me.

    Thirdly, I am trying to help people out who may face RiFs from the Central Unit.

    Forthly, I have been in contact with Austin on this matter and have had inside knowledge of the closure for months.

    Fifthly, before you tell people AFSCME does nothing, please join our lobbying group in Austin as we spend months at a time up there living out of hotel rooms lobbying for TDCJ correctional employees.

    Lastly, if you can do a better job on this matter, please post your name and number for people to get help.


    Respectfully,

    Lance Lowry
    AFSCME Texas Correctional Employees
    1.800.374.9772

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  6. Is AFSCME for clerks and admin staff too?

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Why'd they delete my post? The thoughts of Those who spent a considerable amount of their lives there are irrelevant?

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  9. Your comment was deleted because you are an ex-offender and this forum is not intended for ex-offenders. There are sites out there geared for for this...

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  10. Much obliged...

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  11. Good post Lance.I've always said if you want change you have to be ready and willing to work for it.A few of us went to Austin and we saw you guy there.TDCJ is one hellofa place to get anything good done for the employee's.So Thank You Lance, COV just trying to last long enough to retire.

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  12. "Your comment was deleted because you are an ex-offender and this forum is not intended for ex-offenders. There are sites out there geared for for this..."

    No, I think the better approach is:
    "We discuss the issues related to former employees and not former prisoners"

    It shouldn't matter WHO you are. What should matter is WHAT is being discussed.

    A former prisoner should be perfectly capable of discussing about employee affairs. As long as the conversation is focused on employee matters, then that's what matters, right?

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