GREENVILLE, Ill. – The union president representing corrections officers and staff at the federal prison in Greenville says staff shortages, coupled with the partial government shutdown, have added up to a serious problem.
Workers will not be receiving their Friday paycheck, even as they continue to show up for work.
“They expect their compensation,” said Brian Mueller, AFGE Local 1304 president. “They expect their pay. That’s all we’re asking for.”
Mueller says staffing shortages have resulted in mandatory overtime. He says some workers will be notified a half hour before their 8-hour shift is over that they must say and work another 8-hour shift.
“Compound that with the shutdown, things are very stressful here,” he said.
Workers will likely receive back pay once the shutdown is resolved but until then showing up for work while not getting paid is like adding insult to injury.
“These men and women take a lot of pride in their work,” said Mueller. “Sometimes I feel that pride is taken advantage of by our government.”
He believes the blame for the shutdown should be placed with both major political parties.
“Every day during the shutdown the men and women behind this fence are going to work. That’s what we want our elected politicians to do. On the left side and on the right,” said Mueller. “Sit down, compromise, and work out a fair deal for the American people and the federal workers.”
The Bureau of Prisons responded on Friday saying, “At BOP institutions, ordinary operations are continuing during the lapse, including mental health services and counseling, inmate programming, medical treatment, releases, etc.”