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Some workers to lose comp time after Phelps closure

Last Modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 5:37 PM

By John Guidroz / American Press

Some employees at C. Paul Phelps Correctional Facility in DeQuincy will not get their comp time payments after the facility’s expected closure in November, officials with the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections said Thursday.

Tanisha Matthews, the department’s human resources director, met with Phelps employees to discuss the steps that will occur before the facility shuts down. Department officials announced the closure last Friday and say the move is expected to save the state $2.6 million in the current fiscal year.

Matthews said higher-level employees, like supervisors or managers, will not get money from comp time, which is time spent at the facility past normal working hours. The American Press spoke with two Phelps employees who will feel the effects of this. One said he will lose out on earning more than $5,000 worth of comp time.

Matthews said that money does not have to be paid to those employees because they are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Those who are covered by the FLSA include security officers and employees with the rank of cadet, sergeant or master sergeant.

“They weren’t happy,” she said of the announcement. “It’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Matthews said they will meet with permanent employees twice — once after they have submitted the official layoff plan to state Civil Service Department Director Shannon Templet, and again after the director approves the plan. They will meet with probational employees once about their layoff plan, which she said is separate from the permanent employees. The plans, which show which positions are being eliminated, will be submitted to the Civil Service Department by Oct. 1, Matthews said.

Any vacant positions will be posted at Phelps five days before they are announced on the Civil Service website, she said. Phelps employees whose positions are transferred to other facilities can refuse the offer.

“For some employees, it’s not feasible to move to an institution that is too far away,” Matthews said.

Matthews said the employees’ group insurance will continue through the end of November. Pam Laborde, communications director for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, said employes can pick up COBRA insurance after the group policy ends.

Employees will be paid for up to 300 hours of annual leave on their final paychecks if they have earned that much.

“If they have served 200 hours, they will be paid for 200,” Matthews said. “But if they have 500 hours, they will get 300.”

Laborde said this policy was used for the closure at Forcht Wade Correctional Center in Caddo Parish and J. Levi Dabadie Correctional Center in Pineville.

Matthews said the human resources department will meet with Phelps employees at 10 a.m. today and 9 a.m. Saturday.

Posted By: J W Doucher On: 9/22/2012

Title: service and loyalty are rewarded...

but only for the elite and lick-spittle of this administration. The rank and file get the door the poor are SOL.

Posted By: Pancho On: 9/22/2012

Title: Piyush Jindal and his abandonment of state workers and taxpayers

JIndal has adopted a priority of his biggest campaign funders, the Koch brothers. That's why he spent so much time in Wisconsin where the Kochs spent $4 million, twice the amount spent by Scott Walker's general election opponent, to keep their northern stooge in office. He hasn't had a thought about removing prisoners from Allen or Winn, horribly operated by the for-profit prison industry corporations, where high tunrnover employees have shown they were unable to deal with violence, staff smuggling and other major issues. When these prisons get out of control, it's state workers who come in to clean up the ongoing mess caused by GEO Group and CCA. A shakedown last year netted a pound of marijuana and many weapons in one of those pens. The other outsourced correctons are just as bad. A shakedown of an Emerald prison resulted in the confiscation of 74 cell phones, the method by which drug deals or gang hits or witness intimidation or especially, escapes are carried outl.
The Koch bought their legislative majority between 2008 and 2011, and they were casting bread upon the waters as their legislative stooge, Noble Ellingtion, defied Louisiana voters by leading four Democrats to change parties. It was a coup d' etat, largely unrecognized, a takeover of state government for the benefit of the brothers. If you wear Lycra, dry your hands on Bounty towels, wipe yourself with Quilted Northern, you are helping the brothers to kill state jobs, loot the public treasury and hugely raise the costs of incarceration. The taxpayers are being held up, and Piyush doesn't have the decency to wear a ski mask.

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