Dec 19, 2013
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Jail's help-wanted list keeps getting longer at Rockingham County House of Correction
The vacancies come as corrections officers enter their fourth year without a new contract and pay raises. Negotiations resumed in April, but whether county and union representatives will reach an agreement anytime soon remains to be seen.
"It's a maximum security to a minimum security facility. These are sworn law enforcement officers and they're dealing with anything that comes their way and they're very good at it," he said.
"You name the crime, it's in here," Church said.
The base starting pay for a corrections officer is $14.90 an hour.
Tombarello said that one corrections officer left for a security job at Manchester's Elliot Hospital where he'll make $3 more an hour.
"The turnover that's been going on since contract expiration, from our records, is record-setting. We're extremely concerned about the staffing levels and we cannot stress enough the importance of having a contract in place." said Jeff Padellaro, business agent for Teamsters Union Local 633 and the lead union negotiator.
Padellaro estimated that in the next 2½ years over 30 percent of the current workforce will be eligible for retirement.
Church said the jail has tried everything to find qualified help, including visiting job fairs.
Tombarello said he's "hopeful" that a new contract agreement may be reached, but cautioned, "I wouldn't say I'm optimistic."
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