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Federal judge rejects corrections union argument against furlough plan

Sep 03, 2020 6:00 am
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media an application for a temporary restraining order filed by the Columbia County Corrections Officers Benevolent Association to end the county's six-day furlough for corrections officers and staff at the county jail was rejected by a federal court September 2. In its court papers, the union argued the furloughs violated the U.S. Constitution and the losses claimed by the county were speculative. The furloughs were imposed as a cost-savings measure to help offset the county deficit brought on by the COVID-19 emergency. The Columbia County Board of Supervisors June 4, decided that corrections officers would be furloughed over six days. The furlough calls for COs and staff at the county jail to take one unpaid day off each month, until November, when the furlough will be reviewed again. “We’re projecting a pretty sizable deficit for the county because of COVID-19,” said Matt Murell, chairman of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors. “We tried to work this through so that we could save the money we need to save, but also protect our employees.” The county expects to save about $65,000 as a result of the program. The county proposed the plan for corrections officers as well as the sheriff's office, Murrell said. In response, the sheriff’s department proposed a series of givebacks equal to the savings from the proposed furlough. The Hon. Brenda K. Sannes of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Wed., Sep. 2, denied the union’s request for a temporary restraining order and an injunction to overturn the furlough. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.