Last week, VSEA Corrections Unit members launched a campaign to appeal weekly to the State to reinstate the hazard pay the workers had been receiving for COVID-related duties. The Governor was mailed a large batch of employees’ written, firsthand accounts of what it’s like to work in a Vermont prison during the pandemic; each reminding him how the COVID threat has not ended and asking why their hazard pay did.
Each week, VSEA will continue to share some of the testimonials that best illustrate the organic themes that came up most often in member submissions. This week, Corrections Unit members mailed another powerful batch of workers’ firsthand accounts to the Governor, educating him about how a lack of hazard pay during this pandemic–along with a host of other experiences VSEA members have dealt with throughout this crisis–is destroying staff morale at correctional facilities statewide.
“I have been at my facility for 13 years now, and I have NEVER seen the staff morale so low. Staff are struggling with the added stress that COVID brings to the table, staff are becoming demoralized at an alarming rate, which leads to depression, increased alcohol consumption as well as serious suicidal ideations.”