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Correctional officers consider forming union

March 07, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

About 100 correctional officers fighting for a wage increase and a retroactive raise seemed enthusiastic Monday night about forfeiting about $75 annually - membership dues for the Fraternal Order of Correctional Officers.

Keith Martin, a Western Correctional Institution officer, announced Monday that more than 1,000 signatures had been collected in support of the organization, which will represent Maryland correctional officers before the state's General Assembly. Martin said the union representing correctional officers now has several other groups, and officers feel their needs are not being addressed.

"It's our retirement, our pay raises and now manpower," Martin said.

The next step for the officers will be to work with attorneys to create bylaws, he said. The Fraternal Order of Correctional Officers will need 30 percent of all officers to be paid members of the organization. Then, a board will be elected for each region and at the state level, Martin said.

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"This will help us to get lobbying and representation in Annapolis," he said.

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