Union sues Department of Corrections over 'hostile and extremely unsafe' work conditions

Department of Corrections
A New York Corrections Department bus seen on October 25, 2019 in New York City. Photo credit David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A union representing New York City’s correction officers is suing the Department of Corrections over a number of “hostile and extremely unsafe” working conditions.

The suit was brought by the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association on Friday saying officers have been frequently assigned shifts that violate state law, amid a staffing shortage.

The union also alleges officers were not equipped with adequate personal protective equipment during the pandemic and were regularly denied meal breaks, bathroom breaks and access to water.

“It's extremely unsafe to be a correction's officer in New York City today,” said union president Benny Boscio Jr.

He notes that “staffing levels are extremely bad” and officers have been forced to work “25-plus hours, in some cases 30 hours straight.”

The union president said assaults on officers are also happening, partly because members of the same gang are being put in the same jail cells.

In a statement, Boscio added that he has “never seen such deplorable working conditions for our members — conditions that have been made even worse by the continued indifference of the top brass at our agency.”

“What was once considered a solid career path is now a daily nightmare for the men and women who work tirelessly to keep this city safe,” he said.

Former DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann