Virginia Locals Build Support for Corrections, Public Safety Officers

CWA local leaders and members in Virginia have put together a model grassroots campaign as part of the effort to win collective bargaining rights for public safety officers.

It's just one part of the CWA program to advance a state legislative agenda that supports corrections officers in Virginia. Don Baylor, a retired corrections officer, is working with CWA locals in Virginia to step up support for corrections and other public safety officers.

The campaign concentrated on generating personal contacts with Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, to get their support for workers' bargaining rights.

CWA activists from Locals 2201 and 2204, which represent corrections officers, collected more than 500 letters and generated more than 1,000 telephone calls to the senators' offices. Thousands more were generated nationally to support CWA's 22,000 members in the National Coalition of Public Safety Officers.

Virginia NCPSO members and CWA Local 2201 leaders came to Washington for meetings with the senators and their staffs and to deliver the letters.

Despite having bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate, and with 55 Senators voting to have a full floor discussion and debate on the measure, the bill couldn't overcome the dysfunctional Senate rules that allow a minority to block action in the Senate. Senator Webb voted to move the bill forward, but Senator Warner voted against discussion.