NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an emergency relief plan to address the crisis at Rikers Island, however the correction officers union said they were never consulted about the plan, which does not fully address understaffing problems.
Benny Boscio Jr. told PIX11 they were not part of the mayor’s Emergency Rikers Relief Plan and were notified about it after the announcement was made.
Under the plan, the NYPD would come in to replace correction officers in the courts so those officers can assist with staffing issues at Rikers Island.
Boscio called the plan a “knee-jerk reaction,” and said the plan would not work because the NYPD and correction officers are trained differently, so it would cause even more delays in the court system.
The president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association also said there are only a few hundred officers in the courts, so it won’t be much of a help to the officers at Rikers.
“It’s a sinking ship,” Boscio said, adding that there have been about 1,300 resignations since January 2019.
Many officers are working 25-hour shifts, leading to exhaustion, and many officers are not getting paid for working that overtime, according to Boscio.
The plan also issued a 30-day suspension for officers who call out of work without a doctor’s note or don’t show up.
Boscio criticized that part of the plan, arguing that it would force more officers to work more shifts.
“Officers are fed up,” he said.
He clarified the union is “all for reform, but it can’t be one-sided.”
“We’re suffering, we need help,” Boscio said.