OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Tecumseh State Correctional Institution (TSCI) will make the transition to 12-hour shifts for its staff on Dec. 4.
Scott R. Frakes, director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS), announced the change on Monday.
Between now and Dec. 4, executive staff members of that facility will work to develop the new schedule.
“The contract with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and NAPE requires that I declare a staffing emergency in order to make the shift from eight hour to 12- hour days,” explained Director Frakes. “This is the same procedure that we followed last month when the staffing schedule was changed at the Nebraska State Penitentiary (NSP).”
Upon completion of the new schedule, it will be communicated to those who work and live at the facility, along with volunteers and those who conduct activities there.
According to NDCS, the new schedule will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with shift staff working four consecutive 12-hour days with three days off.
Evening activities will be canceled and visitation at the facility will move to daytime hours.
“We will make accommodations where possible,” said Director Frakes. “It is unfortunate to disrupt the current routine, but this move is absolutely necessary to ensure that a reliable number of staff are available to operate TSCI in a safe and secure manner.”
Director Frakes doesn't know when TSCI will be able to resume its normal schedule.
“The staffing challenges at TSCI are different than those at the state penitentiary, or even Omaha for that matter. TSCI and NSP are certainly the focus of our hiring and retention efforts right now. If we can address those shortages, the entire system will be in a much healthier state.”
NDCS launched several new initiatives last month, including a $10,000 hiring bonus for new corporals hired at NSP, TSCI and at the Lincoln Correctional Center/Diagnostic and Evaluation Center.
Teammates can additionally earn up to $10,000 by referring corporals for hire if they remain on the job for three years.
Monday, Director Frakes announced that staff members at TSCI who are still employed as of Jan. 31, 2020 will get an automatic $500 bonus.
“People are taking advantage of these offers and we expect that others will moving forward. Conversations with FOP began several weeks ago, and I’m confident we can find additional solutions to address our staffing shortages.”