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Corrections union leaders looking to save jobs following prison closure announcement

By KATRINA SMITH

WHITESBORO, N.Y. (WKTV) - A day after the governor announced he will close several prisons across the state, correctional officers union leaders are looking into how they can save as many jobs as possible.

Central Region Union Vice President Tom Haas of Whitesboro says the closures will effect 995 corrections officers across the state, 333 in Oneida Correctional alone.

Haas says there are some open positions across the state that haven't been filled, which is where some of the displaced workers will go. However, Haas said there are some officers who may lose their jobs.

Haas says he and other union leaders will be taking a proposal to the governor very soon.

"If the governor would offer a buyout for the 25-plus year guys, they would, probably a good percentage of them, would take that buyout, step out the door," Haas said. "That would, in turn, save the state a lot of money, because your 25-plus year guys are the highest paid officers. That would save money there and that would create enough opening for the displaced officers to take."

Haas says he's not sure how soon the prisons will close, but believes the implementation plan won't be in place for at least another 60 days.

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