Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3185
By: Turner, Bob


Some of the reasons for the correction officer shortage in Texas in recent
years were low pay, frustration by pay schedules that top out after three
years of employment, a complicated grievance process, and a training
regimen where one in four correctional officers did not receive the
required 40 hours of in-service training.  It was estimated that the cost
of correctional officer turnover in fiscal year 2000 was over $40 million.
The number of new hires could not meet the demand created by increased
attrition.  In an effort to increase the number and quality of corrections
officers and provide more effective labor-management relations,  House Bill
3185 amends personnel policies regarding Texas corrections officers and
establishes regular labor-management meetings.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate additional rulemaking authority to a state officer,
department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 3185 amends the Government Code to require the Texas Department
of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) in conjunction with the human resource committee
(committee) of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice (board) or any other
committee created by the board to carry out the functions of the human
resources committee to review the implementation of and make
recommendations for rule and policy changes to:  

_career ladders programs; 

_professional development of correctional officers and supervisory

_labor-management cooperation, recruitment, and retention policies; and 

_disciplinary and grievance procedures. 

The bill requires TDCJ, in conjunction with the committee to submit a
report biennially to the legislature regarding the rule and policy changes.

The bill requires TDCJ to adopt a policy not later than October 1, 2001
that provides for an exit interview of each institutional division employee
who terminates employment with TDCJ. Employee participation in the
interview process is voluntary, and TDCJ is not required to conduct an exit
interview of an employee who is terminated against the employee's will.
The bill requires TDCJ to analyze responses to interviews conducted on the
basis of the age, gender, race or ethnicity, years of service, rank, and
duty locations of the responding employees.   

The bill requires TDCJ to submit to the board an annual report on the use
of the grievance procedure, and specifies information the report must
The bill requires TDCJ to develop a career ladder program for the
institutional division to retain professionally qualified employees.  The
bill sets forth factors on which the program must base the advancement of
an employee.  The bill requires TDCJ to promote a correctional officer
candidate to the level of Texas Law Enforcement Correctional Officer upon
completion of the hours of training and the years of experience required by
TDCJ .  The bill sets forth requirements for the development of training
programs and employee participation.     

The bill requires TDCJ to implement policies mandating bimonthly
labor-management meetings between each regional director or the assistant
regional director and employees selected by TDCJ or employees chosen by
employees selected by TDCJ.  At each bimonthly labor-management meeting,
both parties are required to have an opportunity to improve
labor-management relations by addressing issues selected by the parties.
The bill requires a regional director to submit a report at the conclusion
of each bimonthly meeting to the director of the institutional division
describing the progress of the meetings.   

The bill requires the director of the institutional division to conduct
statewide meetings with employee representatives.