Brothers and sisters, I have been hearing some feedback from a lot of the different facilities. There are stories of the majority of officers pitching in for overtime to make staffing work, but then there are stories of negativity and refusal to work overtime. We have an obligation to serve as officers, but we have an even larger obligation to support our fellow brothers and sisters. We are trying to build a culture within the NDOC that all of you can be proud of. That culture starts with all of us. For now, excessive overtime is a reality. We hope that, with the increasing academy sizes, excessive overtime will be temporary. Please understand that if the supervisors are properly following the mandatory overtime policy and you refuse a direct order, you are guilty of misconduct. FOP doesn't absolve you of all wrongdoing, FOP protects your rights. If you are dead to rights guilty, no attorney is going to win your case. Let me be very clear, just because you have not been disciplined for refusing mandatory overtime doesn't mean that you will not be disciplined moving forward. I am not encouraging wrongful discipline, but justified accountability is necessary. As staffing improves, so will the standards for Officers and Supervisors. We are all on the same team, so let's all pitch in and do our part to make this work. Do not refuse overtime in the name of FOP, because that is not what FOP is all about. Work within the rules to try and make your overtime contributions as convenient as possible. Some facilities have officers working 30-40 hours of overtime per week, in order to be there for their fellow officers. As a matter of fact, the two highest vacancy rates, ESP and LCC, are making 12's work because officers are working their days off so often you can't tell A team dayshift from B team dayshift. These are great examples of fraternalism, where the officers are pitching in to make it work. If everyone works at least 1 per week, this will reduce the burnout on everyone. Some facilities that burden is higher and it may take 2 a week, but let's all work on this solution together. We need fraternalism for each other, not for the NDOC. The more that we work together, the more conditions will continue to improve. Help your brothers and sisters out by showing up for your shifts and picking up some extra shifts when you can. Let's all hold ourselves to a higher standard, because then no one else will need to. On the supervisors side, we need the same thing. Compassion doesn't cost a dime. A lot of these officers are working their tales off to do their part. Make sure the records are kept accurately to prevent incorrect mandates, which can lead to unnecessary confrontations. Be safe and TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER!