Budget conference: Correctional officers to get pay raise, 8.5-hour shift pilot program

PRISON STOCK PHOTO (4)
There's no final agreement yet, but lawmakers are singing the same tune.

Budget negotiators agreed to give Florida correctional officers a pay raise on top of the 3% pay raise lawmakers plan to hand state employees.

That news came Saturday alongside the House and Senate’s reveals of their initial deals to settle the next fiscal year’s budget. Early in the Session, it appeared that correctional officer pay raises wouldn’t happen in addition to the across the board raises.

Correctional officers with less than two years of experience would get a raise of $500 under the Senate’s plan.  Those with more than two years, but less than five would get a $1,500 bump and officers with five or more years would see a $2,500 increase.

Alongside the pay raises is a plan to bring officer’s work periods from 12-hour to 8.5-hour shifts over three or five years. House and Senate budget chiefs Travis Cummings and Rob Bradley did not share the details of that proposal or the planned pay raise.

“I think we trust Secretary (Mark) Inch and we think the eight and a half hour shift has a lot of merit to it,” Cummings told reporters Saturday afternoon.

In September, the Department of Corrections Secretary asked for an additional $89 million to begin scaling back shifts and to address other staffing problems.

The 12-hour shifts for prison guards implemented under the Rick Scott administration led to dramatic rises in guard turnover, stress for guards, violence by prisoners, and costs for the department, he said.

Lead justice appropriations negotiator Clay Yarborough said those talks are still taking place at the subcommittee level before the 1 p.m. Monday deadline.

But the House did accede to some of the Senate’s other plans in its first offer Saturday.

Lawmakers agreed to budget $1.9 million to hire 34 FTE of wellness specialists as well as $3 million to lease facilities and $2.2 million for security threat group resources.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


15 comments

  • Leonard Rogers

    March 8, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    We are not guards we are correctional officers. Guard is a derogatory term

    • Drew

      March 8, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      These idiots will never catch on to that Leonard because in their minds we aren’t truly a field of law enforcement officers although FL state statutes clearly dictate that we are. The only difference is in the power to arrest. Otherwise we clearly fit alongside all other agencies.

    • Patrick Leddy

      March 8, 2020 at 6:24 pm

      I would be happy to testify before the legislature.

      I have quite a bit of correctional experience at the state and federal level, plus a master’s in Criminal Justice administration.
      Call me 847 997 0569 or contact me
      at [email protected]. I live in Pensacola.

  • Astrid Tejeda

    March 8, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    I believe all state workers need a significant raise . State workers in Florida are in the top five for the lowest paid government workers in the country. For state workers to receive only two raises in 12 years (which were less than $500) is insane especially considering the cost of living etc that raise every year. It’s ridiculous that state workers except for state troopers get raises . Correctional officers risk their lives a lot more than troopers but get paid a lot less . Employees of every other real job in the work force throughout the world usually get raises yearly ; some with bonuses but yet Florida’s state workers especially Corrections have to live with basically the same pay every single year .

    • Charles Hull

      March 9, 2020 at 10:12 am

      I don’t see how you guys risk your lives more than police officers they get guns pulled on they get shot at and all you got to do is stand around and watch people he hardly ever hear of a guard being killed but you hear police officers being killed every day I think you got your priorities wrong

      • LaSandra Crawford

        March 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm

        You need to know Corrections is dangerous men and women get hurt and protecting you and us all. Know unlike police officers they have not weapons of force. You do the job then you know they put their life on the line daily while working behind the wall.

      • B Ayers

        March 15, 2020 at 10:09 am

        A Trooper may deal with 1 to 5 (Usually what fits in a car) suspects at a time, that may or may not be a danger. Correctional officers deal with possibly hundreds (What ever fits in a pod or housing unit) Who are known to be dangerous. There may be a gun in the car the trooper pulls over, but there could be a hundred makeshift weapons in the pod or housing unit. (A gun cannot be ruled out). a Trooper carries, a gun, baton, mace, and tazer, while wearing bullet and knife resistant protection. Most Correctional officers have no weapons and no protection. a vast contrast there, yes they are in a more dangerous situation.

    • T. Lee

      March 16, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      Thank you!!!! I’m not sure how the powers that be do not get this. Here in Miami a 2 bedroom apartment runs in the neighborhood of $975+ monthly. Our take home pay is just about that.

  • Astrid Tejeda

    March 8, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I believe all state workers need a significant raise . State workers in Florida are in the top five for the lowest paid government workers in the country. For state workers to receive only two raises in 12 years (which were less than $500) is insane especially considering the cost of living etc that raise every year. It’s ridiculous that state workers except for state troopers get raises . Correctional officers risk their lives a lot more than troopers but get paid a lot less . Employees of every other real job in the work force throughout the world usually get raises yearly ; some with bonuses but yet Florida’s state workers especially Corrections have to live with basically the same pay every single year .

  • Laura

    March 8, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    I am not a CO but I am a 8 year corrections nurse who has worked in both the jail and prison sectors. These men and women deserve far more than just salary increases. While I am sure some jumped the DOC ship to county jobs because of pay I have also heard so many describe the deplorable conditions Julie Jones created for these officers. The prisons are unsafe because she and others who follow her liberal mentality gave the inmates more rights than the officers. Officers doing their jobs were harassed with bogus IAs and inmates falsely accusing officers are not held accountable. The term too many chiefs and not enough Indians fares well with Corrections across the board. If you haven’t served your time behind the wall you sure as heck shouldn’t be the ones writing the rules for those that do. You simply can not grasp the concept of what these brave people do to protect the innocent from the guilty until you have walked in their shoes.

  • C/O

    March 9, 2020 at 9:09 am

    The only people who want 8hour shifts are the administration in Tallahassee who don’t listen or care about what their officers want or need!!! Right now, most of us get every other weekend off to spend with our families. With 8 hour shifts, only the favored officers will get weekends off. There are a lot of officers that already have their child custody set up around the current schedule… has anyone even considered what these shift changes would do for them? Extended workdays will also be a nightmare! It’s a whole lot easier to work 4 extra hours than 8!!!!! And why on Earth would anyone want to work 5 days in a row when you never have to work more than 3 in a row right now? We DEFINITELY need the raise, but only Mark Inch and the administration in Tallahassee want 8 hour shifts!!!!!!!

    • james

      March 21, 2020 at 2:53 am

      YES!!!!!

  • Randall

    March 9, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Any mention of a pay raise to Correctional Probation Officers?

  • Martha Yvette Roman

    March 9, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Is this a joke cost f living in ohio is low we get paid 21.45 an hour are these jails in Mexico

  • LaSandra Crawford

    March 9, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    The danger that a officer faces on a daily basis deserves to be paid for the danger. Those who stand at the gate between serving time and the world needs to be thanked honored and praised. If not for the gate keeper keeping us safe where would we al be. Less safe and protected.

Comments are closed.


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