It is safe to say that people who take on correctional officer jobs often do it for the sense of pride, not for the money. But corrections officers in the state of Florida are now saying that they believe that they deserve a pay raise, or that the state risks losing the best corrections officers in its ranks.
In April, Florida State corrections officers spoke out, publicly asking the state to give them a pay raise. According to the officers, such as Sergeant Thomas Johnson, the fact that the state has not been giving adequate raises to officers over the last several years is causing good officers to leave the corrections profession altogether, as they go in search of higher wages. Officer Johnson was quoted as saying that many of these corrections personnel have a decade or more experience, and are among the best and brightest in the field – which makes them particularly hard to replace.
Florida State corrections officers are not alone in their push to get higher wages. In a recent news conference, which was held outside of the state’s Senate chambers, Senator Greg Evers, R-Baker, joined with corrections officers in asking for the pay increases.
Senator Evans has a track record of looking to boost the wages of the state’s protective personnel: last year he asked the state’s Department of Agriculture for a raise for the state’s prison guards and firefighters. Now he’s taking up Florida’s corrections officers’ crusade for higher wages.
Despite their high profile supporters, the state’s corrections officers see their push to get higher wages as an uphill battle. The state’s governor, Rick Scott, has a reputation as being extremely shrewd with the state’s budget, leading many to believe that it will be difficult to get him to agree to a pay raise. Despite the very public push for the increased wages, recent budgets, which passed the state House and Senate, do not include raises specifically targeted for corrections officers.