Florida Prison Employees Hope Lawmakers Will Grant Them Pay Raises In 2016

Oct 21, 2015

Union Correctional Sgt. Brian Cliffin (left) and Kim Schultz, a probation officer from Miami, speaking about pay raises, outside the Governor's office.
Credit Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Several correctional officers from across the state are hoping Florida lawmakers will consider raising their pay during the 2016 legislative session.

Ever heard of the term ghosting?

“We all know it’s not right because you’re putting everybody in danger,” said Union Correctional Sgt. Brian Cliffin.

Cliffin says it’s a way for an understaffed correctional facility to say they’re fully staffed. And, Kim Schultz, a probation officer from Miami, says it’s these types of situations that make a lot of people leave for better paying jobs. 

“And, we’re getting all these new officers,” said Schultz, who's worked 19 years for the prison agency. “Well, who’s to train them? There’s nobody senior to train them anymore because they’re leaving or they’re retiring. And, so, we’re not going to have as much of an experience in professional agency if we don’t raise the pay, and lure people back into the jobs.”

Tangela Amos, a probation officer from Miami, speaks about the need for a pay raise for her family.
Credit Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Over the past few months, she and other correctional employees, like Tangela Amos, are visiting lawmakers and telling their stories—hoping for a rise in pay. They're also hoping to get a meeting with Governor Rick Scott as well.

“We risk our livescorrectional officers and probation officersevery day,” said Amos, another probation officer from North Miami Beach. “And, I’d like to think that I guess I’d say appreciated for what I do, and not having a raise for nine years has put a financial strain on my family.”

Meanwhile, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones has expressed similar views, hoping lawmakers and the Governor will look into increasing salaries.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.