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Scott Touts Correctional Officers Pay Bump; Teamsters Say They Deserve More

This week is National Corrections Week, and Gov. Rick Scott took some time away from his “Teacher Pay Raise Victory Tour” to praise Florida’s correctional officers. He’s also reminding them about his efforts to get them higher pay. But, some say the state could do more for Florida’s prison officers.

In a video message, Scott says he’s thankful correctional officers are keeping Florida safe.

“Thanks to all your hard work, Florida is at a 41-year low in our crime rate. Also, we can celebrate recidivism dropping to 27.6-percent. This great achievement means families and visitors can feel safe in our state," Scott said.

“That’s one reason why we have proposed performance bonuses for DOC employees this year. Keep up the hard work and have a wonderful Corrections Week," he said. 

But some like Michael Filler say while they’re happy correctional officers will get a raise, the state could have done more. He’s with the Teamsters union, the group that represents thousands of officers.

“The Legislature should have taken greater consideration for correctional officers who put their lives on the lines every day in the third largest prison system of the U.S. Similar to the Florida Highway Patrol, we would have liked it if the correctional officers and correctional probational officers would have gotten an additional across the board increase,” Filler says.

Florida Highway Patrol officers are expected to receive a 3 percent increase in pay on top of the raises all state workers will receive. Filler says his group hopes to talk to lawmakers about getting similar increases for correctional workers next year.

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