The State Worker

California prison guards approve one-year contract with a 5 percent raise

Inmates in the main exercise yard at Folsom State prison in Folsom on Friday, November 17, 2017.
Inmates in the main exercise yard at Folsom State prison in Folsom on Friday, November 17, 2017. Sacramento Bee file

California state correctional officers will see a sweet pay increase a year from now through a short contract it struck with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association on Tuesday announced that its members approved an agreement that gets them a 5 percent wage increase on July 1, 2019.

"Our negotiations team worked hard to get us a good, fair contract. Our membership recognized this and voted accordingly," CCPOA President Chuck Alexander said.

The Legislature has already approved the contract and it is awaiting Brown's signature. It's the largest one year wage increase for correctional officers since the recession and it'll cost about $338 million over the next two years, according to the Brown administration.

The Legislative Analyst's Office raised questions about the contract offer before lawmakers voted on it, releasing a report that said the administration had a "weak justification" for a large pay increase.

It noted that the state does not appear to have a recruitment or retention issues and that wage increase for correctional officers have exceeded inflation since 2001.

A handful of Republican lawmakers voted against the deal because of its cost.

CalHR Director Richard Gillihan told lawmakers at a budget hearing that the contract "recognizes the critical work and the dangerous environment that our correctional officers face every day protecting Californians and the inmates in their custody."

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