Letter To Sen. Bradley: Vote Yes To Support Equal Raises For FDOC

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April 10, 2013

Provided to Florida Public Employees

By: Christina Bullins, Political Coordinator – Teamsters, Local 2011

Dear Senator Bradley,

I urge to you to vote YES on any amendment to Senate Bill 1500 Appropriations to give special issue raises to Corrections and Correctional Probation Officers.  Corrections and Corrections Probation Officers have not had a raise since 2006.  I read that Senator Negron wanted to ensure that officers that go into harms way everyday to serve citizens need a “special issue raise”.  I read that Senator Negron wanted to ensure that veteran officers don’t make just a little more than rookie officers.  Therefore I urge you to correct the oversight made by Senator Negron in not including Corrections and Correctional Probation Officers who fit the above criteria the MOST of any officer in the state.

In 2006 FDLE agents received a compression pay that DOC officers did not receive, in 2008 FHP officers received a 5% raise and in 2011 FWC received a 3% raise.  According to FDLE’s 2011 Criminal Justice Agency Profile Survey, sergeants at FDLE, FHP and FWC make $7,000 more than the officers.  The same report states that DOC sergeants make only $2,000 more than officers.  Therefore to ensure that veteran officers receive a fair salary over their rookie counterparts, you must enact a special issue raise for DOC officers.  It is very costly to the taxpayers when an agency has high attrition rates not only due to the additional costs with hiring and training but the effect due to a lack of qualified and experienced officers on the agencies ability to carry out its mission.  According to the above-cited report, the attrition rate for 2011 was 140 for FHP, 32 for FWC, 28 for FDLE and 3,079 for DOC.  In one year alone 3,079 officers left DOC!  Now that is simply NOT Smart Justice for our Florida Corrections System!

Smart Justice should also include a commitment to attract and keep a competitive workforce of Correctional Probation Officers who are FDLE Certified Officers and are required (no substitution allowed for experience) to have a Bachelor’s Degree. Many of these officers that have worked for DOC for 5, 10 or 15 years do not make $40,000 a year!  I have the required Bachelor’s Degree, which I earned with honors and am a unit supervisor with Community Corrections.  I have worked for DOC for over 13 years.  I have worked my way up the ranks to unit supervisor with only one career service position, Senior Supervisor, above me.  I am committed to my oath to protect the public and to lower recidivism and on my own, achieved Certification by the American Association of Corrections as a Certified Corrections Supervisor.  I often work side-by-side with other law enforcement officers in city, county and federal law enforcement agencies that earn 30k-50k more than I do because I do not even bring home $600 every Friday.  My salary is public information that is readily available on the web for verification.  I obviously did not choose this profession for the money however between the raises and the promotions, I did receive somewhat of a dignified salary before 2006. However it is now simply intolerable to me and shameful to anyone who does not support this amendment.

Corrections and Correctional Probation Officers have very dangerous jobs but are committed to go in harms way everyday.    Please vote for this amendment to allow DOC officers like me to earn a deserved and dignified salary to support my family, my community and myself.

Sincerely,

Christina Bullins

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