The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

March 29, 2008

TDCJ officers get pay increase

A 10 percent salary increase for newly-hired Texas Department of Criminal Justice correctional officers was approved Thursday during a regular meeting of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice.

The salary increase, which will raise correctional officers’ starting salaries by over $2,000 and will also guarantee future raises, will go into effect beginning May 1.

“Essentially, the Texas Board of Criminal Justice approved a salary increase for newly-hired correctional officers which takes their old starting salary of $23,046 up to a figure of $25,416,” said Jason Clark, TDCJ public information officer. “What this does is increase all incoming correctional officers’ salaries by 10 percent.

“Then, after two months in a Correctional Officer I position, their salary will advance to $26,940 when they reach the level of Correctional Officer II.”

Upon reaching the position of Correctional Officer III after an additional six months, Clark said the officers’ salary would again increase, this time to $28,546.

Based on the previous pay ladder, correctional officers would not reach that salary level until they had been working for TDCJ for 15 months.

“The primary focus was increasing the salary offered in the first few career ladder steps to impact both recruitment and retention during those critical early months of employment,” he said. “By eliminating the first Correctional Officer III pay level, we’ve reduced the time required to reach maximum salary by six months for all correctional staff.”

Clark said the salary increases were concentrated on the segment of TDCJ correctional officers which has experienced the highest loss historically.

“The agency’s highest loss of correctional officers occurs within their first year of service — basically, their first year is when they’re likely to leave,” he said. “In 2007, for example, our turnover rate for people in their first year reached 43 percent, as compared to an overall turnover rate of 24 percent.”

While this increase only affects those correctional officers who have been employed with TDCJ for less than one year, Clark said work is being done to plan a more comprehensive salary increase.

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