From: Michael Alexander
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Corrections Compensation
Date: Fri Feb 13 06:05:33 MST 2015
Dear Representative Lifferth: Governor Herbert has recommended $4.2 million dollars be appropriated for salary adjustments in the Utah Department of Corrections. This gesture on the Governor's part recognizes that correctional salaries are $46 million behind in compensation compared to correctional officers working in Salt Lake, Utah, or Davis Counties. I am writing today to ask you to support the Governor's recommendation and consider appropriating an even higher amount in order to bring my salary more in line with my counterparts working in other correctional agencies in Utah. Also, we are interested in working with our administration to develop a salary schedule, similar to the one adopted last year, by the Utah Highway Patrol and of course within the funds you appropriate. I also understand that FOP has advocated in our behalf and has asked for a recurring raise of $.75 per year. I feel very grateful for both the Governor’s proposal and the proposal from FOP. At the same time, I also feel that either one alone, or both together still make little difference in the day to day lives and monthly budgets of the Correctional Officers working for the state. No matter how carefully my wife and I budget our money, or how loud our pennies scream, we still feel like we are slowly drowning. I have worked for the Department of Corrections for four years, and worked for the Department of Public Safety before that for three years and I make $16.55 an hour. In order to provide for my family I work my regular shifts, and max out the overtime allotment. I am 27 years old and with a wife that will need heart surgery this year, I feel despair every day knowing that I will have those medical bills to pay when the time comes. As you can see, the $4.2 million dollars proposed, comes nowhere near the $46 million we need to equalize our compensation. I will be grateful for every cent we get but I ask that you consider appropriating more funds toward the compensation of our Correctional Professionals. I am thankful for my career and want to thank you for the job you are doing in our behalf. In many ways your work goes thankless as much as ours does. As a constituent in your district, I thank you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Kelly Atkinson, Executive Director of FOP at 801 - 673 - 2861 or by emailing him at Sincerely, Mike Alexander Correctional Officer Utah Department of Corrections Email Address: 801-707-8992