Mo. Corrections Staff to get pay raise starting in 2020

Published: Aug. 23, 2019 at 6:12 PM CDT
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CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Staff with the Missouri Department of Corrections will soon get a raise of up to 13 percent and it's all thanks to Governor Parson’s 2020 state budget.

“With the new ones coming in I always try to be a mentor give them advice and try to lead them in the right direction to retain them," said Martha Powell, a corrections officer at Southeast Corrections Center.

Powell has been with the SCC for 18 years.

She trains new employees, who in spite of her experience get paid exactly what she does.

“I sort of got a little frustrated with you’re making what I’m making,” said Powell.

Starting in 2020 Powell won’t have those frustrations thanks to a plan developed by the department of corrections and signed by Governor Mike Parson.

“What it really is, is really exciting. So it’s basically a plan to take care of our tenured staff with incentive based raises for their years of service but it’s also designed give us a raise in our base pay for our incoming employees,” said Jason Lewis, the Warden of SCC.

He said with the new payment plan the base salary for corrections officers will go up three percent, the largest raise in department history.

“Historically we’ve been 45-48 out of 50 on a national level for pay to just begin with,” said Lewis.

What makes this plan more exciting for Powell is she and her coworkers will now be rewarded for their years of service, for every two years they work for MDC they will get a 1 percent increase up to 20 years of service.

“This is really just about taking care of our staff,” said Lewis. “I’ve been around for 18 years and I would say this is in direct response to low pay not necessarily a reactive measure to low staffing or vacancies.”

Powell was in Jefferson city when Governor Parson signed the state budget.

“That was really exciting. I’m still waiting to see the money but that was exciting,” said Powell.

She said with her raise she’s planning to go on a vacation.

"I always like to go on trips and my first thing with this raise is probably going to go back to Louisiana to the Prison Rodeo. I love going to the rodeo down there. But for right now I think I want to see it before I spend it,” said Powell.

The SCC is currently hiring for several positions including corrections officers.

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