Sunday, May 26, 2013

Will TDCJ find it even harder to fill empty vacancies after current ledge session ?

By Doug Glass, Backgate Website

With what looks like a mere 5% pay raise on track for TDCJ employees in the next budget year, and with only 1% of that going in employee pockets after a hike in retirement contributions, will an already sour hiring and retention rate go further south ? With the price of living going up at a rate that the state of Texas can't seem to match in employee compensation benefits, along with new retirement requirements that mean new hires will have to work until they are 62 years old to gain full retirement just may equal more vacancies.

 For instance, 19 year old employee hired on after September 2013 will have to work approximately 40 years before being eligible for full state retirement benefits. A move that obviously punishes younger employees that may wish to make a life long career with the agency. With growth continuing in private sector jobs, TDCJ may find itself in a pickle by this time next year. More mandatory overtime, more danger to staff forced to work short handed, and more taxpayer money spent to fix a seemingly simple issue of staff retention and comparable pay.

28 comments:

  1. STAND UP MY FELLOW CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND SHOW THE STATE HOW IMPORTANT ARE JOB IS!!!! BECAUSE WITHOUT US THE STATE CANT SLEEP WELL KNOWING THAT THERE IS NOONE WATCHING THE BAD GUYS....... MAKE PHONE CALLS AND START LOOKING FOR BETTER JOBS TIL THEY WAKEUP AND PAY US WHAT WE ARE WORTH............

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  2. SEE THE FUNNY THING IS THAT EVER SENSE THEY STARTED THE "PAT" TEST THEY HAVE LOST ALOT OF THE OLDIER AND LOYAL CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS THAT HAVE STAYED WITH TDCJ OVER THE YEARS THROUGHOUT THE GOOD AND BAD TIME TIMES. BUT NOW THE NEW PEOPLE COMING IN SEE WHAT THEY GET PAID AND THE WORK THEY DO THEY DONT CARE AND JUST LEAVE AS FAST AS THEY COME........ WAKE UP TDCJ AND SEE THAT THE NEW AGE OFFICERS DONT CARE.....

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  3. We are paid exactly what we are worth. Do you think I'm kidding? Take a look at the spelling, grammar and punctuation in some of these comments. Uneducated CO's, illiterate captains and majors with rotten teeth are an embarrassment. I've even seen a warden that can't open his mouth without saying ain't. Sorry folks, but elected officials, as well as society in general, will never take us seriously as long as our fellow officers lack a basic understanding of proper English. They view us as a bunch of ignorant rednecks and urban slime. I kow I won't win any friends with these comments. I am not trying to offend anyone, but this is the truth.

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    1. "kow"?????? What type of spelling is that???

      Speak for yourself. There are some very smart and educated CO's out there. We should not have to take on a second job to make a living wage. Corrections is a skilled job requiring knowledge of communications to command society's worst. Not all CO's do their job, but the ones who do keep the state out of a wreck.

      Corrections is not a mall cop security job, though some in upper administration would like to treat us that way and they are the ones who are ignorant. Be careful before you speak and put your foot in your mouth. The people I find who are ignorant, speak first without knowing the subject matter.

      Never assume corrections is a brain dead occupation, that line of thinking will get you killed, or someone else. TDCJ incarcerates inmates who are former navy Seals, ex lawyers, judges, doctors, politicians, and many PHD's. Never assume all CO's are uneducated. CO's are the ones who keep some of societies most educated sociolpaths in prison, without liability claims or causes.

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    2. So True. We have a lot of low class folks in the agency. And the most ignorant ones are the wanna-be union leaders who want to speak on our behalf.

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    3. It's no wonder they have bad teeth... They can't afford a dentist with what they are paid. Even with dental insurance it is too high to afford.

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  4. I have to agree with Anon 10:21 ...

    The requirements for the CO job are so basic, you are lucky to even have a job. You have to have a GED and not be a criminal; well, even that is not true ... class C misdemeanors are perfectly acceptably. How much do you think you should be paid for being over 18, having a GED, and not being a serious criminal? Geez. With job requirements that low, TDCJ COs should be lucky to even have a job. Get an education and go find a job that requires a little more skill than bullying. Quit blaming everyone else for all your problems and be proactive about your life. http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/vacancy/coinfo/emp-co.html

    -- You must be a citizen of the U.S., or an alien authorized to work in the U.S.

    -- You must be at least 18 years old.

    -- You must possess a High School Diploma from an accredited senior high school or a GED.

    -- You must not have been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.

    -- You must never have been convicted of a felony.

    -- You must never have been convicted of a drug-related offense.

    -- You must never have been convicted of an offense involving domestic violence.

    -- You cannot have had a Class A misdemeanor conviction within the past 10 years.

    -- You cannot have had a Class B misdemeanor conviction within the past 5 years.

    -- You cannot be on probation for any criminal offense.

    -- You cannot have any criminal charges pending or have an outstanding warrant.


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    1. I personally think we're paid about right. I'd welcome changes to a few other things before pay, and I agree with 10:21 about the really bad image some people on this site give correctional officers as a whole, but:

      If you think this job just requires "a little more than bullying" then you have never really done this job, or you did it really poorly. The hiring standards are low, TDCJ snags some low hanging fruit due to that, but your that we are all lucky to have a job because the requirements are so basic is faulty. Some of us took a pay cut to work here. At the time, the benefits and stability were more important to me. Now, I am in the process of leaving TDCJ, but it is not because of the pay.

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    2. With that mentality, then I would agree with you, you are certainly paid your worth. I on the other hand, as a divorced mom with two children, feel that what I do as a Corrections Officer the working conditions, and the atmosphere in which I work, deserve more than a 5% pay raise. Being the only source of income, I can barely afford housing, utilities, transportation, and food for my children. Towards the end of the month, I'm shaking the piggy bank. Bad apples are in every profession. We have to get out of the mentality that we are the lowest of the low. What would happen to communities if we didn't show up for work? We have an important job, we spend the day with men and women who some judge deemed not fit to live in society. We are with the ones in which the public lock their doors at night to keep out. Just like Firemen, Police Officer, and other public service workers, I miss Birthdays, Christmas, school programs and other important dates. I'm not asking for the pay they get, but I'm asking for what I'm worth as a Corrections Officer, and it's more than 5%.

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    3. We are employing a much younger group of Officers who have no clue what the job means. When you leave Wal-mart to come to TDCJ and you are 19 years old what do you expect. We have a very serious job and our lives on the line everyday we knew this coming in or I did at least and we should be paid more than the 5%.Oh don't raise our insurance just because of the pays increase. I am proud of my profession and never regret my decision. Sure I pray things will get better, money, working conditions and equipment and staff. And soon,very soon. Let's don't hire just bodies to fill positions-let's hire smart bodies.

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    4. H0W MANY GUARDS LEFT A DECENT CAREER T0 BE A GUARD? SERI0USLY

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    5. Corrections Officers are not Guards, they are professional who prevents those criminals not to hurt you and your family, so our mission is to provide Public safety, promote change in Offender behavior, reintegrate offenders into society and assist victims of crime

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  5. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

    Your words - I "kow" I won't win any friends with these comments.

    So easy even a monkey could do it.


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    1. Yes maybe a lazy coward of a monkey. I bet all the people on here talking trash
      are the ones who NEVER done the Job, or Do the jobs and are Punks. Letting the inmates do what they want when they want.... To all the Men & Women that do the job of a Correction Officer I SALUTE YOU!!!!!!!! The rest of the cry babies & Cowards WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.... Look in the Mirror before you Talk SH*T!!!!!!

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  6. At one point 30 or so years ago TDCJ(TDC back then) had a competitive wage and benefit package for correctional staff. The legislature has chipped away at our benefits over the years, and hasn't kept up with the cost of living on wages. Now, TDCJ is not competitive with other law enforcement agencies. Nor, is it competitive with other fields of work. So, the applicant pool dwindles.

    The only reason I stayed over 30yrs was the lure of early retirement. I retired at the age of 49 with 30yrs and 7mos of service, and take home about what I was when I was working. Now, with the new retirement requirements recently voted on by the legislature that lure of early retirement has been taken away for young officers. Thank God I hired on when I did, and retired when I did. The new hires have NOTHING to look forward to. 40yrs working with convicts in a prison is much to long. 30 was bad enough.

    I predict TDCJ is going to see more hard times ahead with staff shortages. It's NOT going to get better for staffing with the new retirement policy. Unless, the legislature makes up for it in some other way, like higher wages, they will lose a LOT of experienced staff who will say good bye for greener pastures. All I can say is GOOD LUCK to you TDCJ. You're going to need it.

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    1. I agree...senority and loyalty come with no rewards. You gain the experience in a field with no certification. We do a job most have obtained degrees for but our worth is limited. Money is not everything but its value is necessary in which TDCJ falls short to compensate its employees for their diligence and hard work. I often ask when is it ever going to change and in the past fifteen years the changes have been constant and dramatic but not beneficial. Job security; yes and that is all. So I bid a farewell to the agency and recommend if you have the means, the desire and the drive seek other opportunities out there. You never know what this world has to offer if you don't try. If it is conducive with your current situation, make a move.

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  7. I most humbly disagree with those who think we are paid appropriately. We are not paid what we are worth, and we are treated poorly continually. It's not the rank-and-file officers who determine the hiring standards. We should be paid a wage comparable to that of New York or California. I think we should ALL wage a law suit against TDCJ. Class action, all the way. One person cannot fight this TDCJ beast. But, if we can somehow unite, put aside our differences, then we might have something that can make a diffence. It seems as though the only language TDCJ understands is "lawsuit." How can it possibly be ethical to subject us knowingly to the substandard work conditions, poor pay scale, and degrading treatment that we all tolerate just to be "lucky enough" to work there? Also, see this article and determine if you think our paltry 5% raise isn't an insult:
    http://itemonline.com/local/x1504160453/Corrections-employees-unhappy-with-TDCJ-chief-s-40-raise

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    1. Oops. "...something that can make a difference."

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    2. YOU ARE 100% RIGHT!!!!
      The Problem is to many Kiss ass Officers , looking out for #1 them selves.
      Open your EYES UNITE UNITE UNITE!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. It's a simple answer to Retain some Co's . GET RID OF THE PAT TEST .

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  9. In my 50 years in life I remember one thing from every job I've ever had and that's the old saying, "If you don't like it, Go somewhere else."
    Only 3% or less vote when it's time to and nobody calls, writes or emails their reps or congressmen.
    So if you ever think about the reason we get poor raises think about the last time you voted or was active in voicing your opinion to someone that matters. The union reps are a joke and just take your money because unions have very seldom worked in this state.
    As for employees, The state is to blame for what they hire because with such low pay nobody with a higher education is willing to work for tdcj. My son with just his high school diploma is a Manager for a big chain grocer making 19.00 an hour and he tells me to work with him. No stress over pat searches, metal detectors and constantly being degraded by coworkers.
    If TDCJ gave half a damn about Co's like they do offenders we would all be better off.

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  10. Some on here said the PAT test forced some good officers out. That's bad news. If the test is a requirement for employment, it should have been implemented in a phased process that gave employees time to meet the standards---one year. The first six months should have been used to introduce and promote the PAT events and recommended exercises to meet the standards. The second six months should have been used to give employees diagnostic tests to let them know where they stand. Then at the end of one year, implement the test.

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  11. The bottom line is "you get what you pay for"

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  12. All of u people quiet complaining thank god u all have job and move on with your life if u don't like it then go some where else.

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  13. Sorry for some of the people on here that believe a persons worth is measured completely on their grammar and college credits. I have over 90 towards a bachelor's in CJ, and 10 years as army infantry man. You can take that someone who doesn't say "ain't" and their fancy grammar police degrees somewhere else.. men and women that are willing to risk life and limb to serve their community deserve to make at least enough money to live in a reasonably decent house, feed their families more then ramen and beans, and drive a vehicle at least with in 7 years of current year so they can get to and from work. That's not making money hand over fist, its making enough to have a decent life because that " dumb" 18 year old redneck's heart is worth more to society then your degree, and your elitist attitude.

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  14. I think the PAT test needs to GO- -but I also think that the wage situation needs major improving- -pay one on what they are worth, not one wage fits all- -this is where we have "officers" busting a$$ when others do nothing- -yet if they are the "favorites" they can get away with it- -if one got paid what they are worth, then ALL would work, simple.

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