Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer Tracey A. Thompson has published a guest editorial piece in the Olympian newspaper that makes the case for wage increases for our state's correctional employees. You can view the op-ed on the Olympian's website here.
The piece is published in its entirety below:
Please take a few minutes to watch this powerful video of Washington State correctional employees talking about the challenging nature of their job. Share the video with your friends so that more of us understand what it's like to work behind prison walls. Remember to thank correctional workers for everything they do to keep our communities safe!
Washington State’s 5700 correctional employees perform some of the most difficult, dangerous work imaginable. They put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and keep all of us safe.
Correctional employees, custody and non-custody alike, are frequently the target of assault and have reported being spit on and having toxic cocktails of bodily fluids thrown at them.
THE PROBLEM: Washington State correctional employees are severely underpaid when compared to their peers.
Despite the important role they play in reducing recidivism and keeping our communities safe, correctional employees are severely undercompensated for the critical public safety work they perform. According to the State’s 2010 and 2014 salary surveys, Washington State DOC employees in nearly all job classifications are compensated at a rate of between 10-40% less than employees in other jurisdictions who perform similar work.