Correctional Officers from across the Commonwealth gathered for a Press Conference and lobbying day on Capitol Hill in Richmond to Voice their concerns for increased salaries, improved working conditions and officers turnover along with Delegate Roslyn Tyler (Sussex) and Delegate John Bell (Loudon). Delegate Tyler’s district includes the following state correctional center, Greensville County, Sussex I and II, Deerfield, Lunenburg and the private prison in Lawrenceville. HB 1418 introduced by Delegate Tyler for the Creation of Procedural Guarantee Act for Correction Officers has passed the House of Delegate and now crossed over to the Senate. Additionally, she was recently appointed to serve on the House of Appropriation, Committee on Public Safety which funding allocations are recommended for public safety officers including the state police, sheriffs, deputies, emergency services and state correctional officers.
In the budget released this week, the Correctional Officers are winners. The House of Appropriation budget’s includes a $1,100 salary adjustment in January, 2019 and 2% increase in salary in July, 2019 and 1% merit pay in July, 2019. This funding will increase the starting salaries of Correctional Officers to approximately $33,000. This is one giant step towards funding correction officers for the work they do in protecting our community from harm and danger.
The officers, Donald Baylor, NCPSO representative and I have addressed this issue for a long time and we are pleased of our accomplishment. Our work is not over. The final budget has not been passed by the House and the Senate. The two budgets will be in conference before final passage for negotiations. Therefore, contact the House and Senate Conferee to maintain funding in the budget for final approval. Please feel free to contact me in Richmond at 804 698-1075.