For a prison guard with a take-home pay of $1,825.17 a month, the change would cost the guard an additional $186 a month to cover himself, his spouse and two children. Homer said that is before he has ever accessed the health care system. But Pitts pointed out that the health care plan for state employees is generous compared to what the state does for retired teachers or what private industry does for its employees. “There are not many industries that pay all of the employees’ coverage and half the family,” he explained.Prison guards would already get a pay cut in the House budget since a 7% pay hike authorized last session to improve employee retention would be rescinded. (The filed version of the Senate budget included the same cut, but it was restored yesterday, at least for now, by a Senate Finance subcommittee.) And COs retirement benefits are also getting cut. Now they'll be expected to pay 10% of their take-home pay on health insurance?
Grits has lately been harping on the issue of high employee turnover among prison guards and its relationship to contraband smuggling, as 4 of 5 new-boot recruits wash out and the agency loses 20% of its guards annually. What do you think turnover rates will look like once these budgetary "reforms" are passed?