Legislative Update 2-1-18

Dear Association Members:

I just returned from the Capitol a few minutes ago with some semi good news. I was assured by a high-ranking Senator that the proposed $650.00 raise will be in the budget with no stipulations. He also assured me they are continuing to look for more money that might come our way, but with no guarantee. Some other positive conversation included talk among legislators to start funding the Merit pay grid in the near future, as they feel they can do that at the same cost they are spending to replace employees and training cost. This is something we have been lobbying in favor of for years. While I know it’s not nearly what officers deserve, it is most positive news I have to report at this time. I will keep you updated as the Legislative session progresses.

Keep in mind the Governor would have the power to withhold these funds, however my instincts tell me he probably wouldn’t do that.

Thanks:
Gary Gross MOCOA Director

UPDATE on Governor’s Budget Proposal

Dear Members,

Please take the time to look up the proposed budget for 2019 and read the actual pay proposal. On page 13 of the budget summary it appears the pay increase is contingent upon the legislature potentially taking your employee rights that you now hold within the current merit system and through your work agreement.

It appears the Governor wants all merit system employees to be AT WILL with the state agencies having the ability to place you anywhere, anytime they choose.

To me, this would take away nearly all of your employee rights; it even goes so far as to make terminations of employment basically unprotected for the employees.

This is my interpretation of what I am reading, so please read it for yourself and see if you think I’m incorrect. Please share your perceptions with us.

Thanks for your time and support,

Gary Gross
MOCOA Director

Response to Budget Proposal

Missouri Corrections Officers are extremely upset with Governor Greitens budget proposal.

Missouri is currently 500 or more corrections officers down, forcing massive amounts of overtime on current staff. This only compounds the already extremely high turnover rate. The Governor is well aware of these problems and has shown no real interest in fixing this issue. A pitiful $50 per month raise merely buys one tank of gas that we burn up driving in to work our RDO’s.  This is not improving our plight.

Legislators have been informed of the issues as well and we will be working closely with them again this year in hopes that they endeavor to resolve the issues.

Corrections Officers in Missouri are among the lowest in the nation in pay with many of them qualifying for some forms of welfare benefits. Fourteen dollars per hour to deal with the worst criminals the state has. As a result we have officers stabbed, beaten up, assaulted with body fluids as well as exposed to multiple forms of disease. There have been absolutely no in grade pay incentives for officers since 2000. An officer with 18 years in the department makes the same money as a 9 month officer. (WHAT AN INCENTIVE….)

Once again the largest raises and money has gone to the highway patrol. While we have nothing against the patrol the fact is 98% of the people they deal with are good citizens. Every inmate in the department of corrections that corrections officers deal with are there for felony convictions. A highway patrolman doesn’t even have the expense of driving to work, as each are provided their own car, yet make twice what a corrections officer makes.

Corrections Officers let your displeasure be known by contacting your legislators and the Governor’s Office. It’s time to send a strong message that enough is enough. Let them know this is not what we supported them for.

Gary Gross, Director
Missouri Corrections Officers Association
573 634 7951