Winner: Correction Officers Deserve Quicker Action On Pay Raises

George Winner

July 31, 2006

Elmira, N.Y.-- In a letterto New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi, Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R,C-Elmira) has called for the comptroller to step up his office’s efforts to implement a more definitive and immediate timetable for releasing retroactive pay raises to thousands of New York’s correction officers.

Winner, who serves as a member of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, co-sponsored legislation (S.8295) this year that approved an arbitration award of pay raises and bonuses for correction officers statewide. The legislation was approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pataki on June 30th.

While Hevesi earlier this month authorized advance payments late next month for some of the back pay the officers are entitled to, Winner said that the officers have not yet been notified of a definitive timetable for when they will receive all of the retroactive pay raises and bonuses they’re due.

"I see no reason why your office cannot provide a definitive and immediate timetable for when New York State will fully honor this new contract. Our officers have consistently demonstrated a high level of commitment in protecting the security and safety within our prisons, and they and their families have waited long enough for New York State to fully recognize this admirable public service. It’s incredibly important to finalize this pact. This action needs to be put on high alert and high priority within your office," wrote Winner. "I hope that you will see fit to do whatever’s necessary to get this done, sooner rather than later."

Under the provisions of the new law approved this year, basic annual salaries for correction officers will increase more than 11 percent. Included are retroactive raises of 2.25 percent for April 1, 2003, 2.75 percent in 2004 and 3 percent raises in 2005 and 2006.