Employees of Louisville’s Department of Corrections will have the opportunity to get thousands of dollars in bonuses this year, as part of a pilot program to attract and retain city workers.
All current Corrections employees will get $1,000, with an additional $1,000 incentive for workers that stick around through June 2022. Mayor Greg Fischer announced the initiative on Tuesday with the support of the unions representing sworn corrections officers and civilian staff, FOP Corrections Union Lodge 77 and AFSCME Local 2629.
Fischer said staffing public safety departments is a challenge right now.
“I appreciate LMDC leadership and the unions working together on this innovative approach to increase our staffing,” he said. “The dedication of the men and women who serve the community as civilian and sworn staff at Corrections cannot be overstated.”
Fischer’s administration will also offer an additional $1,050 to current DOC employees that refer someone for hiring. That bonus is staggered, increasing as the person moves through the hiring process. Officials say that will encourage current workers to mentor candidates.
New hires can expect a $1,000 one-time bonus after they are sworn in as a correctional officer. They are eligible for another $1,000 payment after their probationary period.
FOP Correction Union Lodge 77 President Daniel Johnson said he is excited about the new hiring and retention incentives.
“We are hopeful this will be the first of many initiatives to address staffing at Louisville Metro Corrections,” he said.
Johnson has argued that the staffing levels at the Louisville jail are dangerous for Corrections officers, as the number of people incarcerated increases after a record-low during the pandemic.
The pilot program is currently just for Department of Corrections staff, but Fischer said it could be expanded to other departments if it is successful.
Correction: All current Corrections employees will get $1,000, with an additional $1,000 incentive for workers that stick around through June 2022. The date was incorrect in a previous version.