The union representing Metro Corrections employees has reached an agreement with jail leadership and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on a pay raise for officers. Fischer’s office announced the agreement in a news release Friday evening.
According to the release, the agreement includes an 8% pay hike for sworn officers, an increase in starting salary to $44,346 and getting rid of the entry-level pay step.
That’s in addition to a 2% increase officers received last July and another 2% increase they are slated to receive this July, both of which were negotiated under previous contracts, per the release.
Officers were also previously promised $2,000 retention incentives and most will receive a $5,000 premium pay.
“Corrections officers work hard and deserve this pay raise,” said Metro Corrections Director Dwayne Clark in the release. “We are committed to recruiting qualified persons and I believe this is a good step in the right direction.”
Matt Golden, chief of public services, said he believes the 8% raises would be among the largest single-year increases of a closed contract in department history. And he touted the increased starting pay to be among the most competitive in the state.
“We also believe that starting salaries for those who want to serve our city at the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC) are among the highest correctional officer starting salaries in the Commonwealth,” he said in the release.
The agreement between union representatives and the mayor comes after months of issues at Metro Corrections.
At a community meeting in September 2021, officers described the department as a “dumpster fire,” due to staffing shortages and overcrowding.
Later that same month corrections officers voted no confidence in Clark and his administration.
The new agreement also comes after five people in corrections’ custody died in less than a two-month period, the most recent on January 9.
Fischer said he hopes the raises and incentives will help remedy the staffing shortage facing Metro Corrections.
“While staffing shortages are a challenge being dealt with nationwide, across all industry sectors, it is critical we continue to work to ensure it does not affect the vital, round-the-clock public services provided by our city government,” Fischer said in the release.
Representatives from the Metro Corrections union also said they hope the agreement helps with ongoing issues at the jail.
“We are pleased with the outcome and believe this is a step in the right direction to begin addressing the staffing issues at Metro Corrections,” FOP Lodge 77 President Daniel Johnson said in the release.
The new pay agreement will go before Metro Council and already has the support of Council President David James.
In the release, James said that he was “thrilled” that an agreement was reached and that he looked forward “to receiving the contract in Council so that we can pass it in support of our Metro Corrections officers.”