| A resolution has been adopted by a legislative interim committee regarding pay raises for West Virginia regional jail employees.|
The Legislative Oversight Committee on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority voted Sunday to adopt a resolution that would increase the starting salary for a jail worker to $30,000 per year.
State Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy.
WV Gov. Jim Justice has issued a state of emergency related to problems at the state's jail and prison.
Right now, there are more than 600 correction officer vacancies in West Virginia.
The annual minimum salary for a regional jail employee is currently around $22,000.
With that pay, employees are also having to work up to 16 hour shifts because there are not enough people on staff. Because of low pay and the additional hours, many workers have quit their jobs.
Corrections officers were given a $2,080 pay raise towards the end of last year, according to state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy. Their pay went from $22,000 to $24,667.
Due to their budget, Sandy said told lawmakers they were unable to implement pay increases for all agencies.
Sandy said more needs to be done to fix the problem. They’ve posted job advertisements, but haven’t received many applications. Sandy said people would rather drive to another state to get paid more.
Delegate Shirley Love (D-Fayette, 32)
Delegate Shirley Love (D-Fayette, 32) said it’s horrible that it’s come down to this.
“It should be embarrassing to the Governor. It should be embarrassing to most legislators that you would even have to run ads like that,” he said during Sunday’s meeting.