Unsung Heroes of New York State

August 16, 2006

Corrections Officers go to work everyday in an environment that is always dangerous and can sometimes turn hostile. It takes a great deal of dedication from these men and women and a great deal of support from their families to make it through a long career of serving as an officer in a state correctional facility. It is important that we recognize the challenges and stressful conditions these people must work under.

We need to do as much as possible to retain and support the Corrections Officer workforce and maintain the level of quality and experience we presently have in our state correctional system. There is a continuing demand for qualified Corrections Officers to manage and maintain our correction facilities here in our community and across New York state. Acknowledging the often stressful and dangerous work environment these individuals serve in, I, along with my fellow legislators, have created legislation intended to retain existing Corrections Officers and attract new men and women to the profession. By sponsoring legislation that enhances the job of a Corrections Officer, the legislature does the one thing it can do to attain the goal of ensuring a professionally and effectively run correctional system.

Just recently, the state Comptroller released much overdo funding to some 23,000 Correctional Officers, much of it in the form of back pay and pay increases that came as a result of an arbitration award with New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA). There is a great deal of complexity in this settlement, factoring variables such as base pay, longevity pay, overtime pay, etc. If you are a Corrections Officer and have questions about the details of the publicized schedule of retroactive salary increases, contact your payroll office or visit the State Comptroller’s website at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/.

As always, please contact my office if you have questions, comments or concerns regarding this or other matters. I can be reached by mail at 607 West Washington St., Suite 2, Geneva, NY 14456, by e-mail at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, or by calling (315) 781-2030.