Kansas increasing pay to address shortages in state corrections, nursing jobs

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:19 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - State workers will see a pay raise in an attempt to address staffing shortages brought on by the pandemic.

“My administration and the Kansas Department of Corrections have worked over the past three years to address staffing shortages and overcrowding that have impacted corrections facilities for years,” Gov. Kelly said. “But even after implementing a pay increase for corrections officers in 2019, Kansas, like the rest of the country, faced new challenges caused by COVID-19. This new pay plan is a necessary step to address the ongoing challenges brought on by the pandemic,  support our efforts to prioritize public health and safety, and care for our most vulnerable populations.”

Gov. Laura Kelly announced a plan that will implement increased pay for workers at state-run 24/7 facilities, including corrections facilities and state hospitals. There will be a permanent increase to the base pay for all KDOC and Nursing job classes; a one-time bonus of $3,500 for all salaried staff at KDOC, KDADS, and KCVAO 24/7 facilities; and temporary pay differentials for hourly employees.

“Governor Kelly’s plan is an excellent step towards making workers and the communities they serve safer,” KOSE President Sarah LaFrenz said. “These raises and pay differentials mean frontline workers like corrections officers and state hospital staff could finally get the safe staffing levels they need and proper pay for their unthinkable sacrifices on behalf of Kansans. As facilities around the nation face a staffing crisis that endangers the public, workers and their families - this plan shows real leadership by making this crisis and addressing it an actual priority. We will continue, as we always have, to advocate directly to the Governor, her administration, and the Kansas Legislature towards a final, long-term solution.”

Governor Kelly says the raises may help retain and even increase staffing levels across the departments. She will issue an executive order to fund the initial increases with existing funds, then work with the legislature to fund the rest of the plan.

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