Mailbag: A correctional officer feels ‘oppression and prejudice’March 7th, 2013 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Here’s an interesting email I got recently from a reader who says he’s a veteran state worker, offering his perspective on all the changes to his retirement benefits made in recent years (I’ve redacted his name):
Dear Mr Nesi,
My name is [X], I am a Correctional Officer with the RI Dept of Corrections, and have been employed there since 1988. At the time of my application I was a young ambitious man with hopes of making a better life for my family and I; that being said, I also knew that this would involve sacrifice, hard work, and dedication.
Today, I am older, wiser, and left to “play a game” in which the rules have been changed “in the middle”.
In my initial interview, I was informed that if I were fortunate enough to attain a position in the academy I would be paid $150.00 per week throughout the academy…and if I graduated, my starting salary would be +/-$21,000.00, would receive a full benefit package of life insurance and dental FOR LIFE, also, at 50 years of age I would be eligible to retire with a retirement package of 50% of my current salary. Also if I attended college and graduated in Administration of Justice I would receive a stipend of 15% of my pay for as long as I was employed.
This was not my only opportunity! I had other opportunities, Prov Police, State Police, Deputy Marshal, however, based on these promises I turned down the other opportunities for the opportunities availed by RIDOC. Now all these promises have been changed, IS THAT LEGAL! My college incentive cut to $2500.00 per year; my retirement age increased to 59, my percentage reduced significantly, my healthcare costs increased significantly. How is this possible?
Not through negotiation but through legislation!
24 years later, I know I am only a mere middle class guy, but I feel if there has ever been oppression and prejudice laid upon anyone, it is against me…the regular “joe” that works and does what he must for his family.
I do not think that the founders of this state or country intended that the working guys/gals were the ones that would be oppressed.
• Related: Mediation to continue in RI pension suit after judge gets update (Feb. 28)