Pennsylvania’s state prison correctional officers are disappointed with the passage of Senate Bill 1, which has been labeled so-called “pension reform.” Corrections officers work one of the most dangerous and stressful jobs in the commonwealth. That uncommon commitment to public service demands exemption from this legislation. In fact, our officers aren’t even included in an enhanced multiplier as other law enforcement groups are.
With the lowest complement in years due to state-imposed hiring freezes, corrections officers are being forced to work mandatory overtime and double shifts. Under this legislation, the dangerous work they are being forced to do wouldn’t even count toward their pension.
Disability benefits also are being eliminated in Senate Bill 1, meaning our members, who work every day in a hostile environment and frequently face assaults from inmates, would not receive any state disability benefits if injured in the performance of their duties. Our corrections officers deserve better than Senate Bill 1.
The writer is president of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association.