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January 23, 2004

Why Prison Guard Union Might Take Pay Cut

Okay, if you know anything about California, you know that the state correctional officer union is a heavy-duty political player.

So why are they discussing pay cuts with Governor Arnold?

Part of the answer may be fear of worse results if Schwarzenneger goes after the whole prison system, maybe slashing jobs as minor prisoners are released, as has been discussed.

But there's a tidbit in the above link that has a more sinister tradeoff implied. The prison guard union is demanding cuts in "waste" as a condition of their accepting pay cuts. Reducing excess middle management, cutting back executive perks-- all sounds good. But then this:

Union members will be hard-pressed to agree to salary reductions if they see corrections officials continue to spend heavily on management perks and lawyers for internal-affairs investigations, [union spokesman] Corcoran said.
i.e. Stop investigating abuse against prisoners by guards and maybe we'll discuss helping you on the budget. A nasty proposed quid pro quo that progressives should keep alert to.

Posted by Nathan at January 23, 2004 12:35 PM