The average pay for the employees in 2014 was approximately $240,000 a year
Doctors at a dozen understaffed California prisons could receive a 24 percent pay raise under a new proposed contract. Other doctors would get 9 percent hikes.
The raises could be paid over the next four years, pending approval by their union and the state legislature, according to an article in the Sacramento Bee.
“We’re hoping that the new agreement will help us fill our critical vacancies,” said Joyce Hayhoe, spokeswomen for the federal receivership. California prison health care has been under federal receivership since 2006.
The average pay for the employees in 2014 was approximately $240,000 a year. According to the 2017-18 California Budget proposal, the average cost per inmate for medical, mental and dental services will be $21,582 per year.
The contract with the union expired last July, and its members had taken the unusual step of authorizing a strike. The original offer was an 8 percent increase over four years with few other financial incentives.
“We were waiting for it to be an offer that we could recommend” said Suzanne Wilson, the union spokeswoman.
Wilson said the administration offered a better package including wage increases for specific jobs and substantial recruitment and retention packages.
The Union of American Physicians and Dentists represents approximately 1,500 workers.
California State Prison-Sacramento and Mule Creek State Prison are two of the facilities deemed understaffed that will be able to offer these new incentives.
Some prisons have vacancy rates that have climbed as high as 30 percent. The more lucrative incentives are designed to retain doctors at these prisons, the article stated.
To prevent medical staff members from leaving state facilities that are near the prisons, the state is offering recruitment and retention incentives to doctors at 15 other state hospitals, centers for people with developmental disabilities, and veteran facilities.