TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas – Travis County Sheriff’s Deputies and Correctional Officers are getting raises soon.
The Travis County Commissioner’s Court approved a $5,000 salary increase for entry-level positions and a percentage for upper-level positions.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has nearly 280 prison and judicial security vacancies.
Last year the pay was increased. The minimum for corrections was increased by 6.7% and the minimum for law enforcement deputies was increased by 14.1%. They said it helped, they’re not hiring more than they’re losing, but it’s not enough to fill all the positions, especially having to compete with surrounding counties like Williamson and Hays which pay higher.
“The cost of living is higher, people live farther away from Travis County, so to encourage people to sign up to work in Travis County, especially if they don’t currently live in Travis County, we need to make it much more financially attractive to get those people to come and work for us,” assistant budget director Alex Braden said.
To try to make the job more attractive to candidates and jump-start recruiting efforts, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved a $5,000 raise for entry-level positions.
“This is very unique. We have never discussed POP positions so early in the budget process, we have never implemented a mid-year change,” said Travis Gatlin, director of planning and budgeting.
“I think this is a very timely thing to do, and it’s time to move forward,” said Travis County District 4 Commissioner Margaret Gomez.
Correctional officers will go from $50,000 to $55,000 starting June 1. Law Enforcement will go from $63,000 to $68,000 effective Oct. 1. There’s also a three percent increase for each rung on the pay scale.
“We now have a completely unsustainable situation with so many staff working, excessive overtime and we are losing staff because people are just like I can’t do it anymore, so I hope this makes a difference and shows that we value these employees and recognize the need to increase their compensation,” said Brigid Shea, Travis County District 2 Commissioner.
The cost is approximately $2.26 million this year and $11.57 million to be included in the FY2024 budget.
The County Commissioners also approved a request from the Sheriff’s Office to use $483,000 in vacancy savings to continue a contract with a company to help fill vacancies.