|Title:||Pay Additives for Professional Health Care Staff|
The department is requesting salary additives for Senior Psychologists, Psychological Specialists, and for all nursing classes at all institutions which currently house Psychological Grade III inmates. The department is required to provide appropriate health services to inmates in its custody. To meet this mission, the department must be able to recruit and retain capable health staff. To accomplish this, salaries must be sufficient to compete with other state agencies as well as the private sector.
In October 2004, the department implemented a pilot salary additive program for most nursing classes at the Reception and Medical Center, Union Correctional Institution, Lowell Correctional Institution and Florida State Prison and for Senior Psychologists and Psychological Specialists at Union Correctional Institution and Florida State Prison only. These sites were selected because of their hiring and retention problems related to non-competitive wages and rural geographical locations as well as the more challenging inmate populations - close management, higher S-3 inmate population and higher medical acuity levels.
The pilot program reduced contract nursing usage from 42,180 hours to 25,049 hours per quarter from FY 2003-04 to FY 2004-05, resulting in an estimated cost avoidance of approximately $120,000 quarterly. Hiring also increased by 50% at those institutions from January through October 2004 to January through October 2005, which significantly reduced the vacancy rate. Therefore, the department requests an additive to the salaries of Senior Psychologists and Psychological Specialists of $3,244.80 annually and for all nursing classes of $9,734.40 annually.