Collective bargaining contract between Lexington, jail officers heads to Council for approval

Fayette County Detention Center Jail
Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 08, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A proposed collective bargaining contract between Lexington government officials and the union which represents officers at the Fayette County Detention Center is heading to the Urban-County Council for its consideration.

Corrections officers and sergeants on Friday voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed contract. The Urban-County Council voted to put the contract "on the docket," which triggers a first reading on Thursday.

"The contract provides significant wage increases to all sergeants and officers," Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said.

The city hopes the contract will help relieve staffing concerns. The jail lost 120 corrections officers since last January, and many officers are working overtime. There are currently 167 corrections officers. When fully staffed, the jail has 278 officers.

"I have heard from Corrections officers that staffing is the most critical concern at the jail, and that the best way to improve retention and recruitment is to increase pay," Gorton said. "Officers have written to me, and to the Council, and spoken out at Council meetings about staffing concerns."

The proposed contract includes:

  • 2-year agreement (January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023)
  • All members will see $7,365 added to their base salary
  • New officers will earn $20 an hour to start
  • At the start of the second year of the contract (January 1, 2023), additional 3% pay increase
  • Up to a $3,000 lump sum payment per member in lieu of making the contract retroactive to 2019
  • $1,000 incentive for bringing in a new recruit
  • A quarterly incentive of $750 for an officer, $1200 for a sergeant, for working at least 147 hours overtime in a three-month period

The total additional cost of the proposal is about $10 million over the life of the contract.