Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



April 25, 2019

After Years With No Raises, Deputy Prison Wardens Finally Win Arbitrated Pay Hike

HARTFORD – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) led Senate approval today in approving a binding arbitration award that will give pay raises to 34 deputy prison wardens after they went six of the past nine years with no wage increase while paying more for their own healthcare and retirement pension.

The Senate voted 20-14 mostly along party lines today to approve an arbitrated award with the Counsel of Correctional Supervisors Chapter, CSEA, SEIU Local 2001. The arbitration award, which sets the salaries for 34 deputy prison wardens in the CSEA, NP-8 Correctional Supervisors Bargaining Unit, was determined by a neutral third party. The current average salary for a deputy warden is $103,130.

“A neutral third party looked at the history of pay freezes the deputy wardens have taken over the past decade and decided it was time for them to receive a small pay increase, something along the lines of what the average private-sector worker has received over the past decade. Not Wall Street wages, but a living wage,” Sen. Osten said. “I was a corrections lieutenant for over 20 years. I can tell you most people would never want to work in a prison, let alone even take a one-hour tour of a prison. This is hard, thankless, often dangerous work. It’s time these deputy wardens were recognized for their service and sacrifice.”

Included in the arbitration award is a $2,000 lump sum payment this year and a 3.5% wage increase in both 2020 and 2021. The wardens are also eligible for – but not guaranteed – an additional 1% pay increase through the Performance Assessment & Recognition System (PARS).

For comparison, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly private-sector wage in Connecticut increased 11.4% from 2010 to 2017. Over the past year, according to the most recent state Department of Labor report, private-sector weekly pay in Connecticut has increased 3.4%.

Between Fiscal Year 2010 and Fiscal Year 2018, the deputy wardens received no wage increase in six of those nine years (3% wage hikes were awarded in 2014 and 2015). However, the deputy wardens shared in all the 2017 SEBAC concessions, including contributing an additional 2% of their pay to their pension contributions.

Overall, the 2017 SEBAC changes are expected to provide approximately $24 billion in savings to Connecticut taxpayers over the next 20 years through a combination of wage freezes, furlough days, and pension and healthcare changes. Through the SEBAC changes, Connecticut state employees saw increased healthcare co-payments and premiums, new restrictions on health insurance, increased pension contributions, and increased contributions towards retirement health care benefits.

Below is a year-by-year breakdown of wage and benefit changes for the deputy wardens: