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Pay Hike for Thomson Prison Employees

Thomson prison overhead view.jpeg
the federal prison in Thomson, Illinois

Hoping to end chronic staff shortages, officers and staff at the Thomson prison in northwest Illinois will receive a pay hike.

The union representing them, the American Federation of Government Employees, says the US Office of Personnel Management has approved 25 per cent retention pay.

The union says the high-security federal prison has suffered what it calls "critical shortages" of correctional officers and staff due to low pay and lack of affordable housing in Carroll County and surrounding areas.

Jon Zumkehr, president of Local 40-70 of the employees' union says even though Thomson has held job fairs every month, it currently has 96 openings for correctional officers. But the retention pay will help retain employees and hire additional staff.

He also thanked Illinois US Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, and 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, for helping the union convince the US Bureau of Prisons and the Office of Personnel Management to approve retention pay.