LEXINGTON – Today, at the monthly corrections board meeting, the members of the board unanimously approved a one-time stipend for all employees at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC).
The money will come from the $10.164 million the agency received in September after a revenue failure earlier this year.
Under the adopted plan, each employee who has been with the agency for at least six months will receive $1,750.
Current employees with less than six months tenure will receive the stipend after reaching six months of employment.
Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh said although the money is not annualized, the extra funds should help offset the increased cost of insurance and benefits employees will face this year.
“This stipend will help employees offset the increased cost for insurance while giving them a little more in their pockets for their disposal,” Allbaugh said. “The board decided we couldn’t pass on this opportunity to invest in our employees. I deeply appreciate the board’s decision to direct this money in this way.”
Allbaugh added one of his main priorities next legislative session is to give employees a raise that is annualized. With the majority of the department’s employees not seeing any new money in over a decade, this is a step in the right direction.
Corrections Board Chairman Michael Roach said the finance and legal office are working on details of how the department will distribute the money.
“There are some hurdles legally and statutorily we will have to navigate before we can distribute this money,” Roach said. “It is time we recognize the hard work and sacrifice of the department’s employees. It has been far too long.”