Travis County Commissioners approve increase in pay for deputies, corrections officers

Travis County sheriff's deputies and corrections officers will soon be getting a raise.

The Travis County Commissioner Court approved a $5,000 increase in salary for entry level positions and a percentage for higher level positions.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office has almost 280 correctional and courthouse security vacancies. 

Last year, pay was increased. The minimum for corrections was increased by 6.7 percent and the minimum for law enforcement deputies was increased by 14.1 percent. They said it helped, they’re not hiring more than they’re losing, but it’s not enough to fill all the positions especially having to compete with surrounding counties like Williamson and Hays that are paying more.

"The cost of living is higher, people are living farther out from Travis County, and so to encourage people to sign up to work in Travis County, especially if they don’t currently live in Travis County, we’ve got to make it financially much more appealing to convince those people to come work for us," Assistant Budget Director Alex Braden said.

To try to make the job more attractive to applicants, and jump start recruiting efforts, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved a $5,000 increase for entry level positions.

"This is very unique. We’ve never had discussions about POPs positions this early in the budget process, we’ve never implemented a mid-year change," Planning and Budget Director Travis Gatlin said.

"I think this is a very timely thing to do, and it’s time to move forward on it," Travis County Commissioner Precinct 4 Margaret Gomez said.

Corrections officers will go from $50,000 to $55,000 effective June 1. Law enforcement will go from $63,000 to $68,000 effective Oct. 1. There’s also a three percent increase for each step on the pay scale.

"We’ve got a completely unsustainable situation now with so many staff members working, excessive overtime, and we’re losing staff because people are just like I can’t do this anymore, so hopefully this will make a difference and be a demonstration that we value these employees, and we recognize that we need to raise their pay," Travis County Commissioner Precinct 2 Brigid Shea said.

The cost is about $2.26 million this year and $11.57 million to be included in the fiscal year 2024 budget.

The County Commissioners also approved a request from the Sheriff’s Office to use $483,000 of vacancy savings to continue a contract with a company to help fill vacant positions.