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Letter: Correctional facility workers deserve raise

To the editor:

I'm disgusted that six Republican legislators took a 45 percent pay raise for themselves and gave massive tax breaks to big corporations and their rich friends. Now they want to take away a 2 percent cost-of-living raise from hard working state employees and blame us for the budget mess they created.

I'm proud to do Minnesota's work. I'm a sergeant at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. I don't get rich working for the state, but I make a difference every day by keeping the public safe from our most dangerous felons.

My contract is up next; it covers 2,000 correctional staff. Working in a prison isn't pleasant and it's getting harder for the Department of Corrections to recruit and retain staff. Minnesotans need to tell their legislators that maintaining public safety requires competitive compensation for state employees.

Wages and benefits for all state employees account for only 2 percent of the state budget. We are not the problem. We are your friends, your neighbors and your customers.

Republicans say government needs to be run like a business. Private sector employers don't treat their workers with this kind of disrespect.

Al Larson

Alexandria, MN