Illinois correctional officers ask for COVID-19 hazard pay

Illinois

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WEHT)- Correctional officers in Illinois are asking for COVID-19 hazard pay.

This comes after the sheriff sent the county board a memo in July laying out a $5000 stipend for corrections officers and deputies. It led the committee to unanimously approve hazard pay for new hires at the jail.

That doesn’t help officers who have been around for years, like Micah McMahon. He testified in support of the hazard pay several times. He says part of an officer’s job in the jails right now is to quarantine COVID-positive inmates.

McMahon says officers still have to have direct contact with those inmates and risk bringing the virus home.

“Even though I do feel at risk, we have a job to do. Every correctional officer that puts this uniform on knows that, and they’re willing to do it. And that’s the key, is that they will come to work, knowing that they’re possibly going to be around somebody that could pass it on to them. But we still have a job to do, because if we don’t do it, who will?” said McMahon.

The county board chairman says this is a priority for the board, but it’s unclear when a vote could take place.

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