Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill says the state can't afford raises for prison guards as it battles a widening budget gap. And the leader of the State Senate – Don Perata – agrees.
"You don’t talk about cutting out services to children and to the elderly and say ‘let’s give guys that are walking the beat in a prison a raise.’"
But Lance Corcoran with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association says the raises would help them recruit the best employees. He says guards could strike if the raises are rejected.
"There comes a point when organizations and certainly members become fed up and begin to talk about the possibility of work stoppages, yes."
Corcoran says the union will keep pursuing the 5% pay raise with the state Legislature and the Public Employee Relations Board.