According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income for Ohioans is $47,358. The national median is slightly higher: $51,914. (Note: per-capita income is $27,334)

Ohio’s Corrections Officers, however, start out making $34,008 per year and they max out at $41,350 with step increases.

You read that right: The MAXIMUM salary of an Ohio corrections officer is 20% below the national median household income.

The men and women who work at Ohio’s prisons are not, by any stretch of the imagination, overpaid. And considering the work they do, it would be very easy to make the argument that they are seriously under-compensated.

And yet, in their recently signed contract with the State of Ohio, Corrections officers agreed to a three year pay freeze mainly because of the budget shortages – specifically the $83.0 million Kasich cut from the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DR&C) this year.

Any way you look at it, a pay freeze for Ohio’s Corrections Officers is a big deal. And some officers weren’t even lucky enough to get that.

On January 1st, 300 Corrections employees were laid off because of Kasich’s budget cuts and the privatization of North Central Correctional Institution.

On the same day, “Wardens in most of Ohio’s 26 prisons received raises of up to 23 percent.”

And it appears this is just the beginning.

According to Sally Meckling, Communications Director for OCSEA, the union that represents the corrections officers, DR&C is soon planning to abolish another 148 corrections officer positions while creating 33 new management jobs.

Raises and new jobs for management? Pay freezes and layoffs for those at the bottom?

Why am I not surprised?

Kasich came into office giving his top staff huge raises while cutting the salaries of the lowest paid workers. And Gary Mohr, Kasich’s Director of DR&C, seems to be taking his cues from the top.