The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) has notified the President of the Kansas Organization of State Employees (KOSE), Sarah LaFrenz, that improvements in staffing levels at the El Dorado Correctional Facility will allow the Department to return to eight-hour shifts for security staff.

“There are many people to thank for their support during this emergency, first and foremost our employees,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Under very difficult circumstances, our employees demonstrated their commitment to each other and to the safety of their fellow Kansans.”

Uniformed staff vacancies at El Dorado have been reduced from 75 on June 17, 2019, to 50 on July 29, 2019. The reduction is attributed to the commitment of funding by Governor Kelly and the 2019 Kansas Legislature. That funding increase allows KDOC to be more competitive in the job market by offering starting wages of $18.26 per hour, an increase from $15.75.

“We are encouraged to see this administration and Acting Secretary Jeff Zmuda take seriously the issues at EDCF and our other Kansas Correctional facilities, as well as the safety of our Kansas workers,” LaFrenz said. “We look forward to working collaboratively with KDOC both currently and in the future.”

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) between KOSE and KDOC requires a 45-day notice before implementing this change, which would end scheduled 12-hour shifts beginning October 6, 2019. This will provide time for staff to express their preference for a specific post.

“In my first weeks at KDOC, I have appreciated the open dialogue and collaboration between KOSE and KDOC and look forward to our continued work together,” Zmuda said.

KDOC is experiencing reduced vacancies at facilities across Kansas. On June 17, 2019, a total of 342 uniformed positions were vacant compared to 252 on July 29, 2019, a 26.3% improvement.