The award provides a 4.5 percent wage increase & retention bonuses for 1,100 employees 

PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia today announced that an arbitration panel has issued a one-year extension of an Arbitration Award covering approximately 1,100 employees in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons and other public safety agencies represented by Local 159B of AFSCME, District Council 33.

At a City Hall news conference with the Prisons commissioner and the President of Local 159, Mayor Cherelle L. Parker announced the following elements of the arbitration award extension:

  • Wage Increase: The award extension included a 4.5 percent increase in pay for members of Local 159B. The pay increase is effective July 1, 2024.

  • Hiring Bonuses: Correctional Officer Trainees will receive a bonus of 20 percent of their base salary at the time of hiring. 10 percent will be paid when they graduate from the training academy. The other 10 percent will be paid after they’ve served one year as a Correctional Officer.

  • Retention Bonuses: A $1,600 Retention Bonus will be paid to every covered member of the Local who was employed as of May 1, and who remains employed today.

The Award also included an update to the City’s existing residency requirement for employment. Until the Philadelphia Department of Prisons reaches 80 percent of the Correctional Officer staffing complement needed, the City’s existing residency requirement will be eliminated for all Correctional Staff employed by the Philadelphia Department of Prisons.

“We are announcing a one-year extension of the current arbitration award benefitting the 1,100 men and women members of Local 159B of AFSCME,” Mayor Cherelle L. Parker said. “This is very welcome news not only for the membership of Local 159, but for our broader city. A well-run Department of Prisons, with fair compensation for employees who do a difficult job, will help make our city safer in the long run.”

“I want to thank the Mayor, the Office of Labor Relations, and the President and leaders of Local 159 for engaging in a productive process that delivered this award. It is very fair to our current employees, and will help attract new employees,” said Michael R. Resnick, Commissioner of the Department of Prisons. “Additionally, the award fairly compensates our current staff, and will help retain these hard-working dedicated employees.”

Mayor Parker and Commissioner Resnick were joined at today’s news conference by Eric Desiderio, President of Local 159 of AFSCME, District Council 33, the correctional officers union. President Desiderio iterated the terms of the arbitration award extension, and said he was grateful to the mayor and her administration for its productive role in the arbitration process.

The costs of the arbitration award one-year extension, approximately $30.6 million over five years, will be included in the FY25-FY29 Five Year Plan that will be submitted to PICA next week.