Letters – Former employee addressses county pay

To the Editor:
I wish to make a few comments concerning the article in the Clock Tower on governmental workers at the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department and the Jail.
I began full-time work at the Caldwell County Jail in 1987; however, that job alone didn’t pay enough to make a living. At one time during that year, I worked my full time job (at the jail) and two other part-time jobs just to make ends meet. I left Caldwell County after learning the Hays County Jail paid more. I was one of a handful of Caldwell County employees that left to go to Hays County that year. After a year and a half at Hays County, I transferred to Travis County which paid even more.
My point in all this is that Caldwell County paid for my training to become a Certified Jailer and taught me everything I needed to know to go on to better paying jobs with the adjacent counties. I wonder how many others has Caldwell County trained and then lost due to the low paying salary over the years. From what I’ve heard and read, the salaries have only begun to catch up and the few benefits that the Caldwell County employees receive are non-existent.
When I worked for Hays County, I had to buy my uniforms but I received a monthly uniform allowance on my paycheck to compensate for the cost and cleaning. When I began working for Travis County, they handed me five uniforms, a badge and case, a belt, handcuffs and handcuff case, a nametag, and a winter jacket. Now I know that Caldwell County doesn’t have the tax base to provide all of this to their employees, but when you consider that they have to buy their own uniforms, etc. that cuts into their paycheck.
When I retire from Travis County, I will still have group health insurance. Another benefit that I understand the Caldwell County employees don’t have. So, my feeling is that these employees have been underpaid far too long and are deserving of pay increases that could bring them up to the standard that they deserve. Caldwell County has been training both Jailers and Peace Officers and losing them to higher paying jobs elsewhere for many years. They need to invest in their employees and provide the pay and benefits to keep them.
Deborah Klekar
Luling

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