PUEBLO, Colo. -

A state employees union is disputing suggestions that 4,000 Department of Corrections workers are overpaid.

A July 19 letter signed by all 15 Senate Republican lawmakers says the state's latest salary plan wrongly suggests state corrections workers should be paid more money at a time when private prison workers are paid less.
According to the Pueblo Chieftain, the letter cites a recent study showing state prison employees average $51,000 a year while private prison staffers average $34,500. It also says state corrections employees have other benefits, including retirement, overtime and access to government vehicles.
The annual salary survey sets the pay scale for state workers based on comparisons to a list of factors, including private employers.