Overtime helps correctional officer triple base pay before retirement, boosting pension

A corrections officer in Wisconsin was able to earn three times his base salary and also increase his pension all thanks to overtime, according to news reports.

Bradley Thiede worked 95 hours a week on average in the year leading up to his retirement, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The hours allowed Thiede to earn almost $175,000 in 2017. Last year was used to set his pension payments during retirement, the Journal Sentinel reported.

>> Read more trending news

But he isn’t alone.

Thiede is only one of 540 Wisconsin state workers who earned more than $20,000 in overtime, the Journal Sentinel reported.

According to the newspaper's findings:

  • Bradley Frisch is a sergeant in a correctional institution. He made $169,000 in 2017, working 82.4 hours a week on average, .
  • Kevin Streekstra, another correctional institution sergeant made slightly under Frisch, $168,000 working 87.5 hours a week on average.
  • Sook Bae, a nurse clinician, worked 81.7 hours a week on average, making $216,000.

State officials say they have to pay out so much overtime because there's a low unemployment rate, making it difficult to hire people for round-the-clock staffing at prisons and health care facilities, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Some are saying though that in addition to a financial issue, it’s also a question about safety. Can workers who have to watch prisoners or patients be alert enough to do their job safely.

For more on the Journal Sentinel's investigation, click here.

About the Author