Some California Prison Doctors Could Get Big Raise

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — Doctors who work in certain California state prisons could be in line for a big raise.

The Associated Press obtained a tentative deal between the state and the union representing 1,500 doctors, psychiatrists and dentists. It calls for a 9 percent pay hike over four years.

But doctors working in prisons with the most severe physician shortages will get an annual bonus of 15 percent. That’s more than $160,000 over the life of the contract for a doctor earning the average $270,000.

California officials have been working to improve substandard care that resulted in federal authorities stepping in to oversee inmate health care.

The state and union believe higher pay will attract more doctors and improve care.

The union and state Legislature must approve the deal.