It turns out managers in state government, including many at the Department of Corrections, were getting raises last year while pay for unionized workers remained frozen.  

The Olympian broke the story yesterday:      

Nearly half of the middle-manager class in state government got raises last year
By Brad Shannon

Pay for thousands of nonunion state government employees went up in the last year, well before September’s ratification of two dozen labor contracts promising the first general wage adjustments for union members in six years.

General government agencies quietly gave raises of more than 4 percent last year to 2,151 middle managers. The raises began after the Legislature’s formal freeze on pay was lifted effective July 1, 2013. Some staff members of the House and Senate and courts also received them.

Each agency had to pay for the upgrades — which topped out at 25 percent for a handful state employees — from their existing budgets, in some cases by leaving job vacancies unfilled.  Read more.

The paper reported that the DOC "provided raises averaging 3.22 percent for 135 of 211 Exempt Management Services staffers and raises averaging 2.83 percent for 314 of 391 Washington Management Services workers.  The total cost for these increases was $1.3 million."