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Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Randall Benton / The Sacramento Bee

The front entrance of the Yolo County Courthouse in Woodland.

What California state workers earn: State lawyers

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2014 - 1:38 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 - 3:40 pm

California’s state attorneys have been pressing for pay parity with their local-government counterparts for years. Salary data compiled by the state and the attorneys’ union for years have shown a gulf so wide that Attorney General (and now Gov.) Jerry Brown said in 2007 that he was worried the state’s ability to enforce the law was in jeopardy.

California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment, or CASE, is one of the last three unions still working under the terms of contracts that expired nearly a year ago. The hang up: pay parity.

With those talks in the background, The State Worker is looking at what unionized employees earned last year, including CASE members. The numbers feeding the series come from the state controller's payroll database. The figures include only regular pay issued to full-time employees who earned more than $1,000 during the year and were represented by one of the 21 bargaining units that negotiate contracts with the state. University of California and California State University employee earnings are not included in these figures.

We also are including data from 2011 and 2012 statistics for purposes of comparison. During the three-year span these numbers cover, state employees were on and off furlough – twice. A new top-step pay increase kicked in last summer for senior employees. Keep those events in mind as you look at the figures.

Attorneys and Hearing Officers (Bargaining Unit 2)

Number of employees in 2013: 3,690

2013 average full-time pay: $93,728

2013 median full-time pay: $96.228

Number of employees in 2012: 3,573

2012 average pay: $93,142

2012 median pay: $105,548

Number of employees in 2011: 3,459

2011 average pay: $94,091.89

2011 median pay: $103,658.33

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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Note: The State Worker blog switched blog platforms in October 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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