Average pay for workers covered by the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association rose just 1.4 percent in 2013, according to state pay data, putting the union’s members in the middle of the pack for pay increases among state public safety staff and regulators. By comparision, average pay for correctional officers remained essentially flat last year while Highway Patrol Officers’ average pay rose 4 percent.
Some park rangers, game wardens and other sworn officers within CSLEA say that their pay lags those of other cops because they are trapped in a union that also represents non-sworn regulators such as dairy inspectors. ( Don Novey, the former head of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, once referred to them as “the cheese police.”) Some of the dissidents several years ago formed Peace Officers of California, hoping to break away from the larger organization, but those efforts have been unsuccessful.
With raises kicking in for most state workers on July 1, this is the sixth in a series of State Worker blog posts looking at what unionized government employees earned last year. The numbers feeding the series come from the state controller’s payroll data. The figures include only regular pay issued to full-time employees represented by the 21 bargaining units that negotiate contracts with the state. Employees who earned less than $1,000 last year are not included in the calculations.
2013 average full-time pay: $55,260
2013 median full-time pay: $55,321
2012 average full-time pay: $54,476
2012 median full-time pay: $54,581
2011 average full-time pay: $54,174
2011 median full-time pay: $53,756
Note: During the three-year span covered by the above numbers, state employees were on and off furlough – twice. A new top-step pay increase kicked in last summer for senior employees. And a large number of state workers entered retirement. Keep those events in mind as you look at the figures.