The State Worker

What California state workers earn: engineers

Professional Engineers in California Government has built a reputation over the years as a union that bargains hard and long, can be slow to take a contract and isn’t afraid to sue governors of either political party when it thinks they’ve crossed the line.

The union has been among the last to reach labor agreements with both former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. And while nearly every other state employee union bargained one-day-per-month furloughs with Brown in 2012, PECG was one of only two that refused (the Legislature imposed furloughs on the union anyway). In the courts, the union was among the first state labor organizations to file a furlough lawsuit against Schwarzenegger in 2009. Its attorney argued the case before the California Supreme Court.

Now the union is squaring off with the Brown over furloughs. PECG won a trial court decision last year that said Brown furloughed its members two days too many in 2011. The administration appealed the ruling. Oral arguments in San Francisco’s 1st District Court are scheduled for next month.

With raises taking effect for most state workers on July 1 (PECG raises don’t kick in for another year), this is the eighth in a series of State Worker blog posts looking at what unionized government employees earned in 2013. 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.

Bargaining Unit 9 – Professional Engineers (Professional Engineers in California Government)

Number of full-time employees in 2013: 10,292

2013 average full-time pay: $95,409

2013 median full-time pay: $94,822

Number of full-time employees in 2012: 10,462

2012 average full-time pay: $90,349

2012 median full-time pay: $92,288

Number of full-time employees in 2011: 10,491

2011 average full-time pay: $86,393

2011 median full-time pay: $87,747

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.

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