The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 4, 2008
Column extra: A 'rarely mentioned' class in CSLEA

Our State Worker column today prompted this e-mail:

Rarely mentioned in this CSLEA bickering are the state's Emergency Planners and Emergency Managers. In California, our four seasons are officially Fire, Flood, Earthquake, and "to be determined." We put in long hours alongside the emergency personnel that seek to split our union.

First consider the pay ranges for FEMA Emergency Planners:

Emergency Management Program Specialist is 48,108.00 - 107,854.00 a year.

Emergency Response Planner $60,840.00 - $112,735.00 per year

Sr. Technological Hazards Program Specialist $86,715.00 - $112,735.00 per year

Supervisory Emergency Management Program Specialist $82,178.00 - $126,240.00 per year

Now look at what California pays:

EMERGENCY SERVICES COORDINATOR, $44,976 - $65,436 per year

SENIOR EMERGENCY SERVICES COORDINATOR $59,532 - $71,844 per year

Instead of raising the pay for these classes, and using an appropriate classification to supervise (like Senior Emergency Management Coordinator $72,288- $87,312), they use a non-represented class to supervise these planners:

PROGRAM MANAGER I, OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES $62,460 - $75,444 per year

Oddly enough, few emergency planners are interested in promoting. It's not really a promotion when you give up your overtime and lose union representation. No real incentive to promote.

Please don't use my name in your articles.

The tone of the e-mail left us with the impression that the author was against sworn officers severing ties with CSLEA, but to be sure, we asked. The reply:

I am against the move. I think we will be left behind as yet another obscure group of unknown classes with even less political clout.... Emergency Management is a strange field, as there is no real formal training. If you learn the job and truly become knowledgeable in it, you possess a rare and valuable skill that can be worth over $100 an hour as a consultant. And that is another place we lose our people to. There is plenty of money for consultants, but yet nothing for salaries -- More outsourcing of employee jobs.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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