The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 2, 2011
From the notebook: CHP pay formula misses top-paid agency

110531 police pay.jpgWe never get everything we learn into news stories about state employees. But State Worker blog users can get the notes, the quotes and the details from the notebook that informed our writing. This is the third in a series of posts spinning off "California Highway Patrol, prison officers compete for pay, respect," published on Tuesday.

Since our story about CAHP and CCPOA ran on Tuesday, we've received e-mails, phone calls and seen online comments that say California Highway Patrol officers' pay is linked to the five highest-paying law enforcement agencies in the state.

It's not.

Here's Government Code 19827 (a) (1), with the agencies used to benchmark wages for California Association of Highway Patrolmen:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in order to recruit and retain the highest qualified employees, the state shall pay sworn members of the California

Highway Patrol who are rank-and-file members of State Bargaining Unit 5 the estimated average total compensation for each corresponding rank for the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, San Diego Police Department, Oakland Police Department, and San Francisco Police Department. Total compensation shall include base salary, educational incentive pay, physical performance pay, longevity pay, and retirement contributions made by the employer on behalf of the employee.

Now look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2010 list of highest-paying metro regions for police and sheriffs (above or click here). The top five are all in California, but three of those are areas without a department on the CAHP benchmark list including No. 1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara.

You can take a closer look at 2010 San Jose city police total compensation on this searchable employee pay database.

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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


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