The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 25, 2012
Rumor of Highway Patrol pay deal spreads false info

chp badge.JPGA persistent rumor is wafting through state government that the California Association of Highway Patrolmen is pushing legislation that would reduce how much they contribute to their pensions.

While The State Worker loves a good pay-and-politics scandal as much as anybody, in this case the rumor is false.

Here's a recent email to The State Worker that succinctly explains the scuttlebutt we've been hearing:

Jon, Wondering if you saw the comment below the article on SEIU leadership that indicates AB 2140 is pending legislation that will reduce CHP retirement contributions by 3%. Wondering if this is accurate information?

Assembly Bill 2140 does roll back pension payments ... for Highway Patrol Academy cadets.

The measure corrects an oversight in Bargaining Unit 5's contract that charged the cadets 10 percent of their pay -- the same percentage that Patrol officers started paying under the terms of their contract, up from the 8 percent mandated in the previous contract.

Cadets are classified as miscellaneous employees for the six months they attend the academy. Before the last contract, they paid 5 percent of their wages toward their pensions. The deal inked two years ago and legislated in Senate Bill 846 was supposed to bump that by 2 percentage points to 7 percent, but a drafting error doubled the cadets' payment to 10 percent, the same as sworn officers'.

From the bill's Assembly analysis:

As a result, CHP cadets are now contributing more than what was agreed upon between the state and CAHP into CalPERS. Further evidence of the intent to have CHP cadets contribute 7% rather than the current 10% can be seen in DPA's fiscal analysis of SB 846 which accurately reflects the intended 7% monthly pension contribution for cadets.

The total overpayments ran about $100,000 per cadet class. The bill, which went through the Assembly without any opposition, is schedule for a hearing before the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee, which convenes today at 2 p.m.

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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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