The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 10, 2013
California state workforce to remain flat, cost more in fiscal 2013-14

Jerry Brown 2012 amezcua.jpgEditors note, 3:40 p.m.: An earlier version of this story used state job estimates from the 2012-13 enacted budget summary. This post has been modified using revised job figures in Brown's 2013-14 budget proposal that indicate a smaller number of current state positions.

California state government will pay about $501 million more for its employees in the next fiscal year, according to the budget proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown this morning, while the number of government positions remain essentially flat.

Brown's 2013-14 budget envisions 216,000 positions in the executive branch, the area of state government under his direct authority, at a cost of $15.7 billion. Government overall will grow slightly by adding about 6,300 positions, mostly in higher educaton.

The $97.7 billion budget plan doesn't call for extending the one-day-per-month furloughs set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Nor does it contain money for other raises for new contracts.

Brown declined to go into details about upcoming contract talks, citing his obligation to collectively bargain with the unions in good faith.

"We have to enter those negotiations with an open mind, but we have to live within our means. So I don't want to put too many of my cards on the table," Brown told reporters this morning, "Although everything's in the budget, so you can figure out sort of what the outside parameters are."

The state's annual per-position cost goes from roughly $67,000 this year to about $70,000 next year under Brown's budget proposal. The increase is due to higher benefits costs and a deferred pay raise for the bulk of the workforce scheduled to kick in July 1.

Several unions in 2009 and 2010 negotiated the increases of between 2 percent and 5 percent for senior employees at the top step of their job classifications. Of the roughly 216,000 executive branch employees who receive a paycheck from the state, approximately 143,000 currently fit into that category, according to the state controller's office.

State employees have been paying more for their pensions since their contracts took effect. The step increases are intended to offset that higher monthly cost going forward.

Several smaller unions, including those representing firefighters, psychiatric technicians and Highway Patrol officers, were the first to negotiate the higher pension contributions and step raises in the summer of 2009. Those changes have already kicked in.

Here's Brown's budget proposal. The state employee cost summary is on page 92.

Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed 2013-14 California Budget by jon_ortiz

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown / 2012 Sacramento Bee file, Hector Amezcua

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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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