The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 20, 2013
Column Extra: The cost of California state workers' step raises

The State Worker column in today's Bee references several numbers about employee compensation costs as it lays out arguments against the 4.5 percent raise in the new SEIU Local 1000 deal.

One articulated by Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff is that state workers' automatic raises have continued all along, even during California's darkest budgetary years. The interactive chart above depicts those costs.

Remember, the numbers reflect only the incremental expenses for each budget cycle, so the data doesn't roll the costs forward from one year to the next. The controller's office crunched the numbers for the Republicans in April 2011, so the data for that year doesn't cover all 12 months of the budget cycle. That's why we didn't refer to it in today's column.

The numbers also cover step raises for all employees and the cost to both general funds and special funds.

Republicans also reviewed several years of budget info and concluded that payroll costs grew a cumulative $9.9 billion from 2006-07 through 2011-12.Here's a breakdown of their analysis.

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, most of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

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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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