The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 25, 2013
LAO report warns of salary compaction with latest SEIU contract

ha_LAO367_Mac_Taylor.JPGIn its report on the new SEIU Local 1000 contract, the Legislative Analyst's Office warns that the proposed salary increases for rank-and-file employees could outpace salary increases for managerial and supervisor positions, leading to salary compaction.

While rank-and-file union members must negotiate their pay raises, managerial and supervisor positions are often determined by the administration. In the current contract, only rank-and-file members will receive the 4.5 percent pay increase.

According to the LAO, salary compaction occurs when "the differential between management and rank-and-file pay is too small to create an incentive for employees to accept the additional responsibilities of being a manager."

But just how widespread this problem is remains uncertain, according to Nick Schroeder, a fiscal and policy analyst for the LAO, because without an automated payroll system his office lacks the real-time data to make that determination.

"We don't know where those problems really are in the state," he said noting that it is also difficult for the Legislature to know where compaction exists because it is up to the administration to notify lawmakers when it becomes a problem.

According to the LAO's report, this potential problem could be remedied by extending the contract's pay increase to managers and supervisors. It notes that it would cost the state $43 million from the general fund and $118 million from all funds over the course of the contract.

SEIU Local 1000's Manager, Supervisor and Rank-and-File Statistics

Number of rank-and-file employees in 2012: 86,392
2012 average pay: $53,090
2012 median pay: $55,037
Number of managers: 2,950
2012 average manager pay: $101,595
(Only units 1, 3, 14, 17 and 21 have managerial counterparts)
Number of supervisors: 13,321
2012 average supervisor pay: $66,506

Number of rank-and-file employees in 2011: 88,035
2011 average pay: $52,563
2011 median pay: $53,475
Number of managers: 2,910
2011 average manager pay: $96,637
(Only units 1, 3, 14, 17 and 21 have managerial counterparts)
Number of supervisors: 13,373
2011 average supervisor pay: $64,909

For more SEIU Local 1000 statistics, see our What state workers earn series: SEIU Local 1000, part 1 and SEIU Local 1000, part 2.

The following graph compares the average regular pay of supervisors, managers and rank-and-file SEIU Local 1000 employees by unit for 2012.

Editor's note: This post was updated on July 2, 2013 at 4:10pm to correct minor calculation errors.

PHOTO: Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor announces his overview of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget on Jan. 12, 2011, in Sacramento. The Sacramento Bee/ 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


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