The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 28, 2013
What California state workers earn: Law enforcement

RB_Memorial_3.JPGBy Amy Gebert and Jon Ortiz

The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association stubbed its toe during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign when it endorsed Republican Meg Whitman and became the subject of an embarassing voice mail recording from candidate Jerry Brown's camp.

Observers, this blog included, thought that CSLEA would be the last union to reach a contract in 2010 because of the infamous "whore" incident, but that distinction went to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

Still, the fallout from the campaign incident continued long after the election. And the special agents, wardens and park rangers it covers are on a never-ending quest to split away from CSLEA, convinced that their pay is being held back by the union's representation of non-sworn employees in the union, such as dairy inspectors.

Number of employees in 2012: 6,507
2012 average pay: $54,476
2012 median pay: $54,581

Number of employees in 2011: 6,353
2011 average pay: $54,174
2011 median pay: $53,756

2012 Largest job class: Investigator (821)
Highest paid job class (2012 average): Investigation Specialist II (Technical) Franchise Tax Board ($87,446)
Lowest paid job class (2012 average): State Park Peace Officer Cadet (Ranger) ($6,777)

This chart shows the average and median pay for Bargaining Unit 7 in 2011 and 2012.

With talks and ratification votes for new state employee contracts on the agenda over the next few weeks, The State Worker is looking at what unionized workers earned over the last two years by bargaining unit.

The numbers feeding the series come from the State Controller's payroll database. The figures include only regular pay issued to full-time employees represented by the 21 bargaining units that negotiate contracts with the state. The number of employees includes only full-time workers who were paid during the calendar year. University of California and California State University employee earnings are not included in these figures. The data covers calendar 2011 and 2012.

PHOTO: Officers stand together during the annual remembrance ceremony at the Sacramento Police and Sheriff's Memorial in Woodlake Park in Sacramento on Thursday, May 2, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.

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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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