The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 27, 2013
What California state workers earn: Prison and parole officers

DS_PRISON_OFFICER.JPGBy Amy Gebert and Jon Ortiz

Perhaps no union worked harder to curry Gov. Jerry Brown's favor in 2010 than the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.

The union put in $1.8 million into an independent campaign to return Brown to office, invited him to CCPOA's annual convention in Las Vegas (the Democratic governor accepted) and didn't declare war on Brown's plan to shrink the state prison system and shift parole duties to local governments.

CCPOA reached agreement on a contract with Brown in 2010 after years of working under terms imposed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. That pact, like most of the others covering state employees, expires at the beginning of July.

A look at what CCPOA members earned in calendar 2011 and 2012:

Number of employees in 2012: 27,019
2012 average pay: $68,858
2012 median pay: $72,800

Number of employees in 2011: 29,006
2011 average pay: $65,353
2011 median pay: $69,445

2012 Largest job class: Correctional Officer (21,294)
Highest paid job class (2012 average): Parole Agent II, Adult Parole (Specialist) ($96,646)
Lowest paid job class (2012 average): Parole Service Associate ($59,055)

This chart shows the average and median pay for Bargaining Unit 6 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: A correctional officer watches over the central exercise yard at Folsom State Prison on Oct. 4, 2001. The Sacramento Bee/ Dick Schmidt.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives