The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 24, 2011
Highway Patrol commissioner receives national award

California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow has received a national award for contributing to highway safety over the course of his career.

Bee colleague Kim Minugh has more about the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' honor, presented to Farrow at the association's Milwaukee, Wis., conference on Tuesday. Click here for the story.

June 2, 2011
From the notebook: CHP pay formula misses top-paid agency

110531 police pay.jpgWe never get everything we learn into news stories about state employees. But State Worker blog users can get the notes, the quotes and the details from the notebook that informed our writing. This is the third in a series of posts spinning off "California Highway Patrol, prison officers compete for pay, respect," published on Tuesday.

Since our story about CAHP and CCPOA ran on Tuesday, we've received e-mails, phone calls and seen online comments that say California Highway Patrol officers' pay is linked to the five highest-paying law enforcement agencies in the state.

It's not.

Here's Government Code 19827 (a) (1), with the agencies used to benchmark wages for California Association of Highway Patrolmen:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, in order to recruit and retain the highest qualified employees, the state shall pay sworn members of the California

Highway Patrol who are rank-and-file members of State Bargaining Unit 5 the estimated average total compensation for each corresponding rank for the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, San Diego Police Department, Oakland Police Department, and San Francisco Police Department. Total compensation shall include base salary, educational incentive pay, physical performance pay, longevity pay, and retirement contributions made by the employer on behalf of the employee.

Now look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2010 list of highest-paying metro regions for police and sheriffs (above or click here). The top five are all in California, but three of those are areas without a department on the CAHP benchmark list including No. 1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara.

You can take a closer look at 2010 San Jose city police total compensation on this searchable employee pay database.

May 27, 2011
Patrol or prison officers: Who has the toughest beat?

We've wrapped up a story for next week's Bee that looks at the long, competitive relationship between California's correctional officers and its patrol officers.

We could have written a book.

Ahead of the story's publication, we're curious: Who do you think has the more difficult job between the two groups?

May 10, 2011
CalPERS to begin metal detection scans at next board meeting

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 100607 CALPERS HQ.JPGCalPERS will begin metal detection and x-ray screening of visitors and their personal items during next week's three-day board meeting at the fund's Sacramento headquarters, according to an emailed memo issued Monday:

Increasing security measures during Board meetings is an important part of enhancing security at Lincoln Plaza. Visitor screening is a standard practice at other public meetings such as the Sacramento City Council, San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Los Angeles City Council and implementing these new security measures for Board meetings is also consistent with the recommendations made by our security consultant.

CalPERS also is contracting with the California Highway Patrol for board meeting security.

The memo, which you can read here, notes that the fund has been giving more attention to facility security for the last year. Fund spokesman Brad Pacheco told The State Worker that the new measures will cost about $150,000 per year, plus a bit more to install cameras in the auditorium where the board holds meetings.

"It's important in today's environment that we take these extra precautionary steps to protect our employees and visitors to our meetings," Pacheco said.

PHOTO: CalPERS Sacramento headquarters. File photo / Sacramento Bee

March 29, 2011
Senate OKs appeal rights for CHP officers, cadets on probation

The state Senate quickly approved a measure today that would give rank and file California Highway Patrol officers and cadets the right to appeal grievances before the State Personnel Board while on probation.

Senate Bill 318, introduced by Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, passed the Senate 36-0 without debate. It now goes to the Assembly.

According to the Senate analysis of the bill, California Association of Highway Patrolmen cadets and lowest-level CHP officers on probation are the only state government workers who can't appeal a rejection. Higher-ranked CHP uniformed officers, rank-and-file employees in all other bargaining units, managers and supervisors have the right to appeal a probationary rejection.
California Senate Bill 318, introduced by Sen. Kevin Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles

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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