California’s first comprehensive survey of public safety workers shows that the maximum pay of state correctional officers is nearly 40 percent more than that of their highest-paid counterparts in 10 states and the federal government, the Sacramento Bee reports. The state Department of Personnel Administration survey this week shows that when total compensation is considered – everything from medical insurance to retirement benefits – state correctional officers beat the median top pay of the out-of-state groups by nearly 29 percent. An official with the 31,000-member California Correctional Peace Officers Association questioned the report’s validity, saying, “The survey doesn’t take into account California’s higher cost of living.”
The corrections officers union one of the two units not in current negotiations. The union has fought with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over pay and prison policies and has worked without a long-term labor contract since 2006. The personnel department’s out-of-state comparison considered wages of federal corrections officers and those in 10 states – neighboring Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Nevada and those with large populations: Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania.