Sac Bee story on worker pay fails to mention ‘step’ auto-raises

Nov. 23, 2012

By Chris Reed

Many California government workers — and more than half of all teachers — get “step” pay raises every year just for accumulating seniority. Teachers and some other workers can also get “column” pay raises for additional education, even if it is unrelated to their jobs. Not many Californians are aware of these auto-raises — even though they’ve been around forever — or of how they wreak havoc in school districts, where compensation costs now routinely eat up 90 percent or more of operating budgets.

Why are Californians so ignorant of this crucial fact? Because of stories like this one in the Sacramento Bee. It talks about state workers’ hopes that Prop. 30’s passage will mean a broad pay increase. And in 600 words, it doesn’t mention “step” pay raises once. In other words, it paints a picture of alleged deprivation for state workers instead of noting they enjoy a pay practice that people in the private sector would be overjoyed to have.

This is the opposite of public-service journalism. Do they give out reverse Pulitzers?

Related Articles

Response to San Francisco car break-in epidemic faulted

In September, when the FBI released national crime statistics for 2017 that showed San Francisco had the highest rate of

Cuts Ahead For State's Many Regulations

Katy Grimes: California leads the country in regulatory laws. It’s nothing to be proud of. While other states mock California’s

The radical roots of Jerry Brown’s school finance reform plan

March 22, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi California Gov. Jerry Brown’s recently proposed radical public school financing reform –- the so-called