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?

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 November, 2012, 08:44

    Teachers- ALL TEACHERS- have two pay models, and they BOTH apply to ALL teachers.

    1- Step raises based on years teaching, a raise EVERY year until you tape pout, LA is 10 years (the shortest) many others 15-17, even “longevity” step increases at 25,25 years.

    2- Step increases based on post BA education, usually 1 step increase every 15 units- 1 semester. And the teader license courses all count.

    Since the education step increases come as fast as you get the units you try to get the maximum possible, usually around 60 unites- 4 steps. Masters and doctorate degrees give small step increases, like $500.

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