Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Court Rejects Raise for Calif. Prison Supervisors

(CN) - California isn't required to boost the pay and benefits of correctional supervisors in step with raises given to the officers they supervise, a state appeals court ruled.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) claimed that state law requires supervisors to automatically get base pay and health care benefit increases that are "generally equivalent" to those awarded to rank-and-file officers.

The supervisors of State Bargaining Unit Six argued that the state Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) violated state law when it awarded officers a base pay increase as a result of a contract dispute, but failed to update the supervisors' pay and benefits accordingly.

The personnel office did give the supervisors a raise, but not on the timetable the supervisors wanted.

The First District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court's ruling that state code does not require the pay of officers and supervisors to increase simultaneously.

The purpose of the code is to maintain pay differentials, the ruling states, and the supervisors still enjoyed an 11.45 percent differential in salary and benefits.

The state code specifically gives the personnel office discretion in setting supervisors' pay rates, allowing it to "look past each isolated rank-and-file compensation increase and determine the appropriate differential in light of the overall compensation picture," Justice Ignazio Ruvolo wrote. And the association has failed to show evidence of an inadequate pay differential, the ruling states.

"To interpret [the state code] as CCPOA argues would necessarily require DPA to navigate its fiscal authority directly onto the shoals of budgetary irresponsibility," at a time when "California faces its greatest public budgetary crisis in decades," Ruvolo wrote.

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