California’s state payroll – excluding its universities – grew by more than $1 billion last year, twice the rate of growth as the previous year, according to new figures from the State Controller’s Office.
The Sacramento Bee reports that 6 percent growth rate was not unexpected. More than half of the state’s workforce voted on labor agreements early last year that included substantial pay raises. Money for the raises was included in the 2017-18 state budget.
The largest contract, for Service Employees Union Local 1000, included one-time bonuses of $2,500 for more than 95,000 state workers. That’s worth more than $235 million in total compensation for employees the union represents.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation saw payroll increase by $452 million, or 9 percent. The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection logged an $87 million, or 13 percent, increase in payroll as the state experienced a horrible wildfire season.
Adjusted for inflation, California’s state payroll excluding universities was about 5 percent higher in 2017 than during 2008. The state’s population has grown about 9 percent over that period.