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?
June 19, 2013