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I understand the benefits of the Program, but is the cost of the Program worth it?

Most CDCR employees do not realize how valuable their career truly is. Consider the following example:

Correctional Officer Smith begins his career with CDCR at age 20. He works hard for 30 years and retires at age 50. He begins to enjoy his retirement and current life expectancy figures show that Officer Smith will collect his pension for the next 27 years. Using a deliberately underestimated average annual salary of $65,000, and NOT factoring in any over-time, promotions, raises, cost of living increases, or the fully paid for life-time medical benefits, Officer Smith’s CDCR career is worth just over 3.5 Million Dollars!

Some people may believe that this is a function of the enhanced benefit of the state’s Peace Officer retirement formula. But the careers of “free staff” are just as valuable. Consider a non-sworn employee who is under the state’s “safety retirement” formula and makes an average of $45,000. If that employee completes 30 years with the Department, retires at age 55, and begins collecting her pension, she will have had a career that is worth more than $2 Million Dollars! And again, this is not factoring in promotions, cost of living increases, raises, or medical benefits!

Your career, regardless of your job classification, is worth millions of dollars and affords you the opportunity to provide a quality life for yourself and your family. For around $1 a day, you can become a Member and take an active role in protecting your most valuable property.

Additionally, even if your career is not at risk, the CDCR employee disciplinary matrix requires, in the vast majority of cases where a penalty other than dismissal or demotion is imposed, a salary reduction of 5% or 10% for a period of time ranging between 3 and 24 months. In these difficult economic times for the State in general and public sector employees in particular, can you or your family take another 5-10% reduction to your paycheck for the next 2 years?

Think of all the things that you might spend $30-$40 a month on (coffee, a few lunches, a gym membership that you hardly use) and ask yourself if protecting your career isn’t worth at least as much.

The question, then, is not, “Can I afford to become a member?”

The question really is, “Can I afford not to become a member?“