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Bad news/Good news: Calif. nurse triples her pay with overtime, teachers in the state laid-off due to lack of funds

We like to feature two highlights each week that caught our eye. Here, this week’s version of “Good news/Bad news”…

A California state nurse earned more than triple her base pay last year by working a copious amount of overtime. Her total income for 2010 as a nurse at a men’s prison was $269,810, making her overtime earnings the most of any state employee. What’s the bad news, you ask?

California is in a financial crisis, one that has seen more than 30,000 teachers laid-off since 2007 due to budget constraints. In fact, the amount of “extra pay” California paid in 2010, which includes overtime, unused vacation and union-negotiated benefits, was $1.7 billion, enough to pay the average salaries of 25,000 teachers. Other complaints in California as law-makers try to reduce budget shortfalls is that many government workers make far more in California than similar positions in other states.

What do you think? Should government workers, including nurses, be able to collect extra pay while the state is in such dire financial circumstances? Let us know in the comments section below.



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