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Prison receiver says he is ending practice of dual-wage doctors

February 11, 2013|By Paige St. John

The court-appointed receiver for California's prison healthcare system has asked prison doctors to end the practice of moonlighting within the state agency.

Payroll data from the state controller's office show 1,910 state workers held both a full-time job and a part-time position in 2012. Almost half, 942, were employed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The controller's reports do not break out how much income came from those second jobs, but 2011 payroll records show they include a psychiatrist at the California Medical Facility who added $84,000 to her $268,000 state job filling in as a second psychiatrist, and a physician at California State Prison in Corcoran who supplemented his $248,000 state job with another $78,000 working medical shifts at the same prison.

A spokeswoman for J. Clark Kelso said it was common practice for prison doctors and medical staff -- whose salaries are among the highest in the nation -- to pick up extra pay working a second job within the prison system. Dual appointments, as they were called, were necessary to make up for chronic staffing shortages, said Joyce Hayhoe, legislative affairs director for Kelso.

But last fall, Kelso directed prison medical officers to discontinue the practice. Hayhoe said 29 prison physicians still held dual appointments by December 2012, but agency payroll records show only eight actually worked those extra jobs and received a second paycheck.

"We don't really need it anymore," Hayhoe said.

The union contract for prison physicians is the only state labor agreement that expressly allows employees to hold two state jobs, Hayhoe said. The practice of other state agencies allowing managers and others to collect extra pay even when not entitled to overtime drew criticism last month from the governor's office.   


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