Calif. CU Workers Average 4.35% Pay Increases

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Management and non-management employees at California's credit unions averaged a 4.35% increase in salary over the past year. According to the source of the study, the California Credit Union League's 2004 Credit Union Compensation Survey, workers at Nevada's credit unions averaged a 3.95% increase over the same period.

The greater salary increases at California credit unions among management and non-management staff, excluding CEOs, stood in contrast to past surveys, which saw staff at Nevada credit unions receiving greater salary increases than their California counterparts.

Average non-management salaries increased 4.3% in 2003 at California credit unions, compared to 3.8% at Nevada credit unions. Average management pay at California credit unions rose 4.4% last year, versus 4.1% at Nevada credit unions.

The league said that comparable statistics for CEO pay were unavailable. However, the survey found that the average CEO pay at California and Nevada credit unions that responded to the survey was $112,171. That figure was up 12.7% from the average of $99,568 reported in the previous survey in 2002. The compensation survey is conducted every two years.

The study also found that 91% of California and Nevada credit unions offer both hospital/medical insurance and dental insurance to full-time employees. About 75% offer these benefits to both full-time employees and their families.

Since 2002, the survey found, California and Nevada credit unions are more likely to offer dental, life, and optical insurance, prescription drug coverage, retirement or pension plans, educational assistance, long-term disability insurance, and flexible spending accounts.

The league acknowledged that as with all credit union salaries, asset size appeared to influence a credit union CEO's salary the most. CEO pay rose on average as assets increased. It further found that salaries also increased with the more years of experience or the longer the CEO had been on the job, although years of experience had a greater positive effect than years on the job.

The Effect of Higher Education

CEOs with a college degree or higher earned more than CEOs whose education ended with high school, and pay increased with the number of full-time employees that the CEO directly or indirectly supervised. The survey notes, however, that larger, higher-paying credit unions have more employees to be supervised, which exaggerates this last relationship.

According to the CCUL, the study found that employee turnover continues to be highest among tellers, with the turnover rate tending to increase the larger the credit union or the lower the teller's salary. The lowest turnover rate was among senior management. Not too surprisingly, credit unions with less than $5-million in assets had the highest turnover rates among all staff.

Separating employees into six groups- teller/cashier, clerical, multi-task, mid-management, senior management, and other-the survey found that tellers have the highest turnover rate, with 57%, on average, having been in their jobs throughout 2003.

As a credit union's assets increase, teller turnover tends to increase. Turnover also varied with asset size among all employee groups. But there was no comparable relationship between asset size and turnover rate among the other five employee groups, as there was with tellers. Except among credit unions with less than $5 million in assets, which had consistently higher turnover rates than other asset groups, asset size did not correlate with either greater or lesser turnover, the league noted.

Clerical staff had an average turnover rate of 20%, mid-management had an average 13% turnover rate, and senior management had an average 9% turnover rate. Multi-task employees -those at credit unions with $23 million or less in assets who perform a variety of jobs-had an average 23% turnover rate.

The survey is based on responses to questionnaires designed by league and CUNA research staff and mailed to all league-member credit unions in California and Nevada. The questionnaire inquired about the salary levels for 78 full-time and 28 part-time positions. The League received 205 usable questionnaires, for a response rate of 42%.

What The California/Nevada Survey Also Found:

* 92% of CUs offer retirement or pension plans.

* 86% provide prescription drug coverage.

* 85% offer life insurance.

* 82% offer optical insurance.

* 73% offer long-term disability insurance.

* 66% provide educational assistance.

* 48% offer flexible spending accounts.

CUJ Resources

Copies of the compensation survey are available to California/Nevada CUs through the League's CU Store at (800) 472-1702, ext. 3402.

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