Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

For Justice's Sake, da's Office Salaries Must Increase

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

For Justice's Sake, da's Office Salaries Must Increase

Article excerpt

In January, I retired from the Allegheny County district attorney's office after 32 years of service, so I read Paula Reed Ward's article about turnover in that office with great interest (April 1, "DA's Office Seeing High Turnover").

The focus of contract negotiations for many years has been on raising the starting salary, which has stagnated since 2003. If starting salaries - $22,500 in 1985 - had kept pace with inflation, they would now be $53,102. Yet the county's response, even when the district attorney has advocated for an increase, has been that there are hundreds of applicants for every position so there is no need to offer more. Young lawyers, who often carry crippling debt loads of over $100,000, soon realize that they can't pay off their loans, buy a home or raise a family if they remain with the office. …

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