California’s Largest State Worker Union Negotiates Raise

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Governor Jerry Brown has worked out a 4.5% raise with the state’s largest state employees union, S.E.I.U. Local 1,000, that represents about 95,000 mostly white collar workers in nine bargaining units.

The three year contract provides a 2% raise in July of 2014 and the rest in 2015, provided that certain state revenue targets are met. If the economy tanks, the entire raise will be delayed until the final year of the contract.  The governor tied raises to the economy because he apparently continues to be wary of long term revenue projections.

The contract is perhaps an acknowledgement of the role of unions in passing Brown’s tax increase that prevented another budget meltdown. Union officials also say state workers experienced pay cuts through furloughs. Some union members were expecting a higher raise enduring drastic cuts in pay.

“More is more,” countered S.E.I.U Local President Yvonne Walker.

Walker said their negotiators did the best they could and pointed out that the contract guarantees there will be no more furloughs and other workplace concessions.

The governor was cognizant that 10 other bargaining units are still at the negotiating table.   He restricted his comments by saying the deal was “fair.”  Look for the other units to sign similar deals tied to state revenues.

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