CASE Bargaining Update [08.22.19]

Dear Bargaining Unit 2 Member:

CASE’s bargaining team is continuing to negotiate with Governor Newsom’s representatives at CalHR. CASE’s bargaining team does not typically share bargaining updates or strategy, but it has authorized the Board to make an exception today:

Earlier this week, the State’s bargaining team at CalHR gave CASE an unacceptable and lowball offer that makes the pay crisis plaguing our members even worse.

CalHR’s offer contains negligible raises that will not keep up with projected inflation and does nothing to address the disparity between attorneys and the administrative judiciary. It grants additional salary money for only the most junior attorneys, who comprise only 2% of our unit. The offer also includes potential takeaways that rest solely in the discretion of the State.

The offer provides for:

* 2% percent general salary increases for 2019 and 2020. An additional 2% for 2021 will be granted or delayed until 2022 at the sole discretion of the Department of Finance. If delayed, there would be no increases in 2021.

* The elimination of the 5% National Judicial College Differential for the administrative judiciary that would be replaced by a 5% salary increase—meaning zero change for our judges who have already received the training.

* A 10% salary increase for attorneys in ranges A and B that would not meaningfully close the outrageous entry-level pay disparity. (For example, under this offer, the State’s starting salary would increase from $67,224 to $73,946 while Sacramento County’s starting attorney salary is $110,816.)

There are no other proposed increases. However, the offer contains potential takeaways that permit CalHR to require, for each of the three years, up to a .5% increase in the payroll deduction that funds retiree healthcare (meaning a potential for a total increased deduction of 1.5%).

As you know, CASE’s bargaining team provided CalHR with a salary survey from Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the Department of Justice that showed at 23% pay deficit for attorneys. CASE’s bargaining team also gave CalHR a survey from the UCLA Labor Center that found a 28% pay deficit for our attorneys and a 23% pay deficit for our administrative judiciary. As explained in the report (click here) from the UCLA Labor Center, CalHR’s report is hopelessly flawed. Rather than acknowledging the competitive reality of California’s legal market –including its own conclusion that CASE attorneys are woefully underpaid– CalHR has shown complete indifference to the salary deficits faced by all members of Unit 2.

CalHR’s offer shows that it has disregarded the comparable salaries of federal ALJs, refused to address structural salary deficits of CASE ALJs and attorneys, and chosen to speed up the damage to California’s legal structure, all while hindering the State from accomplishing its critical mission and goals. CalHR’s proposal is unacceptable.

CASE’s bargaining team will be back at the table today and will pass additional proposals that provide meaningful progress toward eliminating the destructive salary deficits faced by all members of Unit 2.

This email may not reach all CASE members. Accordingly, CASE encourages you to pass this email along to any of your colleagues who may not have received it. If you are not receiving CASE emails and wish to receive future communications from CASE, please send an email to and request to be added to the distribution list.

CASE also encourages you to send responses from your personal email address as opposed to your state email address. Please keep in mind that all responses will be treated as confidential by CASE.

As always, your support of CASE and your colleagues in Bargaining Unit 2 is greatly appreciated.


The CASE Board of Directors

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