Dear Bargaining Unit 2 Member:
As we informed you last week, the Governor is negotiating the 2020-2021 budget with Toni Atkins and Anthony Rendon, the leaders of the California Senate and Assembly. Those negotiations are in their final phase this evening. The Governor’s original proposal included a mandatory 10% cut in employee compensation and the Legislature’s joint proposal had no mandatory cuts in employee compensation.
Yesterday, Senate Pro Tem Atkins and Assembly Speaker Rendon released a joint statement and budget language that now includes expected savings from cuts to employee compensation of up to $2.9 billion dollars. They expect all bargaining units to meet and confer with CalHR (The Governor’s representative) to try to achieve those savings by July 1, 2020. The budget will be completed by midnight tonight and passed next Monday, June 15, 2020. Regarding the proposed 10% cut in employee compensation, the Legislature and Governor have effectively extended the time in which collective bargaining over the proposed cuts may continue until June 30, 2020. You can find their statement here.
CASE has been at the bargaining table for many months and has been meeting extensively with CalHR, both formally and informally, for several weeks. As we have previously stated, CASE is strongly opposed to furloughs because they are counter-productive and in some cases illegal. We are working tirelessly and using all our resources to find various solutions that will achieve budget savings in employee compensation.
However, the greatest hurdle in the negotiations is getting recognition of the fact that members of Bargaining Unit 2 will be disproportionately harmed by the across-the-board 10% salary cut/furloughs as proposed by the Governor and CalHR. As documented by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, CalHR’s own salary survey from last year, and this year’s bargaining preparations by CASE and CalHR, the legal professionals in CASE are grossly underpaid compared to other public sector professionals. Additionally, based on the fact that CASE and CalHR signed a one year agreement that was intended to allow both sides to find potential long-term solutions to the salary disparities, members of Bargaining Unit 2 are already facing the equivalent of a 2.5%-3.0% pay cut on June 30, 2020, when the $260 per month health care subsidy is due to expire. CASE has repeatedly proposed that the health care subsidy be continued because it is unimaginable that it would be allowed to expire during the greatest healthcare emergency in a century. However, so far, the State has not agreed to continue the program.
CASE accepts responsibility to do its share in responding to the Covid-19 budget shortfall but is unwilling to agree to pay cuts that are vastly greater than most other state employees. We will continue to fight for your rights and bargain in good faith with the State for as long as it takes while insisting that there must be equitable treatment for all state employees. We will be investigating the details of the final budget over the next few days before resuming bargaining all next week. We will keep you informed of any important developments as bargaining proceeds.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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