Dear Bargaining Unit 2 Voting Member:
As we indicated last month, CASE began negotiations with CalHR in April and has continued negotiations this month. The federal stimulus packages and California’s robust economic recovery have dramatically improved the State’s financial condition. The May budget revision released Friday confirmed a very large budget surplus this year.
CASE has been fighting for the State to end the furloughs, protect our healthcare payments, and make our members whole for the sacrifices they willingly made at the outset of the now abated COVID economic emergency. We are extremely confident we will be able to end the furloughs on June 30th, like other bargaining units. However, based on our increasingly large salary deficits relative to other public sector agencies, it is not enough to simply return to the status quo ante; we must get back on track to substantively improve the pay of all members of CASE.
As part of our negotiations for a long-term contract, CASE has forcefully argued that the State’s long-term neglect of its legal professionals has resulted in greater turnover, higher caseloads, and decreasing diversity. The crisis created by this neglect has had profound impacts on California’s ability to provide its residents with fairness and equity in every part of the state’s legal operations. This crisis was bad before the pandemic and has only worsened since. If the state fails to recruit and retain the best, brightest, and most diverse legal professionals, there can be no justice in the California justice system nor in the state’s administration of its laws. There is no time to wait when fairness and equality for all Californians are at stake.
CASE is also pushing for improvements to our other benefits such as family leave. It is absolutely disgraceful that the State offers no paid parental leave for non-birth parents and only limited paid disability leave for the birth mother. Even the federal government modernized family leave by providing federal employees with 12 weeks of paid leave for all new parents. California’s obstinate insistence on maintaining unprogressive policies has particularly negative impacts on women, adoptive parents, and members of the LGBTQ+ communities. The crisis caused by archaic family leave policies has also only been worsened by the pandemic.
We expect to be able to report more detailed progress in upcoming weeks as negotiations continue. We believe this year presents a unique opportunity for this administration to partner with us to modernize the State’s approach to its legal workforce. Without such a partnership, the lack of diversity, fairness, and equity in the State’s legal workforce will undermine all the efforts being made to increase diversity, fairness, and equity for all Californians.
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