CASE Bargaining Update [8.14.19]

Dear Bargaining Unit 2 Member:

CASE’s negotiators are still at the table with Governor Newsom’s bargaining team at CalHR. Although we typically do not provide detailed bargaining updates, we share some disturbing information: CalHR believes that CASE Administrative Law Judges, Hearing Officers, and Commissioners are overpaid when compared with their federal counterparts.

CalHR’s belief is baffling and bears repeating: Management thinks that our ALJs are overpaid, not underpaid. You can see the numbers that allegedly support this on page 20 of this CalHR report.

CalHR’s report suffers from many problems, including the use of out-of-date numbers from March 2017. But even so, a team from the UCLA Labor Center, Institute for Labor and Employment, prepared a study using similar data showing that ALJs and others in comparable positions at the city, county, and federal level earn 23% more than CASE’s administrative judiciary.

CASE’s negotiating team recently challenged CalHR about its report. The CASE team learned that CalHR could not explain which federal job or jobs served as the basis for its belief that our ALJs are overpaid. CalHR, similarly, did not say why it relies on the pay to a single worker (by using a median), as opposed to relying on comprehensive information that includes a salary average (or mean). CalHR did not consider the minimum and maximum salaries that job seekers and employers typically rely on, which was, of course, the basis for the UCLA study. CalHR refused, moreover, to share with CASE the raw data it used for the report.

As for attorneys, CalHR at least acknowledges on page 18 of its report that CASE lawyers are somewhat underpaid, but the report did not include our Deputy Labor Commissioners at all.

Several other groups of workers are also now bargaining with the State, including the investigators and special agents in Unit 7, CSLEA. Upon final approval of their recent agreement, CSLEA employees will pay more in pension and retirement deductions each month, but will receive raises of 10.4% to 12% over four years. Specific workers, including law-enforcement agents, will receive additional money as well.

The Unit 7 tentative agreement may be found here. The Legislative Analyst’s Office has a thorough analysis of this agreement that includes a detailed discussion of its terms.

We are dismayed that CalHR grossly undervalues our work and have protested CalHR’s misleading and unfair report of our pay. But we remain committed to you. CASE will continue fighting for a contract that improves the appalling salary disparities facing 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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