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  • Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

    A second union has rejected the pay offer from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration. In the latest vote, state scientists turned down a 4.5 percent raise over two years.

  • MARCI STENBERG / Merced Sun-Star

    Adam Gray, State Assembly candidate

The Buzz: California state scientists are second union to reject Jerry Brown’s contract offer

Published: Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 - 8:26 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 1, 2014 - 8:32 pm

California’s state scientists have overwhelmingly rejected a labor contract offered by Gov. Jerry Brown, the second state union to dismiss a contract offer in recent weeks.

The California Association of Professional Scientists says that 68 percent of members who voted rejected the deal, which included a 4.5 percent raise over two years.

The Brown administration’s offer mirrored those accepted by other unions that bumped salaries 2 percent starting Tuesday, with another 2.5 percent increase a year from now. The scientists have long complained that their state salaries lag by 30 percent or more the wages of local government counterparts and state colleagues who perform similar jobs.

“State scientists have spoken,” said Patty Velez, the bargaining chairwoman. “This contract was far short of what is needed to bring an equitable and satisfactory conclusion to these negotiations.”

The scientists’ “no” vote is the second time in a month that a state employee union has turned down a contract offer from Brown. The union representing about 850 heavy equipment operators in June rejected an SEIU-type deal and authorized its leaders to call a strike.

– Jon Ortiz


ELECTION WATCH

The margin separating Democrats Betty Yee and John A. Pérez in the race for second place in the California controller primary is smaller than those of all but four statewide elections across the country that triggered recounts from 2000 through 2013. The difference in the controller’s race represents one-hundredth of 1 percent – 481 votes out of more than 4 million ballots. That’s less than 19 other contests that have had recounts since 2000. The Pérez campaign says it is determining if a recount is warranted.

– Jim Miller


WORTH REPEATING

“What I see is a mistrust of the universities to handle the problem.”

ASSEMBLYMAN ADAM GRAY, Merced Democrat, after students testified about sexual violence on campus.



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