Column Extra: Lawsuit prompted raises for California scientist and engineer managers

08/21/2014 11:10 AM

08/21/2014 11:15 AM

This week’s State Worker column notes that rank-and-file state scientists will soon vote on a one-year contract with a $1,000 bonus and a 3 percent raise next year, while Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday authorized pay increases of up to 42 percent for their managers and supervisors and 8 percent increases for state engineer management. Cost for one year: a total $56.4 million for some 4,100 employees.

Since managers and supervisors aren’t unionized, their wages aren’t bargained. Their only recourse to force salary increases is to lobby or sue. California Association of Professional Scientists, which represents both rank-and-file employees and their managers, did just that several years ago. Their argument: Managers and supervisors were not receiving comparable raises to lower-level employees who do similar jobs, which violated civil service law that requires like pay for like work.

The court ruled in favor of the union, but the state just now is getting around to paying up after several years of lobbying by CAPS for lawmakers to fund the court-ordered raises. This brief post breaks down state estimates of how the money is split between groups. Here’s a copy of the complaint that produced the raises that Brown approved this week. Raises for PECG-represented managers and supervisors were not part of the lawsuit. The union says Brown funded raises for those employees after years of lobbying.

Petition for Writ

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Editors note, 2:35 p.m.: This post has been changed to reflect the court-ordered raises for scientists are separate from raises ordered for state engineers.

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