This is going to be hard to accept, state workers, but think it over: Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was better to you than your current boss, Gov. Jerry Brown.
Sure, the Austrian Oak teed off on pensions, threatened to withhold pay during bogged-down budget talks and furloughed the state workforce during a historic financial crisis.
But Brown has a state on the fiscal mend. His Democratic Party has overwhelming statehouse control. He’s steamrolling toward re-election with heavy union backing. Despite all that, Brown’s state labor-relations record shows he’s as tough on state workers as Schwarzenegger. Maybe tougher.
Another union representing 3,000 state scientists is putting a similar contract out for ratification this month, although it’s unhappy with the deal’s salary provisions. Don’t be surprised if it gets a thumbs-down.
By comparison, state workers never rejected an agreement reached with Schwarzenegger.
Compare that to the last statewide raises Schwarzenegger negotiated. Local 1000’s contract in 2005, for example, gave a $1,000 bonus, a 3.5 percent raise in year one and an inflation-indexed raise of up to 4 percent in year two. And that deal was bargained while Schwarzenegger was pushing several ballot measures SEIU and other unions vehemently opposed.
Add all that up and you could argue Brown has been tougher on employees than his predecessor, despite more money, political power and union support.