The State Worker

In the fine print, SEIU contract includes 9 to 19 percent raises for many workers

Yvonne Walker 'rejects' Jerry Brown's contract bargaining team

SEIU Local 1000, the largest state government employee union, rallied at the Capitol on June 8, 2016 as they fought for a new contract. The unit ultimately reached an agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration that included raises and $2,50
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SEIU Local 1000, the largest state government employee union, rallied at the Capitol on June 8, 2016 as they fought for a new contract. The unit ultimately reached an agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration that included raises and $2,50

A proposed contract for state government’s largest union includes dozens of special pay raises for certain workers that could increase their salaries by as much as 19 percent next year, according to new details released this week by the bargaining units.

The biggest gains would go to financial experts working for departments like CalPERS, as well as workers with specialized training in competitive career fields.

Most actuaries next year would receive a 15 percent salary bump on top of the standard 4 percent raise that all workers represented by SEIU Local 1000 would gain. In general, they’re financial planners working for CalPERS who earn between $7,300 and $10,000 a month.

In total, the proposed SEIU contract would raise their salaries by 19 percent next year.

Many vocational nurses would receive an 11.25 percent wage hike on top of the union’s 4 percent general salary increase.

Other job classifications, from tax auditors to environmental planners, would receive a 5 percent special salary hike next in addition to the general SEIU raise. Custodians, too, would gain 3 percent on top of the standard raise.

The state and its unions regularly conduct salary surveys, and special salary adjustments are intended to keep certain careers competitive with the private sector. A 2014 state salary survey showed that many SEIU workers had fallen behind their peers outside of state government.

Since then, the union and the state have studied how to offer better incentives for those high-demand workers.

“A lot of this came out of the state’s inability to recruit or retain” for competitive career fields, said SEIU Local 1000 Vice President Margarita Maldonado. “The work they do is really good quality work. As soon as (other employers) find out, (the workers) are getting a lot more money” and job offers.

A full list of the 59 job classification receiving special raises is posted with this story at sacbee.com.

SEIU Local 1000 members will vote on the contract between Jan. 4 and Jan. 17. It published the tentative agreement this week, and it has been hosting meetings for its members to learn more about it. The union’s advisory commission endorsed it last weekend.

SEIU Local 1000 was on the brink of a strike over the contract two weeks ago, arguing that its members deserved better than Gov. Jerry Brown’s initial contract offer. Brown had proposed a series of four annual raises of about 3 percent each, offset by rising employee contributions for retiree health care.

In broad terms, SEIU’s tentative contract looks similar to Brown’s proposal, although it delays and reduces the retiree health care contributions. It provides a $2,500 bonus this year, a 4 percent raise in 2017, a 4 percent raise in 2018 and a 3.5 percent raise in 2019.

Some of its members were angered when they saw that outline. One state worker even created a contract calculator online where SEIU members could compare Brown’s offer to the one SEIU negotiated.

But the new details reveal that thousands of SEIU members across a broad range of careers stand to gain significantly more money than the initial outline suggested. Maldonado characterized the base wage increase of 11.5 percent over 42 months as the floor of the agreement, with some workers gaining as much as 27 percent through 2019.

The California Department of Human Resources and the Legislative Analyst’s Office have not yet released an estimate regarding the contract’s total cost.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 2016, with comments from Maldonado.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton

Special raises in new SEIU contract

The following state government job classifications would receive special raises on July 1, 2017 in a proposed four-year contract.

Bargaining Unit 1

▪  Workers’ compensation claims adjuster series – 5 percent

▪  Workers’ compensation insurance representative series – 5 percent

▪  Business taxes specialist, Board of Equalization series – 5 percent

▪  Program specialist, Franchise Tax Board series – 5 percent

▪  Property appraiser, Board of Equalization series – 5 percent

▪  Tax compliance series – 5 percent

▪  Compliance representative, Franchise Tax Board series – 5 percent

▪  Business taxes representative and business taxes compliance series – 5 percent

▪  Financial institutions examiner series – 5 percent

▪  Aviation safety officer II – 5 percent

▪  Public utilities regulatory analyst series – 15 percent

▪  Personnel specialist series – 2.5 percent

▪  Payroll specialist series – 2.5 percent

▪  Tax auditor series, Employment Development Department – 5 percent

▪  Tax auditor series, Board of Equalization – 5 percent

▪  Tax auditor series, Franchise Tax Board – 5 percent

▪  Correctional case records analyst – 2.5 percent

▪  Right of way agent series – 5 percent

▪  Environmental planner series – 5 percent

▪  Transportation planner series – 5 percent

▪  Pension actuary series – 15 percent

▪  Casualty actuary series – 15 percent

▪  Life actuary series – 15 percent

▪  Actuarial assistant, CalPERS series – 15 percent

▪  Guide, historical monument series – 5 percent

▪  Workers’ compensation consultant – 5 percent

▪  District sales representative – 5 percent

▪  Planner I energy facility siting – 5 percent

▪  Planner II energy facility siting – 5 percent

▪  Insurance examiner – 5 percent

▪  Associate insurance examiner – 5 percent

Bargaining Unit 4

▪  Dispatcher-clerk, Caltrans – 4 percent

▪  Program Technician I, II and III – 2 percent

Bargaining Unit 11

▪  Laboratory assistants – 5 percent

▪  Senior laboratory assistants – 5 percent

▪  Correctional laboratory assistants – 5 percent

▪  Correctional senior laboratory assistants – 5 percent

▪  Supervising laboratory assistant I – 5 percent

▪  Associate railroad equipment inspector, Public Utilities Commission – 5 percent

▪  Associate railroad track inspector, PUC – 5 percent

▪  Associate signal and train control inspector, PUC – 5 percent

▪  Senior transportation operations supervisor, PUC – 5 percent

▪  Associate transportation operations supervisor, PUC – 5 percent

Bargaining Unit 15

▪  Custodian – 3 percent

▪  Lead custodian – 3 percent

▪  Correctional custodian – 3 percent

▪  Lead correctional custodian – 3 percent

▪  Custodian limited service – 3 percent

▪  Armory custodian I, II and III – 3 percent

▪  Service assistance custodian – 3 percent

Bargaining Unit 17

▪  Registered nurse, Department of Education – 5 percent

Bargaining Unit 20

▪  Licensed vocational nurse, – 11.25 percent

▪  Licensed vocational nurse, safety – 11.25 percent

▪  Licensed vocational nurse, correctional facilities – 11.25 percent

▪  Licensed vocational nurse, mental health – 11.25 percent

Bargaining Unit 21

▪  Transportation programs consultant, Department of Education – 5 percent

▪  Archivist I and II – 5 percent

Source: SEIU Local 1000

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