The State Worker

California state engineers say yes to 8.5 percent raise, other perks

The union that represents California state engineers announced on Wednesday that its members ratified a two-year contract that nets them a cumulative 8.5 percent general wage increase and delivers a number of other perks.

Professional Engineers in California Government reported that 98.4 percent of members who cast ballots favored the contract.

“It’s a fair and appropriate deal. It’s the right thing for the state and for PECG members,” said PECG Executive Director Ted Toppin.

The Legislature has already approved the contract. The union and Gov. Jerry Brown reached the agreement last month. It delivers an immediate 4.5 percent raise and another 4 percent wage increase to state engineers next July.

The contract also includes an escalating seniority differential that rises to an extra 5.5 percent for engineers with 23 years or more of experience in state government by July 1, 2021.

PECG represents about 10,000 state employees, and about 60 percent of them work for Caltrans. Caltrans is racing to fill jobs and retain employees now that it has locked in additional funding from Senate Bill 1, the gas tax increase and vehicle fees Brown approved last year.

Toppin said he heard from some members that the contract changed their retirement plans, meaning they plan to stay in the state workforce longer.

“Frankly we wanted to,” Toppin said. “I think the state wanted them to stay on the job delivering projects for Californians.”

The contract is expected to cost $93 million in the current budget year and $173 million in the 2019-20 budget.