The State Worker

California state worker contract negotiations kick off with 3-minute meeting

Gov. Gavin Newsom on state worker contracts

Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about state worker contracts during his budget proposal on Jan. 10, 2019.
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Gov. Gavin Newsom talks about state worker contracts during his budget proposal on Jan. 10, 2019.

State worker contract negotiations for the year officially began Friday with a three-minute meeting in a windowless room at CalHR headquarters.

Three unions exchanged “sunshine package” proposals with CalHR. The proposals list in the broadest terms the types of benefits each side plans to address in negotiations. The unions used language such as “will propose general salary increases,” while the state simply listed all of the articles in each union’s contract without mentioning anything it is seeking.

The procedure, created by the 1977 Ralph C. Dills Act, is meant to give members of the public a chance to comment on each side’s proposals. Several people in attendance Friday said they had never seen a member of the public at one of the meetings.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration seemed to approach the process slightly differently than former Gov. Jerry Brown in that Newsom’s administration sent out a notice to reporters about the meetings. The Sacramento Bee’s state worker reporter appeared to be the only one in attendance. The notice said the proposals would be posted online.

The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association presented their proposals Friday.

They are among five unions with contracts expiring July 1. The other two are the International Union of Operating Engineers and California Attorney, Administrative Law Judges, and Hearing Officers in State Employment.

Two more of the meetings are scheduled for April 3 and April 17 at 2pm in the north building of CalHR headquarters at 1515 S Street in Sacramento.