The State Worker

Contract deal gives 10 percent raise or more to state safety and law enforcement employees

Pay for dispatchers, security officers, inspectors and other public safety and law enforcement employees at the state will go up at least 10 percent over the next four years in a tentative agreement their union reached with the state.

Additional pay raises of up to 24 percent for specific job classifications will boost pay further for the majority of the California State Law Enforcement Association’s members, according to a union summary of the agreement.

The 7,300-member union is the second to reach an agreement with state negotiators this summer. The agreement includes a general salary increase of 2.75 percent starting this month, followed by annual increases of up to 2.5 percent through 2022, when members will receive either 2.25 percent or 3.75 percent depending on classification.

“They successfully negotiated the best deal that the Newsom administration was willing to agree to,” CSLEA President Alan Barcelona said of the union’s bargaining team in an update sent to members.

The four-year agreement will cost the state about $505 million, according to a CalHR summary. It will require employees to increase their retirement contributions by a half-percent to 1 percent by 2023, bringing their contributions to between 8.5 percent to 15 percent of their pay depending on classification, according to the summary.

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Union members ratified the proposal Friday, sending it to the Legislature and the governor for approval.

“While CSLEA realizes that it does not go as far as we would have liked, it is understandable that in light of the significant number of special salary adjustments, CalHR would be cautious with additional spending where it is predicted that in outgoing years we will be in the midst of an economic downturn,” Barcelona said in a member update.

About 84 percent of the union’s employees will receive special salary adjustments, according to the member update. Most job classifications with a vacancy rate of at least 20 percent will receive the adjustments, which are applied before the general raises, according to the union.

All but a few of the special raises are less than 10 percent. A group including museum security officers, special investigators and fire marshals will receive 7.4 percent. A group including dispatchers, inspectors and criminal intelligence specialists will receive 5 percent.

Larger increases are going to Department of Fish and Game specialists, who will receive 17.6 percent; some investigators who are receiving 12.8 percent; and Department of Real Estate deputy commissioners who are receiving raises of 21 percent to 24 percent.

The agreement also doubles a night pay differential from 50 cents to $1.00 per hour, increases pay differentials for employees who temporarily serve in leadership or training roles, pays seasonal lifeguards for training time, expands the regions where employees receive an extra $300 per month and makes other changes.

The agreement follows a one-year tentative agreement the state struck in June with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which would give correctional officers a 3 percent raise.

Both unions had contracts expiring at the start of this month. The California Association of Highway Patrolmen’s contract expired last year.

The International Union of Operating Engineers, the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians; and the California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges, and Hearing Officers in State Employment also have contracts expiring this summer.

Those three unions are still negotiating.

Wes Venteicher anchors The Bee’s popular State Worker coverage in the newspaper’s Capitol Bureau. He covers taxes, pensions, unions, state spending and California government. A Montana native, he reported on health care and politics in Chicago and Pittsburgh before joining The Bee in 2018.