The State Worker

State scientists’ tentative deal adds $19 million to California payroll costs

A tentative labor agreement covering a few thousand state scientists would add about $19 million to California’s payroll expenditures over the next two years, according to a review by the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Most of the added expense would come from a 4.5 percent pay raise phased in over two years beginning July 1. The state’s 12-month compensation costs for the roughly 3,000 unionized scientists totaled about $270 million as of March 2014, according administration estimates provided by the analyst. That figure includes salary and salary-driven benefits – Medicare, Social Security, and employer pension contributions. It does not include health care benefits.

California Association of Professional Scientists had pressed the Brown administration for a larger across-the-board salary increase, since its members earn far less than counterparts doing similar work in other state and local government agencies. The union’s board grudgingly put the agreement out to its 3,000 members for a vote earlier this month without endorsing it. The ballots will be counted no later than June 30.

MOU Analysis for BU 10