SEIU Agrees To 4.6% Year-Long Pay Cut
SCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown added another notch on his budget-tightening belt after the states largest public employee union agreed to a 4.6 percent pay cut over the next year. According to reporting from The Reporter, the Service Employees International Union, which represents 92,000 state workers, agreed to eight furlough hours a month through June 2013, providing the state $113.2 million of the $402 million Brown wants cut from salaries funded by general revenues.
As of Tuesday night, the Brown administration had reached agreements on the pay cuts with all but five of the state's 21 public employee unions, which must wrap up talks by Sunday unless they want furloughs imposed on them. The American Federation of County, State and Municipal Employees Local 2026, which represents 4,900 state workers, was the most recent to join the fold.
"We're still at the bargaining table with the remaining units in hopes we can wrap this up in time for the budget," said Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Personnel Administration.
The SEIU agreed to the pay cut to avoid having it imposed by Brown - and got some concessions in return. Pension and health benefits will not be affected, and employees at the top "step" of their salary classifications will still get the 3 percent pay hike called for in their current contract in July 2013. They will also have flexibility on when to take eight hours off each month.
In a move that strengthens unionized workers, all state departments, by Sept. 1, will purge their payroll of student assistants and retirees who draw a salary and pension at the same time but don't pay union dues.
A task force will be created to draw up plans to limit outsourcing state jobs to private contractors. And the union will negotiate with the administration over whether any savings from the new hiring practices would be returned to state workers.
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