Brooks Ellison, the chief negotiator for California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment, has canceled a bargaining session set for Tuesday with to the Department of Personnel administration.
In a July 8 letter sent via snail mail to DPA Director Debbie Endsley, Ellison blamed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's July 1 minimum wage order for the cancellation.
"Unfortunately, we have been forced to postpone the upcoming bargaining session in order to address the more immediate pressing legal crisis created by the Governor's order directing that no paychecks be issued to Unit 2 members until a budget agreement is reached," Ellison wrote.
Schwarzenegger's actions "have created a counterproductive, hostile, and unlawful environment" for contract talks, Ellison's letter says, but CASE is still willing to talk. The administration hasn't yet responded to the union's latest offer.
While most state workers would receive the federal minimum hourly pay of $7.25 if Controller John Chiang complies with Schwarzenegger's pay letter, state attorneys would receive nothing. (Doctors and a few other job classifications fall into this same zero-pay category. Exempt employees such as managers and supervisors would receive $455 per week.)
Click here to read Ellison's letter.