The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 15, 2010
Legislative Analyst's Office releases contract analyses

The Legislative Analyst's Office released its take late Wednesday on all of the tentative agreements reached so far. Its analyses cover deals for Bargaining Units 5, 8, 12, 16, 18 and 19.

Among the LAO's conclusions:

The cost reductions to the state that would come from unpaid personal leave in some MOUs and pension cost shifts common in all the contracts would be completely offset by the additional top-level step raises that would start in January 2012. Still, the pension cost shift and reduced retirement benefits for new hires "should reduce state costs substantially in the coming decades."

In the agreements, the unions agree not to oppose future legislation that would require CalPERS "to use supportable assumptions and data that will be evaluated by another party" agreeable to the administration and unions. This is part of an apparently larger
legislative package the Governor is proposing that would also require: (1) the CalPERS Chief Actuary to submit reports related to the system's investment return assumptions and (2) "the Legislature to review these reports."

The unions also accept the holiday and overtime changes put into law last year, although "the proposed MOUs for Units 5, 8, and 18 contain language that would allow use of some or all types of leave for purposes of calculating overtime hours."

And here's what the LAO says about the agreements' minimum wage protections:

Continuous Appropriations Sought from Legislature. In the agreements, the unions and the administration agree to seek legislative approval for a continuous appropriation for the economic terms of the agreements through their expiration dates. The text of the agreements notes that these continuous appropriations would maintain employee salaries in case of an untimely budget.

Click here to download the 23-page analysis.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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