The Assembly voted 61-4 today to ratify contracts with three state employee bargaining units that include some modifications to pension benefits -- agreements that the Schwarzenegger administration worked out with affected unions.
The ratification bill, Senate Bill 846, was returned to the Senate for a final vote. While most of the debate was positive, a few Republicans argued that the new contracts don't go far enough on pension reform.
The legislation ratifies contracts with the California Association of Highway Patrolmen (Bargaining Unit 5), the Operating Engineers Union for craft and maintenance workers (Unit 12) and the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians (Unit 18).
There are three other contracts -- technically called a memorandum of understanding -- that also are awaiting ratification in another bill, Assembly Bill 1592, pending on the Senate floor. They involve state firefighters (Unit 8), physicians, dentists and podiatrists (Unit 16) and health and service professionals (Unit 19).