SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker held an online town hall meeting on Saturday to discuss negotiations with Gov. Jerry Brown's administration over his proposal to cut employees' hours and pay by roughly 5 percent per month.
Formal talks started that day and continued Sunday. There's been no word on the status of the discussions or any agreement between the state's largest public employee's union and the administration.
In the following video, Walker says the union first proposed a four-day, 10-hours-per-day workweek, but that Brown's May budget revision give it a "twist": four 9.5-hour days.
Still, Walker gives Brown credit for including organized labor in his budget plans, for explaining to the unions why he wants $839 million in employee compensation cuts ($401 million from general fund wages) and for negotiating with the unions.
"I'm going to be honest with you. The 5 percent cut, that's real," Walker said, "But what's not real is how you get there. I think the bargaining teams have been spending a lot of time over this past week trying to get to that dollar amount in different ways."
Walker also discussed last week's news that the California Association of Highway Patrolmen had reached an agreement to put a 1-day-per-month furlough to a ratification vote and responded to speculation that it could affect the dynamics of Local 1000's talks.
"I don't think it does," Walker said, noting that patrol officers have unique jobs with a different mission. "It never has set the tone for us when they got raises."
Walker also denied that the 4/39.5-hour plan was a "done deal" to which she has already personally committed.
"I'm going to leave it up to the bargaining teams," Walker said.
PHOTO: Yvonne Walker / Sacramento Bee file, 2008