The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 9, 2013
California state health professionals union reaches labor deal

Jerry_Brown_HJA3698.JPGGov. Jerry Brown and the union representing state health and social services workers have reached a tentative agreement that includes an 8 percent raise for two job classifications, a 3 percent increase for the rest and assurances that the state will consider further hikes for a a handful of jobs.

The deal with AFSCME Local 2620, like contracts recently negotiated with SEIU Local 1000 and the state psychiatric technicians' union, covers three fiscal years ending July 2016.

And, like those agreements, the timing of the proposed pay hikes depends on the Brown administration's assessment of state government finances next year.

The Brown administration hasn't yet completed its cost analysis. A message left with AFSCME senior business agent Cliff Tillman wasn't immediately returned.

If the state's projected revenues pan out next year, vocational rehabilitation counselors and qualified rehabilitation professional and adoptions specialists will receive a 4 percent raise on July 1, 2014, and a second 4 percent raise a year later. All other classifications would receive two 1.5 percent raises over the last two years of the agreement.

If the state's projected 2014-15 revenue is down, the raises are lumped together in the contract's final year.

The agreement also calls for a pay study for dozen jobs, including chaplains, registered dietitians and speech pathologists.

Once that's done, the union and the state "will mutually decide on appropriate salary adjustments. Salary adjustments and related benefits shall not exceed .6% of payroll for AFSCME as of April 2013," according to the contract summary issued by Brown's Department of Human Resources.

Union members and the Legislature must approve the contract before it would retroactively take effect to July 1. AFSCME represents approximately 4,900 state employees in the health and social services fields.

Summary of AFSCME tentative MOU

PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown delivers his state of the state speech to California legislators in Assembly chambers at the state Capitol in Sacramento on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

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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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