The State Worker: California state union contracts expire today

agebert@sacbee.comJuly 1, 2013 

Contracts expire today for most of the state government workforce, as Gov. Jerry Brown and representatives for 10 bargaining units continue to negotiate new deals.

Brown reached agreement with the state's largest union, Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, last month, but the contract has yet to be ratified. The contract, which includes a 4.5% pay increase for rank-and-file members by 2015, cleared the state Assembly on a 63-8 vote last week and is awaiting action in the Senate. SEIU members, meanwhile, will continue to vote on ratification through July 8.

The SEIU deal covers nine of the state's 21 bargaining units. Two other units -- those covering the California Highway Patrol and state firefighters -- extended their previous deals until 2018 and 2017, respectively.

But unions representing workers in 10 other bargaining units, including those for prison guards, scientists and engineers, are still at the table.

Until the new contracts are renegotiated, the unions will continue to operate under the terms of their current contract.

Asked about the status of contract negotiations this afternoon, Brown said, "the process continues."

He said, "I never like to characterize these negotiations," but he added, "The state is productively engaged."

David Siders contributed to this post.

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