The State Worker: SEIU Local 1000 contract agreement passes California Senate

jwhite@sacbee.comJuly 3, 2013 

4W6STATEWORKER

Bob Walsh, a state lottery employee, displays his message Wednesday at a Capitol rally held by SEIU Local 1000. The union, displeased that Gov. Jerry Brown rejected its pay raise proposal, emphasizes it backed his 2010 election and his successful tax proposal last fall. "We've done our part," Walsh said.

HECTOR AMEZCUA — hamezcua@sacbee.com

MAJ_STATE_CAPITOL_2008.JPGSome California state workers inched closer Wednesday to a long-deferred raise after the state Senate ratified a new contract agreement.

The agreement, negotiated between the state and the Service Employees International Union Local 1000, would boost salaries 4.5 percent by 2015. The Assembly has already given it the green light.

Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, described the contract as a "modest agreement," particularly given the money workers have surrendered through furloughs over the last few years.

Several Republicans voted against the bill, which passed 27-8. Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Oakdale, said the bill contradicted the will of voters who passed Proposition 30 in the fall by putting a chunk of the resulting revenue windfall towards state workers rather than schools.

"What happens when Prop 30 runs out, that tax money runs out?" Berryhill said. "The taxpayers are going to be on the hook."

In response, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said state workers have earned a raise after enduring years of budget-fueled cutbacks.

"It's easy to pick on state workers, but the facts are the facts," Steinberg said. "They have suffered, if you will, and lived through the same pain and difficulty that other people who rely on the state budget have suffered over the last five or six years."

PHOTO: California Capitol. The Sacramento Bee file, 2008/ Michael Allen Jones

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