State scientists union
rejects 4.5% pay raise
California’s state scientists have overwhelmingly rejected a labor contract offered by Gov. Jerry Brown, the second state union to dismiss a contract offer in recent weeks.
The California Association of Professional Scientists says that 68 percent of members who voted rejected the deal, which included a 4.5 percent raise over two years.
The Brown administration’s offer mirrored those accepted by other unions that bumped salaries 2 percent starting Tuesday, with another 2.5 percent increase a year from now. The scientists have long complained that their state salaries lag by 30 percent or more the wages of local government counterparts and state colleagues who perform similar jobs.
“State scientists have spoken,” said Patty Velez, the bargaining chairwoman. “This contract was far short of what is needed to bring an equitable and satisfactory conclusion to these negotiations.”
The scientists’ “no” vote is the second time in a month that a state employee union has turned down a contract offer from Brown. The union representing about 850 heavy equipment operators in June rejected an SEIU-type deal and authorized its leaders to call a strike.
“What I see is a mistrust of the universities to handle the problem.”