Protecting Member Rights at CalPERS
Nearly 600 Local 1000 members working at CalPERS now have the opportunity for more career mobility after our union negotiated to protect and preserve the rights of Retirement Program Specialists (RPS) who are offered the chance to move laterally into new classifications.
As part of the state’s Civil Service Improvement initiative, CalPERS opted to streamline classifications and open the doors into Staff Services Analyst (SSA) and Associate Government Program Analyst (AGPA) positions. Those positions offer greater upward mobility as well as lateral mobility into many other state departments.
CalPERS’ original proposal for the reclassification didn’t fully account for the concerns of our members, and members took action by having one-on-one conversations, worksite meetings and by filling out surveys.
“We wanted to make sure the transition did no harm and that no member was left behind in the transition,” said Van Nguyen, an RPS II and a union steward. “We built stronger networks to be fully transparent and be all-inclusive.”
Armed with important facts and member-identified priorities, our bargaining team met with the state to negotiate over the impacts of reclassification. Several of our members, including Stuart Bennett, DBUR for Unit 1, Wandra Pitts, President of DLC 781, Jamila Ponnley, RPS II and union steward, and Van Nguyen, were at the table to drive our message home.
“We came together to achieve more success than we imagined,” said Wandra Pitts. “Management felt union power at the table. I chose to be a union member and a steward because of that kind of power, and I feel like our union is a shining light working for a common goal.”