Cost Savings Task Force Seeking Innovative Budget Reductions
Our Cost Savings Task Force met with the state in mid-November to continue their hard work to jointly identify $200 million in savings that will be redirected to employee compensation for July 2021. The focus of these efforts is to ensure that our members receive their 2% general salary increase on time as negotiated.
“We are exploring new and innovative ways to achieve the goal,” said Task Force member Tonya Bealey (DMV). “We’re covering new ground. It takes a lot of discussion and feedback to explore new ideas, and the State seems responsive.”
One potential source of new savings would take advantage of the impact teleworking has on state office space. With more than 70% of state employees working remotely, there’s an opportunity to look differently at how buildings are used moving forward. Since many workers are primarily working remotely, the concept of “hoteling,” or sharing workspaces on alternating days, is growing as an opportunity. Of course no concept is set in stone until our team and the state team agree on our joint recommendations, but our optimism is bolstered by the discussions had so far.
Local 1000 has also added new faces to the effort to find savings. We created a separate panel of expert members—the Outsourcing Agreement Review Team— that reviews and analyzes contracts that the state has entered into for goods and services. The team’s ultimate goal is to identify costly and wasteful vendor contracts and offer alternative solutions and savings concepts. The State’s historic reliance on outside firms to do the work of state employees is a long-term, multi-billion-dollar addiction and we hope to develop new, potential savings that will help reach the goal.
In 2021, as we work towards the joint report of the Task Force, there will be a growing, important opportunity for members to join the effort and to make our savings proposals reality.
This summer, despite the State’s attempt to cancel our hard-fought contract wins and enact a 10 percent pay cut, our union—through the power and insight of our members and our member-elected, member-led bargaining team—found a better way.
This Task Force was one result of those negotiations. The team will operate collaboratively and meet regularly through March 2021, when a draft of joint final recommendations will outline savings the State can achieve in the upcoming fiscal year.
Joining Tonya Bealey on the Task Force are: Brenda Modkins (DOJ), Charity Regalado (CDCR), Thomas Hwang (CDI), Mandy Ho (DHCS), Laura Slavec (CDCR), Miguel Cordova (CDE), and Jamie Ormond (CPUC).
To track the progress of our Cost Savings Task Force and watch for additional ways you can get involved, visit seiu1000.org/cost-savings-task-force. And if you have savings concepts to share with the team, please email them to costsavingstaskforce@SEIU1000.org