Local 1000 Activism Leads to Salary Increase

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Following a groundbreaking, collaborative effort with the State to identify $200 million in cost savings for the upcoming year, our 2% general salary increase that would have been deferred to 2022 will instead be reinstated and paid in July 2021.

“We’ve set a new standard for the way we negotiate with the State,” said Yvonne R. Walker, President of Local 1000. “The scope of what we’ve accomplished by first negotiating the opportunity for this partnership and then by truly collaborating with the State will pay dividends on our contract negotiations in the future.”

Facing a pandemic-fueled $54 billion deficit one year ago, Governor Newsom called for a 9.23% pay cut for all state workers. Our bargaining team reached an agreement that reduced the pay cut, including postponing OPEB contributions and increasing health care payments, and mitigated it with a Personal Leave Program (PLP).

Thus, on July 1 of this year, Local 1000-represented employees will receive their expected 2% general salary increase scheduled for 2021. And, as previously announced, the 9.23% PLP-based pay cut will be eliminated.

Our bargaining team preserved our recently-won health care stipend, the $15 minimum wage for our members, hundreds of special salary adjustments, and pay differentials. What’s more, our Side Letter Agreement contained well-defined triggers that ended the PLP program, and set in motion a joint Cost Savings Task Force that would restore that deferred raise if we were able to work with the State to identify savings.

 “Our members accomplished something no other union did during pandemic bargaining,” said Walker. “As a result, Local 1000 doesn’t have to go back to the table to end the PLP or to rescind the pay cuts.”

The Cost Savings Task Force (CSTF)—comprised of our members and representatives from the State—was created to address the severe budgetary shortfalls for the fiscal year 2021-22, along with subsequent years. The Task Force met regularly from August 2020 through March of this year.

The report that’s responsible for restoring our deferred raise was developed through intense effort. Our team went to school on the state’s complex procurement and purchasing systems. A wide variety of cost savings concepts were presented, examined, and discussed in depth to determine whether the idea was viable.

Many of those ideas came from Local 1000 members across the state. The State’s team had strong doubts about achieving the $200 million target. But, as Thomas Hwang, one of our members on the Task Force said, “There weren’t 25 people in our meetings, there were 96,000. And that $200 million was found because everyday people stepped up, looked around their worksites, and shared what they observed with the team.”

The Cost Savings Task Force report focuses on four types of savings concepts: procurement, personal service contracts, innovation, and best practices. In all, the CSTF’s recommendations cover a total of 14 different categories, ranging from purchasing and negotiating practices, management of private vendor contracts, information technology investments, all the way to expanded use of solar energy and LED lighting. You can read a full copy of the Task Force report here.

Led by President Yvonne R. Walker, Local 1000 members who worked on the Task Force are: Miguel Cordova (DOE), Laura Slavec (CDCR), Thomas Hwang (DOI), Mandy Ho (DHCS), Charity Regalado (CDCR), Tonya Bealey (DMV), Bobby Roy (DOE), Vincent Green (CalVet), Danilyn Creech (DSH), Francina Stevenson (DOJ), Jamie Ormond (CPUC), Brenda Modkins (DOJ), and Thomas Perine (DCSS).

Identifying the $200 million in savings that led to the restoration of the 2% salary increase for our members was intense, requiring a tremendous amount of learning, leadership, and collaboration. In process, and product, our team achieved new ways of partnership with the State in matters that will affect bargaining in the future.

“We turned good will and good faith into collaborative effort,” said Francina Stevenson. And, in fighting what seemed like an uphill battle, Mandy Ho learned that the old saying is true: “Teamwork makes the dream work.”