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Sac Bee's Rachel Cohrs reports on number of BU contracts that have expired and remain 'embroiled' in negotiations

Jerry Brown, unions remain embroiled in negotiations

BY RACHEL COHRS

rcohrs@sacbee.com

Between June 1 and July 2, 15 state employee bargaining units’ contracts expired. So far, only one of them has come to an agreement with the governor.

This round of negotiations is particularly sticky because California Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to chip away at nearly $72 billion in retiree health benefit obligations over the next 30 years by getting state employees to contribute from their paychecks. With certain units, that strategy hasn’t gone over smoothly.

International Union of Operating Engineers representative Steve Crouch said while the union agrees with the concept of pre-funding retiree benefits, it disagrees with the amount of money that should be taken out of workers’ paychecks.

“These workers are finally trying to get back on their feet again,” Crouch said. “They were hoping to see an improvement in standards of living, but with this you give in one hand and take from the other.”

A tentative deal struck with IUOE-represented bargaining Unit 12 failed to ratify with union members earlier this month. The maintenance workers’ contract expired in July 2015.

Ann Lyles, chief negotiator for psychiatric technicians’ Unit 18, said the retiree health benefit tradeoff is “truly of concern” to unit members. She added there is “no way” their negotiating team wants to reach a tentative agreement that they won’t be able to ratify.

“Unless they balance (retiree health benefit contributions) with other things, this is not going to be attractive to members,” Lyles said. Read more.

State Psychiatric Technicians hold informational picket July 15 over dangerous overtime at DSH-Stockton

Exhausted employees forced to work unsafe 16-hour shifts at state hospital

Sacramento - July 14, 2016  - The California Association of Psychiatric Technicians:

WHAT: Informational picket and rally to protest Department of State Hospital-Stockton’s unsafe use of overtime as a regular staffing tool.

WHERE: CHCF Stockton, 7707 Austin Rd., Stockton 95215 (at front entrance, off grounds).

WHEN: Friday, July 15 from 10:00 - 3:00 p.m.

WHO: Members of the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians and others concerned about out-of-control overtime and contract violations. Download press release.

CAPT rejects State's proposals, negotiations continue

On July 6 and 7, our bargaining team concluded another round of negotiations without having finalized a tentative contract agreement. CAPT was met with resistance on many core issues, necessitating additional sessions. CAPT and the State will meet at the table again to iron out our differences on August 2, 3, 16 and 17.

To date, CAPT has met with the state 19 times to negotiate a fair contract. While many of our items are off the table, the tough issues remain. The State tested CAPT’s resolve with take-it-or-leave-it management contract language. Fortunately, our resolve is strong. Our bargaining team members are determined to persevere for a contract that will rightly improve our working conditions, salaries and benefits. Download flier.

 

2013 -16 contract to remain in effect until agreement is reached

CAPT and the State have yet to reach a tentative agreement for a new MOU and, as many of you know, our MOU expires today, July 1, 2016. Fortunately, our current contract contains an “evergreen clause,” which keeps it in effect until CAPT and the State reach an agreement. Should CAPT and the State come to an impasse and fail to reach an agreement, a mediator will be assigned to help both parties resolve any remaining issues.

Much contract work was completed at our last negotiations held June 28, 29 and 30, but more work is needed. Additional sessions were scheduled for Wednesday, July 6 and Thursday, July 7. Download flier

CAPT-supported Prop. 55 qualifies for statewide ballot

Secretary of State Alex Padilla announced Thursday, June 30, that Proposition 55, an extension of the Prop. 30 tax initiative supported by CAPT, has qualified for the November 8, 2016, General Election Ballot.

Backed by a coalition of school and healthcare worker unions, Prop. 55 extends by 12 years Prop. 30, a 2012 measure that imposed higher taxes on wealthy Californians, those earning more than $250,000 a year. Prop. 30 is set to expire in 2018. If passed by the voters, the new measure, Prop. 55, will extend the income tax until 2030, adding an estimated tax revenue of $4.3 to $9 billion annually to help pay for local schools, community colleges and healthcare. Download flier