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Largest California state workers union says pay raises on the way

Jobs and WorkplaceJerry BrownPoliticsUnionsPublic EmployeesHealth Insurance

SACRAMENTO -- California's largest union of state workers, SEIU Local 1000, said it has reached a tentative agreement with officials of Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to award "across-the-board" pay raises to its members.

The raises, which were detailed on the union's website, would total 4.5% over three years.

Part of the raises would begin on July 1, 2014, if the state collects enough tax revenue to afford them. If revenue targets aren't met, the union said, the full 4.5% raise would not take place until July 1, 2015. The targets for tax revenue were not specified on the union's website. 

A spokeswoman for the state agency that handles union contracts did not have an immediate comment Tuesday morning.

The tentative agreement also promises no furloughs over the course of the three-year contract and unspecified increases in business and travel expenses, the union said.

Yvonne R. Walker, president of SEIU Local 1000, said the union "achieved each of the four top priorities identified by our members," including maintaining members' costs for healthcare premiums.

The announcement comes days after SEIU members rallied at the Capitol to blast Brown for resisting pay increases for state workers. The SEIU represents about half of the state's approximately 180,000 unionized workers, including nurses, librarians and office workers.

Because the agreement would not award pay raises until at least July 1, 2014, the state will not need to set aside money for them in the budget currently under consideration by the Legislature, according to H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance.

Almost every contract with a state worker union is currently under negotiation, presenting a challenge for Brown as he seeks to limit spending. Public employee unions were strong backers of the governor's successful tax-hike plan, and some are using the opportunity to seek pay increases. 

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Jobs and WorkplaceJerry BrownPoliticsUnionsPublic EmployeesHealth Insurance
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