July Raise and Dues Increase

July Raise and Dues Increase

On July 1, a pay raise of 5% went into effect for everyone in our unit. This is the second of three raises that your elected CASE Board negotiated last year in a three year contract (Memorandum of Understanding/MOU) that you overwhelmingly supported. We should all see the new wages in the next paycheck and we can look forward to the third raise under the MOU in July 2018.

A new deduction for retiree health care costs (OPEB) of 0.7% (seven tenths of one percent) will also be reflected in this paycheck. This is the first of a phased-in deduction that will occur over the next three years and will total 2% at the end of the MOU. This deduction helps protect valuable health care benefits when our retired members need them most. Because of the strength of the MOU negotiated by the CASE Board, CASE members’ percentage contribution is among the lowest in the State and is less than half of the percentage required from many state employees.

Also included in this paycheck is a dues increase for CASE Voting Members of $15 per month, to $60. Mandated Fee Payers in Unit 2—that is, those of you who have no voting rights—will also see their costs go up to $44.14 per month under the formula determined by law based on an annual audit of CASE expenses.

This is the first dues increase for CASE in over 17 years, when dues also rose by $15. The CASE Board of Directors, all of whom are unpaid volunteers, is cost-conscious and spent well over a decade aggressively finding ways to save. But we concluded that a failure to act now could be dire for the financial security of CASE and you. Even with this increase, CASE’s dues remain low when compared with other California labor organizations. Recently, The Sacramento Bee reported that the state’s largest bargaining unit requires its members to contribute 1.5% of their wages, up to $90 a month, while their pay tends to be much lower than ours.

Your responses to our recent survey helped convince us that a dues increase was the right course: a clear majority supported a “$15-20 a month fee increase for members.” The lower increase of $15, which works out to less than the rate of inflation since 1999, tries to balance everyone’s needs. The CASE Board also seriously considered setting the dues as a percentage of wages as many state bargaining units do and we will likely revisit this idea in the future. Thank you for the kind words, time, and many thoughtful survey comments.

For the vast majority of you who are already Voting Members, we appreciate your past service and help. Thank you again because we are all stronger united. For all of you who are Mandated Fee Payers, we encourage you to join us and become a Voting Member to better allow your voice, and our combined voices, to be heard.

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