August 11, 2022 Bargaining Report

Straw Poll Results Are In.
The Bargaining Team wanted to hear the membership’s opinion based on a neutral summary of the offer on the table and the benefits and consequences of ratifying or rejecting the current deal. The Team thanks the overwhelming majority of the Membership, over 62%, for participating. Members told us they would vote as follows:

  • To RATIFY: 35%
  • To REJECT: 65%

Did You Share the Results with CalHR?
The Bargaining Team shared the results of the straw poll with CalHR with a clear message: the current deal is simply not enough. It doesn’t aid the state’s public policy goals of protecting Californians’ resources, safety, and opportunity because it doesn’t address Unit 2’s documented recruitment and retention issues. The deal does not address the salary lag between Unit 2 legal professionals and their peers in federal and local governments. It doesn’t correct the salary relationship between ALJs and Attorneys. It may provide a first-of-its-kind paid family leave benefit to rank-and-file employees, but it wants you to wait nearly 18 months for the bare minimum of help. 

Why Won’t CalHR Give Unit 2 the Same Deal it Gave Units 13 and 18?
For details on the deals reached by Units 13 and 18, please see the July 26 Bargaining Report. The main difference between the deals reached by Units 13 and 18 and the deal offered to CASE: their 4% increases in 2023 and 2024 apply only to the top step of classifications. Those 4% increases are not a general salary increase for all unit members. In Units 13 and 18, over 70% of the unit is at the top step. In Unit 2, less than half the unit is at the top step, meaning most members would need to wait years to reach the newly increased maximum. You’ve waited long enough for meaningful gains as it is – any deal reached should provide benefits to all, now.

So Are We at Impasse Now?
For our primer on impasse, click here. There is still time for CalHR to bring CASE a better offer before the Legislature’s departure on August 31. While all legal tools remain on the table, the Bargaining Team would welcome a deal that provides better salary and benefits now.

Have You Gone to the Press? Surely This is Newsworthy.
CASE has enjoyed favorable coverage so far this bargaining cycle, with President Tim O’Connor quoted in recent articles on CASE Bargaining and advocating for maximum telework flexibility, and President O’Connor and CASE Director Ray Cervantez both quoted in another story about COVID concerns and the state’s remote-work policies. All Californians are feeling the pinch from record high inflation and slow wage growth, but to ensure they are sympathetic to your cause, it’s important to promote the work you do each day to improve their lives. 

That CalHR doesn’t want to pay more is not, on its own, a story likely to get the average Californian to take notice. That CalHR is failing to address recruitment and retention problems that might mean a bad doctor keeps his medical license, a dangerous skilled nursing facility keeps operating, or water in Central Valley communities stays undrinkable, however, is something they’ll notice. That’s why we need to keep amplifying the importance of your work (see #3 in our list, below). 

What Happens Now.
The CASE Bargaining Team continues its advocacy at the table and elsewhere to move the administration towards a better deal. 

What Can I Do to Help?
We’re glad you asked:

  1. If you haven’t yet, sign the CASE Petition, which closes on Monday, August 15. 
  2. Amplify CASE Member stories on social media: Twitter, FacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram. All algorithms reward engagement, so like, comment, and share to help get the message out. 
  3. Share your story with us so we can teach Californians about all the ways Unit 2 legal professionals make California safe, better, and rich with opportunity every single day. We need more stories from folks who will go on the record with their name attached to their story, too. Real people are more compelling than anonymous sources.
  4. Tell your non-member colleagues to join CASE today. While membership rates among the 21 bargaining units isn’t generally public information, the state knows what percentage of each unit is active union members. Unions with higher membership routinely enjoy better outcomes because CalHR knows they are engaged.  

The teams return to the table next week.

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