May 4, 2022 Bargaining Report

Back to the table. The CASE Bargaining Team and CalHR resumed negotiations last week after taking the prior week to caucus individually regarding proposals and progress. After several weeks of preliminary discussions on which provisions of the MOU needed discussion and which could safely be rolled over to the next contract, the teams began discussing high profile issues such as paid family leave and, yes, salaries.

Negotiations require time, patience, and discretion. While the team cannot share the details of proposals presented by either party, know that the CASE Bargaining Team is fighting for salaries that will return the state to its status as the employer of choice for the best and brightest legal minds, jurists, and professionals in California. Current salaries lag woefully behind our public sector peers and draw experienced, talented members away from state service – ultimately hurting the public that depends on your defense of our laws and values.

As many of you know well from your practice, protecting the confidentiality of discussions between the parties can be the difference between success and loss. We can share in broad terms, however, that our proposals so far would:

  • Address the salary lag compared to local jurisdictions
  • Address the ALJ salary lag compared not just to other federal and state judges, but within the unit as well
  • Address the impact of the unprecedented inflation that compounds the harm of historic salary lags
  • Create on-going salary computation process to preserve alignment with comparable classes in local jurisdictions
  • Provide a mechanism to reward and retain unit members with immensely valuable experience and institutional knowledge
  • Create a family leave benefit that would afford members meaningful time off to care for a new child or ailing family member

The Bargaining Team – and the Board – thank you for your patience and your trust as we fight hard for you.

The May Revise looms. Each year, the Governor issues his initial budget proposal in January. Throughout winter and spring, the Governor’s Department of Finance and the Legislature monitor state revenue and begin discussing the deals that will culminate in July’s budget. But before summer turns up the heat, the Governor issues a revised plan in May called, fittingly, the May Revise. Expect budget buzz to increase between now and May 14 – the expected date of the Revise’s publication. The May Revise kicks off the sprint to the June 15 constitutional deadline to adopt a budget. It also marks what is likely to be the most intense period of negotiations this cycle as the Governor and Legislature negotiate their own deals. CASE will be there to advocate for you throughout that process – at the table and in the legislature – anywhere and everywhere your interests are at stake.

The parties return to the table this Thursday.

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