State Bargaining Update for September 25, 2008

Our most recent session of bargaining took place on Thursday, September 25. The following topics were covered in the latest session:

State Budget Settlement: Governor Schwarzenegger signed the State budget on September 23rd after an 85 day impasse. The long delay had among its many negative impacts a slowing down of the pace of our negotiations, as the State Team has been unable to provide substantial responses to our economic proposals without the guidance of a State budget. With the budget now in place, we expect the State Team to return to the table for our next bargaining session on October 9th with full authority to bargain over economic proposals. The UAPD team will be caucusing all day on October 7th in preparation for the meeting on the 9th. In other budget related news, most of the 10,000 temporary workers, including retired annuitants, who were laid off under Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order will remain laid off, possibly until the Governor’s Executive Order expires in June 2009, or until the legal contest between the Governor and State Controller John Chiang is settled. That case reaches a Sacramento federal court on October 29th. UAPD has filed a legal brief in support of Controller Chiang and will continue the legal fight against the Governor’s Executive Order until every laid off employee is returned to work.

Grievance and Arbitration (6.11) – UAPD has proposed strengthening our grievance and arbitration rights by adding language that requires that an arbitrator be scheduled to hear a grievance within 60 days of the Union making the request for arbitration. The State countered our proposal, and in this week’s session, UAPD submitted a counter proposal to the State.

Health, Dental, Vision Benefits (11.1) – UAPD proposed a continuation of our current health, dental and vision benefits.

Rollovers — Taking into account the multiple sections in each of the articles and side letters, our contract covers about 130 separate issues, not all of which need to be renegotiated in every round of bargaining. When both the Union and the Employer agree that a particular section of the contract requires no change, a tentative agreement is reached on the existing contract language. The UAPD team has been carefully reviewing the contract to see where we believe the current language is best left unchanged, and this week we tentatively agreed to several more articles we are happy with in their current form.  Our next day of bargaining is on Thursday, October 9th. Look for another update following that session.