On Thursday, February 4th, the UAPD Bargaining Team was presented with a set of proposals by representatives from the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA). The proposal reflects the drastic cuts that Governor Schwarzenegger called for in his initial budget proposal to the Legislature, including a 5% – 10% pay cut and a doubling of the employee contribution to CalPERS. Recruitment and retention of qualified doctors would become nearly impossible under the conditions that this kind of contract would create.
Needless to say, the proposal put forth by the DPA does not bring them closer to an agreement with the UAPD Bargaining Team. Once again the Schwarzenegger administration has offered up across-the-board cuts with little regard as to the true cost of those cuts in the short term and down the road. UAPD has presented a number of proposals that could achieve similar cost savings without eviscerating the already understaffed doctor’s bargaining unit. From the little attention paid to those proposals, it is reasonable to conclude that the Governor’s true goal is punishing State workers, not saving State money.
The UAPD Bargaining Team, while disappointed in the latest proposal, continues to bargain in good faith, as the law requires. The team believes that an agreement that satisfies both sides can be reached through collective bargaining, and is working hard to ward off the implementation of any part of the State’s current proposal. The legislature’s decision to unilaterally eliminate two holidays in 2009 has been upheld by a recent court decision, so now is a good time to remind lawmakers who are sympathetic to working people that we expect to set our contracts at the bargaining table, not have them decided for us by those whom we elect.
Feel free to contact your local UAPD office with questions or comments. More updates to come.