Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has reached tentative agreements with four unions representing a combined 24,000 state workers to extend their existing contracts for another year, the Sacramento Bee's "The State Worker" reports.
The groups involved in the tentative deals are the:
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Bargaining Unit 19 -- which includes health and social service professionals;
- California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, Bargaining Unit 18;
- International Union of Operating Engineers, Bargaining Unit 12; and
- Union of American Physicians & Dentists, Bargaining Unit 16.
Tax Hike Plan
The agreement freezes current labor contracts until after a potential November vote on a compromise tax plan developed by Brown and supporters of the "Millionaires Tax" (Ortiz, "The State Worker," Sacramento Bee, 4/9).
Last month, Brown announced a deal with the California Federation of Teachers and other supporters of the Millionaires Tax to merge their tax hike proposals into a new single initiative for the November ballot. The plan includes a smaller sales tax hike and a larger personal income tax increase on the wealthy than Brown initially had proposed (California Healthline, 3/29).
Ken Murch -- who helped broked the new labor agreement between Brown and CAPT -- cited economics as the main reason why union leadership decided to delay new contract negotiations. Murch noted that state workers could receive raises next year depending on the finalized fiscal year 2012-2013 state budget and whether voters approve Brown's compromise tax plan in November.
Daniel Mitchell -- a state labor expert at UCLA -- said the tentative deals show that the labor unions are aligned with Brown. He said, "The unions are generally supporting Brown and his tax plan."
However, state Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) said the governor's deals with the unions are "mind-numbing," considering California's $9.2 billion budget deficit (Ortiz, Sacramento Bee, 4/10).