California’s largest state worker union bussed thousands of its members from around the state to a Capitol rally. SEIU Local 1000 is demanding pay raises – and it’s blasting the governor for insisting on a “cost-neutral” contract.
“To me, what’s fair is some kind of pay raise – at least a five percent to start, and maybe in another two years or so, another maybe three precent,” says Dorinda Carlin, who works at the CalTrans Maintenance Department in Riverside. “Something that’s gonna sustain us – that we can live. I’m not asking for so much!” Carlin says years of furloughs nearly forced her into foreclosure, and her $32,000 salary isn’t keeping pace with the cost of living.
The Brown administration won’t comment on the negotiations. Asked about contract talks as he released his latest budget proposal last month, the governor declined to say whether he budgeted for a state worker pay increase, but “suffice it to say, we’re aiming low.” Brown has repeatedly said the state should use its extra revenue to build a reserve and pay down debt – not increase spending.