UPWA Gov. Jerry Brown prepares to negotiate with unions that backed him

As a state employee in the CSU I read this piece with an entirely different perspective. Not all state employees are in the same boat. For exmple, they state the average salary for state employees is $70,777. The average for the employees I represent, the non-faculty staff in the CSU, is $38,000.

Most state employees have salary steps, at least when you are in the lower rungs of career ranges, which means automatic raises each year whether bargaining is successful or not. The CSU took our steps away in 1996. Then they underfunded the “open range” salary system they put in place. This means that the longer you work for the CSU the farther behind you fall, relative to both other state employees and the private sector. Then when you take into consideration all the other factors this article ignores: that California has a small state workforce relative to other states by population, that California is a high-service state (we are not quite Mississippi, yet), that state employees tend to have higher levels of education and skills relative to the public sector, that California is more expensive to live in relative to most of the rest of the country, you get a very different picture about state employees. There are much better ways to get rich than to work for the state.

The CSU is rated the most efficient higher educational system in the world for the number of students we serve for the buck. Every dollar invested in higher eduation yields a 7 times return, yet the right and their media shills continue to print articles that state “public employees still remain a strain on California’s budget” and that the supposed money is in public workers and not in corporate thugs and war budgets. The article paints a very different picture to reality. What is very real is that Brown is no great defender of the public sector. He has tried to increase health care costs for CSU employees and currently has a budget proposal to make health benefits a manditory subject of bargaining for the CSU employees so they can pass on more of the costs to the employees. He already created a second and now a third tier for state employee retirement, even though the retirement system is mostly funded by monthly contributions from the employees themselves. The unions have to take these cuts because these are our “friends” doing the cutting. It could be worse. It could always be worse. But that isn’t to say things suck anyway.


By an anonymous State Worker

About Mad Scientist

Member of California Association of Professional Scientists
This entry was posted in California Budget, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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