State's largest public employee union makes contract offer
The state's largest public employee union has made an offer to the Schwarzenegger administration as the governor tries to lessen the state's future pension obligations. But the union rejected Schwarzenegger's call to increase the amount that state workers pay into their own pension plans.
In its latest offer, SEIU Local 1000, which represents 95,000 state workers, agreed to make "temporary concessions" in exchange for a 5% pay increase in 2012. Among the concepts agreed to by the union: increasing the retirement age from 55 to 60 for some employees and a one-year pay cut of about 4.6% in exchange for eight hours of personal leave.
"In order to insulate members from further attacks Local 1000 will consider temporary concessions for the state's temporary budget problems if the state agrees to a longer contract," the union said in a statement posted on its website.
Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said the two sides remained "far apart" but that negotiations would continue. Administration officials have reached deals with six other employee groups that contain pay cuts and increased employee pension contributions.
Local 1000 reached an agreement with the Schwarzenegger administration on a new contract last year, but that deal was not ratified by the Legislature. Republicans opposed the deal and the accord failed to get the two-thirds vote necessary in the Legislature for ratification.
-- Anthony York in Sacramento