Gov. Jerry Brown, unions seek deal at bargaining table
As California's leaders race to finish the state budget by June 15, Gov. Jerry Brown's proposals face a crucial test on Saturday.
Brown wants to save $402 million through a 5% reduction in state worker costs, and negotiations with the largest union of state workers, SEIU Local 1000, begins in the morning in Sacramento. It's unclear when a deal could be announced.
The governor has suggested shifting some state workers to a 38-hour, four-day workweek. SEIU 1000 President Yvonne Walker has signaled that she's open to the idea, saying last month that "it could be a good thing."
SEIU 1000 represents about half of the state's 182,000 employees, meaning that a deal with the union would go a long way to helping Brown reach his money-saving goal.
The union plans to update its members during a town hall meeting Saturday at 3 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live at seiu1000.org.
The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that the California Highway Patrol union had agreed to once-a-month furloughs for its members. Lynelle Jolley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Personnel Administration, confirmed the agreement, which will reduce compensation by 5%.
-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento
Photo: SEIU Local 1000 members protest in Los Angeles in 2008. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times