On June 10, 2021, CSLEA and CalHR signed a new side letter to the existing collective bargaining agreement which expires July 1, 2023. The new agreement was arrived at to address some of the concessions which were agreed to in June 2020, when the State’s budget outlook was dire due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the previous agreement, CSLEA agreed to the implementation of a Personal Leave Program (PLP) which reduced Unit 7 employees’ wages by 9.23% in exchange for sixteen (16) hours of PLP leave per month and the suspension of the 4% employee contribution to pre-fund retiree health. The PLP was to be in effect for up to 2 years but could be terminated by CalHR sooner if the State’s revenue improved. The agreement also doubled bilingual pay for the unit, increased longevity pay for Unit 7 peace officers, increased retirement compensation for DSH Hospital Police Officers and DDS Peace Officers, and provided an equity salary adjustment for DMV LRE’s.
Under the new side letter, the PLP will terminate effective June 30, 2021. Employees will no longer accrue PLP leave and will resume paying into retiree health. Also, the July 1, 2020, 2.5% General Salary Increase (GSI), which was deferred, as well as the July 1, 2021, GSI which is due, will both be paid in the July pay period. As a result of compounding, Unit 7 employees will receive 5.06% in GSI in addition to the restoration of pay.
The July 1, 2022, 3.75% GSI for peace officers and the 2.25% for non-sworn will remain payable under the existing MOU. The higher 2022 GSI for peace officers is the result of the requirement to pay 1.5% more into retirement than non-sworn employees at the end of the term of the MOU.
In bargaining, CSLEA and CalHR discussed essential worker/hazard pay for Unit 7 employees. CalHR was unwilling to commit to furnishing hazard pay until the federal regulations authorizing the funding of such pay are finalized later this year. As such, CSLEA and all other bargaining representatives, with the exception of CCPOA, agreed to a reopener once the regulations are finalized to bargain over which classifications should receive hazard pay and, if so, how much. Due the number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths, CalHR determined that State correctional officers clearly met the criteria of essential worker/hazard pay and agreed to a $5000 bonus to be split in half and paid in 2021 and 2022.
Although CSLEA would have preferred to have the details on hazard pay included in the new agreement, it was important to terminate the PLP and get members the GSIs they are due. And the administration has now established that State employees are eligible for hazard pay which may amount to $5000 per employee. CSLEA will address this by way of the reopener once the federal regulations are final.
The agreement was negotiated by the CSLEA Negotiations Team comprised of CSLEA President Alan Barcelona, Sr. Vice-President Tina Brazil, Vice Presidents Ken Ehrman and Tom Ineichen, Chief Counsel Kasey Clark and Sr. Legal Counsel Ryan Navarre. On May 27, 2021, the full CSLEA Board of Directors authorized the signing of the agreement.