On August 24, 2021, CSLEA and CalHR finalized an agreement which will increase Unit 7 Department of Justice Special Agents' and Special Agent Supervisors' pay by twelve percent (12%). The agreement was the product of numerous discussions, the longstanding relationship between CSLEA and Attorney General Rob Bonta and the AG's understanding that the department's mission could not be fulfilled without the ability to attract and retain experienced peace officers.
While the department was already facing staffing shortages of thirty percent (30%) or greater in the agent ranks, in 2020 the legislature enacted AB 1506 which assigned DOJ the responsibility to investigate all officer-involved shootings involving local law enforcement and unarmed suspects. The need to fill these statewide teams with experienced investigators, forced DOJ to transfer agents from other bureaus such as Firearms, Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse and Gambling Control.
Pursuant to State law and the Unit 7 Contract, peace officers being hired from local agencies who are receiving the 3%@50 retirement formula benefit must forfeit the higher benefit upon initial hire into State service. Therefore, in order to attract laterals from outside the State to fill the officer-involved shooting teams as well as the numerous vacancies in the department, a substantial pay increase was necessary to compensate for the reduced pension benefits.
"To his credit, the Attorney General was responsive to CSLEA's needs from the moment that the problem was brought to his attention," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "This increase is a major step in attracting the experienced peace officers that are required to conduct complicated and high-pressure investigations appropriately and we thank AG Bonta for his support, as well as the support of the administration."
The side letter makes clear that the increase will not offset any essential worker or hazard pay benefit that may ultimately be provided to the bargaining unit.