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In the First California State Union Contract of the Season, There Are $3,000 Bonuses and a 10.9 Percent Raise

Under a new contract, state employees in California who run power generation facilities are qualified for a new type of retention bonus worth up to $3,000 over the following three years.

The “workforce stability stipends” provided by the agreement are available to about 1,000 state employees who are members of Local 39 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

The tentative agreement is the first comprehensive state contract agreement of the year and gives most workers a rise of 10.9 per cent as well.

According to a summary of the agreement published online by the state, the stipends give $125 per month, paid in four lump sums of up to $750 beginning in January 2023 and continuing through August 2024.

In addition, workers at the top of their pay tiers, who make up roughly 70% of the group, will get hikes of 2.5% this July, 4% next July, and another 4% the following year.

Employees may also be reimbursed for 100% of their expenses if they use public transportation or a vanpool to get to work, up to the IRS maximum of $280 a month. Additionally, it raises the uniform and shoe allowances.

The union spokesperson Brandy Johnson said, “It’s obviously a step forward, but we still have to deal with some vacancy issues. “Overall, it’s a positive agreement, and we’re moving in the right direction, but we still have issues to address that have an influence on the unit.”

Johnson stated that the union and management are still negotiating epidemic bonuses. Recently, $1,500 incentives were revealed by the human resources department as part of agreements with state law enforcement unions.


By the fiscal year 2025–2026, the deal will result in an increase in state spending of $13.1 million annually, according to an analysis by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The LAO expressed worries in its analysis that the salary increase might not be sufficient to significantly increase the retention of the HVAC workers, pointing out that 22% of the union-covered positions remained unfilled as of May.

The report notes that it “looks like it has grown increasingly difficult to retain the most senior staff.”

According to the analysis, the most recent Human Resources Department survey found that the remuneration for unit employees was 15% lower than that of their peers in local government.

Additionally, the research notes that if inflation is higher than expected, it might negatively impact the state’s capacity to maintain its competitiveness.

July 1 marks the start of the new agreement. The present contract for the tiny unit expires on June 30.

The contracts for several other state employee unions expiring at the end of this month have not yet been publicised.

The Professional Engineers in California Government, the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, the California Association of Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges, and Hearing Officers in State Employment are among them. Cal Fire Local 2881 is another.

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State personnel continue to work under the provisions of the contracts after they expire. While discussions are ongoing, the California Association of Professional Scientists is operating under a contract that ran out in July 2020.

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