Sunday, July 16, 2006

Union Ovecomes Schwarzenegger Takeaways

Members of the SEIU 1000-- largest union of California state employees-- have voted by 94 percent to approve a new three-year contract which provides substantial wage increases and other improvements.

The agreement does not contain any of the takeaways demanded by Gov. Schwarzenegger, which would have cut the average state workers’ compensation by 14 percent.

The employees union have ratified what union officials called their biggest contract ever, a package that could be worth $500 million over three years.

The contract was approved by 94 percent of Service Employees International Union Local 1000's 85,000 members after a monthlong vote, the union said Saturday....Under the new contract, each SEIU 1000 member will get a one-time $1,000 bonus, which equates to about 2.3 percent of a typical union members' annual salary and will cost the state $85 million. They will get a 3.5 percent cost of living increase this year and between 2 percent and 4 percent next year.

In addition, nearly 18,000 state employees, including auditors, nurses, librarians and teachers, will get raises of between 5 percent and 10 percent to bring their salaries closer to what they could earn in the private sector.

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