TO: Executive Board Members and Council Leaders
DATE: April 14, 2010
RE: Governor’s Actions Regarding Negotiated Pay Raises
The governor’s recent actions regarding withholding of pay raises have generated many questions from our members concerning the status of our negotiated pay increases and bonuses, how the state budget process impacts the governor’s actions, and what potential actions are available to PEF to ensure that the state meets the obligations of our contract.
We believe unilateral actions by the governor to suspend any provision in our contract to be a contract violation and an illegal act.
As you may be aware, the governor submitted a supplemental budget appropriation that did not include funding for negotiated raises for the institutional payroll due April 22nd. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the budget bill was a supplemental appropriation the legislature has no ability to amend or modify the bill, only to approve or defeat it. PEF and CSEA chose not to ask the legislature to hold up or defeat the supplemental appropriations bill, because without the bill there would be no authority to issue any pay checks for the state workforce. If no state budget is adopted and additional supplemental budget appropriations are needed the governor has warned that the supplemental appropriations bills will not include funding for negotiated pay raises.
As of now, the governor has indicated in press accounts that once a final budget is in place that the pay raises. negotiated in the contract will be paid. Additionally, at this point in time it is our understanding that both step increases and longevity bonuses will be paid, although the step increases will be based on the 2009 salary schedule, this will also be readjusted once a final state budget is adopted.
PEF’s position regarding the state’s contract obligations remains unchanged — We will do whatever is necessary to ensure the state meets its obligations and we are opposed to reopening our contract.
Yesterday, CSEA issued a press release indicating that they are filing a contract grievance. This option is also available to PEF. PEF will take whatever actions are necessary to ensure that the state lives up to its obligations under the contract, including, filing contract grievances or a lawsuit; if needed, we may call on our members to take action as well. However, the action and timing PEF takes against the state will be determined by what is necessary and what provides the greatest opportunity for success.
Up-to-date information regarding the status of pay raises and actions taken by PEF can be found on the PEF website. I also encourage members to take action and contact their legislators through the PEF Action Center on the PEF homepage and urge them to act as swiftly as possible to address the budget issues affecting the state workforce.
cc: Statewide Labor-Management Chairs