State Scientists Rallying to Demand Gov. Newsom Bargain Equitable Wages

Aug. 16 Value Scientists! Rally in Los Angeles is the first of three events to demand governor close extreme pay gap

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, August 14, 2023/ — The California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) on Wednesday will hold its first Value Scientists! Rally at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Los Angeles offices to demand equitable wages for the 4,200 rank-and-file state scientists the union represents.

CAPS’ last labor agreement expired in July 2020. (Under state law, the terms of the expired contract remain in effect until a successor agreement is in place.) Salaries remain a sticking point. State scientists’ wages have lagged those of their managers, supervisors, and state engineers by 30% or more for a decade.

The union and the state have until early September to reach an agreement because lawmakers need enough time to pass legislation that funds a new contract before their legislative session ends on Sept. 14. The Legislature won’t reconvene until Jan. 2024.

On May 9, CAPS offered a solution that would provide pay equity for its members, but the Department of Human Resources (CalHR), which represents the governor at the bargaining table, has yet to respond.

CAPS will hold its Value Scientists! Rally in Los Angeles on Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. The union has also planned midday rallies for the Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland on Aug. 23 and a Sacramento march from CalHR Headquarters to the West Steps of the State Capitol for a rally on Aug. 30.

Visuals at the Los Angeles rally will include a drumline, pickets and interview opportunities among at least 200 rank-and-file state scientists who perform vital services for the Department of Toxic Substances Control, the State Water Resources Control Board, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and other departments.

Who: Hundreds of California Association of Professional Scientists members and leaders

What: CAPS Value Scientists! Rally

Where: The California Governor’s Office, 300 S. Spring St, Los Angeles

When: August 16, 2023, noon to 1 p.m.

Why: To publicly urge the governor to end severe pay inequities endured by California state scientists for many years.

CAPS represents roughly 5,600 state-employed scientists (including 4,200 rank and file and 1,400 supervisors and managers) working in over 30 state departments in 81 scientific classifications. CAPS members protect Californians from life-threatening diseases; safeguard our wildlife and abundant natural resources; and protect our food supply, air and water from toxic waste and pollution. Follow on and Instagram: @capsscientists.

Jon Ortiz
California Association of Professional Scientists
+1 916-761-8267
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