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Please Support Fair and Equitable Salary Increases for State Scientists.

This petition had 1,858 supporters

March 3, 2016: After meeting behind closed doors with Brown Administration officials in early 2016, the new CAPS Bargaining Team did a 180-degree reversal (from previous BT recommendations) and strongly encouraged the Membership to accept a previously-rejected 5%-5%-5% 3-year pay-raise contract.  The actual ~12.5% total salary increase (taking into account increased employee contributions to retirement health benefits) does not come anywhere close to pay equity for State Scientists, but it was felt by CAPS officials to be the best deal possible at this time from fiscally-conservative Governor Brown. Over the objections of a vocal minority of Union members, this Tentative Agreement was approved on February 23, 2016.

Many thanks to all who participated in this petition effort.  Though our goal was not achieved this time, CAPS returns to the bargaining table with Governor Brown in 2018. Keep fighting for pay parity. SOLIDARITY!

December 4, 2015: A "new" CAPS Board of Directors, still led primarily by Board veterans, has met and re-established the key CAPS action committees, including a revised contract Bargaining Team.  After meeting for four days with Cal-HR (Administration) negotiators, the preliminary feedback is somewhat less than encouraging Nonetheless, as frustrating as it seems State scientists must be patient and let this latest round of bargaining play out.  We encourage scientists to continue to sign the petition as a means of demonstrating solidarity behind our CAPS bargaining team.  Meanwhile, continue to voice your concerns to CAPS officials and "make noise" about the need for fair and equitable salaries for State scientists.

October 23, 2015 Update: CAPS election ballots are being collected at the Sacramento Post Office; the vote count is Monday, October 26th.  Once seated November 7th the new President and CAPS Board will establish a new Bargaining Team to continue negotiations with the Administration on salaries and other issues.

October 7, 2015 Update: The Tentative Agreement that would only have provided (less than) a 15% salary increase and would have taken three years to implement was resoundingly rejected by the CAPS Membership.  Bargaining will continue, and so will this petition.  Support the (new) State scientist Bargaining Team and (continue to) demonstrate to the Brown Administration that State scientists deserve pay parity!

September 8, 2015 Update:  As most of you know, there is a proposed settlement agreement (  However, that proposal falls far short of pay parity, and it must still be ratified by CAPS membership.  Until State scientists approve a new contract, this petition continues.  If CAPS members vote the proposal down, it will be more important than ever to "make noise" about the need for true pay parity.

August 25, 2015 Update: State scientists at Natural Resources Agency departments have been contacted to recruit a team to plan and hopefully meet with Secretary John Laird. Meanwhile, additional new signatures can only help us in our ongoing struggle.

August 11, 2015 Update: To-date results of this petition were provided to the State scientist bargaining team for use in ongoing negotiations. Preliminary plans are also underway to attempt to meet with Secretary Laird--volunteers welcome. This petition drive will go on while California State scientists continue to fight for pay parity.

July 26, 2015 Update: Going to try one more push to increase support.  Then results will soon go to the scientist bargaining team for use there.  Meeting with agency heads?  That too.  Still discussing the timing on that.  Suggestions welcome.

July 8, 2015 Update:  Getting close to 1600 signatures!  Thank you so much.  Onward and upward...

We have entered the critical negotiation period prior to the September-January Legislature recess.  The Administration will be pushing for greater employee contributions to health and retirement programs, while insisting that State scientists will accept a much smaller raise than the current CAPS proposal (of 40%).  Please sign, and encourage your fellow scientists to support the full, equitable increase--WE GIVE 100%; WE DESERVE 40%! (raises, that is.)

June 19, 2015 Update: If you would, when you "sign" please leave information that tells us if you happen to be an active State scientist (e.g., your current classification and locality).  This information will help us demonstrate State-wide support for the bargaining position: significant pay raises for all State scientists!  Continued thanks to all State scientists, supervisors/managers, friends, and supporters.

June 10, 2015 Update: To our many supporters, thank you so much for your signatures and heartfelt comments. The (Dept. of Fish & Wildlife) State scientists who developed this online petition really appreciate your support. Please keep sharing this site with fellow scientists and urge everyone to sign.

In addition to delivering the results to the pertinent agency secretaries, we hope to print out the results and provide them to the CAPS negotiation team as concrete evidence of majority scientist support during the critical July-August negotiation period, when both sides will be jockeying hard to achieve their goals--i.e., CAPS demands a fair and equitable ~40% raise for all scientists; the Administration will be looking for greater employee contributions to health and retirement benefits (=income declines) from State workers.

It should be obvious to all scientists which side to support. Can we get at least 2,000 scientist signatures to demonstrate clear majority support for a significant pay raise? Let's try!


We, the undersigned State scientists, friends, and supporters request the assistance of the California Natural Resources Agency (Secretary John Laird), California Environmental Protection Agency (Secretary Matt Rodriquez), and California Health and Human Services Agency (Secretary Diana S. Dooley) in urging Governor Edmund G. Brown to accept fair and equitable salary adjustments and reclassification changes proposed by the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS).

In addition to their many other tasks, the State’s scientists are essential for timely environmental review and safe permitting of critical infrastructure projects such as high-speed rail and Delta water conveyance. This and other vital work performed by State scientists is equivalent and often identical in complexity and composition to that performed by personnel in other State technical classifications receiving significantly higher compensation. In particular, State scientists may work directly alongside engineers and geologists in managing California natural resources, including surface and ground waters, while planning and overseeing critical projects.

Yet State scientists are paid about 40 percent less than their State engineer and geologist counterparts for equivalent/identical and equally important work. This disparity contradicts Government Code 18500(c)(1) which requires that “positions involving comparable duties and responsibilities are similarly classified and compensated.”

In addition (and as acknowledged by Administration officials) State scientists are paid well below their counterparts in local and federal agencies within California.  Meanwhile the cost of living continues to rise in most areas. This means that over time the State will lose its competitive ability to attract and retain good scientists--this at a time when drought and climate change are worsening problems associated with water, energy, transportation, development, and resource management. Now, more than ever, California cannot afford to lose its best and brightest scientists.

In partial recognition of these facts, many State scientist supervisors and managers last year received a 40 percent salary increase. The time is now to continue that recognition, fulfill the State’s obligation to ensure pay equity, and improve its competitiveness in the scientist job market by more properly compensating rank-and-file State scientists with truly fair, adequate, and equitable salaries that acknowledge the important contribution scientists make to California’s growth, development, economy, and environmental and public health.

Please join us in supporting more equitable pay and proper recognition for California’s State scientists. We hope you will sit down soon with scientist representatives to explore how your support can translate into meaningful help for the scientist effort. After all, State scientists are a critical component of effective and timely natural resource management, environmental protection, and public health in California.

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