Phil Matier: Brown Demonstrates Political Savvy With Unions Over Pay Raise

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The union representing 95,000 state employees have reached a tentative contract agreement that includes a 4.5 percent pay raise over a two-year period.

But there’s an interesting catch with how Governor Jerry Brown gets to decide (or at least his Department of Finance) how those raises are going to be handed out in terms of timing.

It could be half next year when it starts and the other half down the road. It’s an interesting move, because it keeps the governor’s hand on the tap for these raises on one of the biggest state unions there is and he’ll be turning that tap one way or the other right when he’s up for re-election.

The union on the other hand is happy that they’re getting their raise, and it shows a certain level of trust with the governor (I don’t think you’d see this kind of deal cut with someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger). Brown takes a more seasoned approach with the unions and this is part of the proof that he really is one of the smartest guys in politics.

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