Sacramento, CA, June 02, 2021 --(PR.com)-- The California Association of Professional Scientists has announced its support for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal to increase spending for scientific programs – and renewed its call for the administration to provide competitive salaries for state scientists.
“We are thrilled the governor’s budget proposal substantially increases budgets for many state science programs,” said CAPS President Margarita Gordus. “But it would be ironic, to say the least, if the administration continues underpaying the state scientists’ who run those programs.”
A record state-revenue windfall afforded Gov. Newsom’s May Budget Revision the means to propose boosting, for example, the California Natural Resources Agency’s budget next year to $12 billion. That’s up from $7.5 billion – nearly 60 percent – allocated in the governor’s January budget plan. The California Environmental Protection Agency’s budget is $6 billion under the latest proposal, a 41.6 percent increase from $4.3 billion the governor suggested four months ago.
Meanwhile, CAPS is currently bargaining for the state scientists at those agencies and throughout state government whose wages have not kept pace with the market for nearly 20 years. The inequitable pay has turned California’s scientific corps into a de facto academy for local government and federal employers routinely paying salaries at least 30 percent higher than state wages for similar work. The pay disparities also put California at a competitive disadvantage when luring scientists to public service.
“Ultimately, underpaying state scientists weakens the very programs the governor wants to fortify in this budget,” Gordus said. “And that hurts the well-being of all Californians, our economy, and our natural resources.”
The California Association of Professional Scientists represents roughly 4,500 state scientists, both rank-and-file and management, who work for 40 agencies, departments, boards, commissions and offices throughout California.
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