State Workforce

State Employee Collective Bargaining

Over 200,000 people work for a State of California department or agency (other than a university). The Dills Act authorized collective bargaining between these state employees and the Governor. State workers (except managers and certain others) are organized into 21 bargaining units and represented by unions. The Governor is represented by the California Department of Human Resources. The product of the collective bargaining process is an MOU (“memorandum of understanding”). MOUs specify the terms and conditions of employment. Different laws establish collective bargaining for university and other public employees.

Fiscal Analyses of MOUs. Since 2005, state law has required the Legislative Analyst’s Office to prepare fiscal analyses of proposed MOUs. These analyses and information about the state workforce and collective bargaining process are available by clicking on the links on the left of the screen.

MOU Ratification. To take effect, MOUs must be ratified by bargaining unit members and the Legislature. Legislative ratification can occur in the budget act or other legislation. Under the Dills Act, after ratification, the Legislature generally may choose whether to appropriate funds in the budget to continue the financial provisions of an MOU. When an MOU expires, its provisions typically continue until a new MOU is ratified.

MOU Changes. After an MOU is ratified, the Governor and unions may agree to change it. Pursuant to provisional language under Item 9800 of the 2015-16 Budget Act, any MOU changes—“MOU addenda”—agreed to in 2015-16 are reviewed by the Department of Finance to determine if they must be submitted to the Legislature for approval. The department notifies the Joint Legislative Budget Committee of its determination.

Text of MOUs. The text of MOUs and addenda are available on the CalHR website.

LAO Staff Contacts

Nick Schroeder
(916) 319-8314
Public Employment, CalPERS, and Elections
Carolyn Chu
(916) 319-8326
Chief Deputy Legislative Analyst