AB 1677 was vetoed by the Governor on Sunday, October 8, 2023. AB 1677 would have required the UC Berkeley Labor Center to perform an impartial study to examine the existing State Scientist salary structure, evaluate historical salary relationships with other state employees performing substantially similar work, and provide recommendations, if applicable, for alternate salary models for rank-and-file State Scientists. The Bill would have also required that CAPS and the State’s Department of Human Resources be consulted in identifying the study’s parameters and objectives.
The Governor incorrectly interpreted the Bill and included in his veto statement that it would require the State to implement any increases in compensation resulting from the study, circumventing the collective bargaining process. The proposed Bill language clearly states that any increase in compensation had to be implemented through the bargaining process, as required by State law. You can read his veto message in its entirety here and the proposed Bill language here.
The Bill would have ensured that State Scientists would have recommendations for an updated, modern salary structure that would enable California to compete for, and retain, the scientific expertise the state requires while minimizing the costs associated with high employee turnover and low morale.
We are disappointed by this veto, but not surprised given the State’s position at the bargaining table. Nevertheless, the CAPS Board will continue to work towards bringing legislation forward that would benefit and improve State Scientists’ position in State government.