State Scientists Rallying in Oakland to Demand Gov. Newsom Bargain Equitable Wages

Value Scientists! Rally in Oakland will feature remarks by Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher

OAKLAND, CALIF., UNITED STATES, August 21, 2023/ — The California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) on Wednesday will hold a Value Scientists! Rally to demand equitable wages for the 4,200 rank-and-file state scientists the union represents. Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, the California Labor Federation’s executive secretary-treasurer, will speak during the event.

CAPS’ last labor agreement expired in July 2020. (Under state law, the terms of the expired contract remain in effect until a successor agreement is in place.) Salaries remain a sticking point. State scientists’ wages have lagged those of their managers, supervisors, and state engineers by 30% or more for a decade.

The union and the state have until early September to reach an agreement because lawmakers need enough time to pass legislation that funds a new contract before their legislative session ends on Sept. 14. The Legislature won’t reconvene until January 2024.

On May 9, CAPS offered a solution that would provide pay equity for its members. The Department of Human Resources (CalHR), representing the governor at the bargaining table, has yet to respond.

CAPS’ Bay Area Value Scientists! Rally will be held Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland. The union also plans a Sacramento march that will end with a rally at the State Capitol on Aug. 30. Last Wednesday, CAPS held its first Value Scientists! Rally in Downtown Los Angeles.

Visuals at the Oakland rally will include pickets and interview opportunities with Gonzalez and rank-and-file state scientists whose vital work protects public health, the environment, the food supply, and California’s natural resources.

Who: California Association of Professional Scientists members, leaders, and California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez

What: CAPS Value Scientists! Rally

Where: 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza (14th St. and Broadway), Oakland

When: August 23, 2023, noon to 1 p.m.

Why: To publicly urge the governor to end severe pay inequities endured by state scientists


CAPS represents roughly 5,600 state-employed scientists (including 4,200 rank and file and 1,400 supervisors and managers) working in over 30 state departments in 81 scientific classifications. CAPS members protect Californians from life-threatening diseases; safeguard our wildlife and abundant natural resources; and protect our food supply, air and water from toxic waste and pollution.

Jon Ortiz
California Association of Professional Scientists
+1 916-761-8267
[email protected]
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