A union representing California prison guards has reached a contract agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration five years after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger imposed a contract stripping the union of much of its power in prison operations, the Associated Press reports. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association backed Brown in last year’s gubernatorial campaign after years of being at odds with Schwarzenegger.
The state agreed to contribute more toward members’ health care, dental, and vision coverage, but members’ contributions to their retirement plan will increase from 8 percent to 10 percent of their pay. The agreement “contains enhancements as well as concessions,” said a union official. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said the 30,000-member union was an example of public employee unions with too much power and too many perks. His predecessor, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis, gave prison guards a 37 percent pay raise before he was recalled from office in 2003.