My name is Manjul Bose, and I am running for CAPS Director-At-Large (DAL). As DAL, I plan to fight for causes that matter the most to our union members and support the board in making the right decisions for our union. As DAL, my primary goals is to support our member causes, which include Pay Equity, Geo-Pay, Longevity Pay (for scientists over 23 years) and no increases to pre-funded retirement healthcare costs. I want to tackle the issue of retention and pay-equity, as it’s seen as a major roadblock to getting quality life-long scientists to work for the State. I would be honored to be your DAL.
My Work at DTSC:
I have worked for the State of California, Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) for twelve (12) years as an Environmental Scientist. I work in the Site Cleanup Unit and have managed staff and projects associated with contaminated properties located around Southern California. My professional successes at DTSC include presenting at the National Symposium on Site Assessment in Chicago, being part of the team that won $5.7 million for the Prop84 CDPH grant for groundwater cleanup, and recently settling a project for $1.8 million for groundwater cleanup and working one of the first SB445 Regional Water Quality Control Board funded sites. My inter-agency skills have brought recognition from other agencies and stakeholders as a resource for solutions to complex problems. Finding creative solutions for unique problems has been the highlight of my career at DTSC. Despite all of my professional success, I also know how hard it is to be working alongside engineer and geologist project managers who get paid significantly more because the state considers them more valuable.
Plans as DAL:
Every member of our union is aware of the unequal and low pay that our members have to contend with on a monthly basis, further highlighted by the painful pay inequity created by the Brown Administration in 2014 when it finally implemented the CAPS lawsuit, providing scientist supervisors an up to 43% special salary adjustment. The original intent was to raise the rank-and-file members as a follow-through. CAPS did not fully implement the reclassification and pay project for which they used rank-and-file salary survey data to provide for the supervisor salary adjustment. However, CAPS agreed to an increase in pre-funding our retirement health care costs in the last bargaining cycle. This imbalance in pay and benefits must end now.
JANUS vs. AFSCME, a landmark case impacting public sector unions, created a condition where we have lost a lot of union members who had previously felt unheard by CAPS. These members have opted out of the union. New employees fail to see the value of their union membership and are not enthusiastic about joining for a saving of $720 per year, an amount that per year pays for a cell phone service that provides connectivity to the world. This pay equity and retention of new employees who only join state service for experience is a detriment to our agencies survival. Recruitment of mid-career experts from the private sector is also impacted by poor compensation.
My Union Experience:
I’ve been a CAPS member for the last twelve (12) years. In my time, I have attended work-site meetings, board meetings and supporting issues and causes important to state scientists, be it congregating at Cal-HR in support for bargaining, or marching in support of scientists on State Scientist Day. I am very much in tune with the issues facing state scientists today. I am well versed in CAPS history and the pay-equity battle. This has been a fight that has been going on for 15 years, and I would like to see it end with equitable pay and benefit increases on my watch.