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Calif. prison union gives to governor’s recall defense as bonuses, raises take effect

It’s the single biggest donation to Newsom’s defense from a California state employee union

Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference in Oakland, Calif., Monday, July 26, 2021.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

By Andrew Sheeler
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO — The union representing California’s corrections officers cut a $1.75 million check to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall defense fund last week, kicking in support for the Democratic leader after the union’s new contract took effect.

It’s the single biggest donation to Newsom’s defense from a California state employee union.

Altogether, state worker unions have contributed $4.1 million to Newsom for the recall election with most of the money coming after the state lifted pay cuts it demanded from public employees early in the coronovirus pandemic.

The check from the COs, first reported by Rob Pyers of the non-partisan California Target Book, comes nearly a month after the California Correctional Peace Officers Association secured $5,000 COVID-19 bonuses for each of the workers it represents in addition to a raise.

So far, it is the only California state government union that has negotiated a COVID-19 bonus paid for with state funds.

Newsom and the correctional officers’ union have been at odds at times on the governor’s criminal justice initiatives over the past several years.

The union and Newsom were on opposite sides last year on Proposition 20, a ballot measure that would have rolled back several of California’s criminal sentencing reforms. CCPOA spent $2 million in support of the ballot measure, which Gov. Newsom opposed.

Through a spokesman, CCPOA president Glen Stailey did not respond to a request for comment. Other state labor leaders have said that even though their members were unhappy with the pay cuts Newsom and the Legislature imposed on them last year, a Republican in the Governor’s Office likely would be worse for them.

(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)