After years of making concessions to Gov. Jerry Brown, California labor leaders had hoped that the fourth-and-final-term Democrat finally would be in a giving mood.
But after the governor’s budget proposal two weeks ago, several unions are bracing for tough talks in the coming months about Brown’s determination to cut the state’s costs of insuring employees and retirees.
A range of options are on the table, from cheaper insurance plans and smaller subsidies to extending how long new hires must work to qualify for retiree health benefits. If history is a guide, Brown will prevail, said Mike Genest, a Department of Finance director under former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.