Equal Pay / Equal Work for California State Employed Social Workers
Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs and ACSWs) are an integral part of the mental health treatment team at CDCR institutions (prisons) parole outpatient clinics, and at the Department of State Hospitals (DSH).
Our roles are wide ranging. We are providing individual and group therapeutic services at all levels of care. We work at the Enhanced Outpatient Programs (EOP) Correctional Clinical Case Management Services (CCMS) Mental Health Crisis Beds, In-patient Acute Level of Care (DSH) and Intermediate level of Care (DSH). Once the inmate-patient paroles, we provide treatment in the community at the Parole Outpatient Clinics (POC).
We appreciate, and enjoy the unique clinically challenging role that we perform at CDCR and DSH. However, we have also have been concerned, for some time now, that there is a serious discrepancy in our compensation, and a corresponding lack of promotional/leadership opportunities.
We see that at CDCR prison institutions, our professional colleagues, Psychologists, at the top step, earn nearly 24% ($22,032 a year) more than Clinical Social Workers, for identical responsibilities. In other facilities the responsibilities are very similar and in some facilities SWs actually perform more duties than psychology counterparts, yet in each instance an inequality in pay exist.
Further, there is no Clinical Social Worker Specialist classification that would provide CSWs (similar to Psychologists) with a promotional pathway, and opportunities to take on leadership roles. This has often led to our discipline being sidelined with stunted career growth.
This issue is not new for AFSCME 2620 - rank and file Clinical Social Worker members of the union have brought up concerns at various junctures in the past, especially during periods when our contracts were being negotiated.
AFSCME 2620, as a union representative of Clinical Social Workers, has a responsibility to address these issues. Indeed, a primary purpose of any labor union is to address and rectify salary/wage inequities, and discrepancies, as well as to address any discriminatory treatment of its members (in this case, of an entire discipline/classification).
We the undersigned call on AFSCME 2620 President, Executive Board, and the Chair of the Social Worker Occupational Committee to:
1. Bring to the negotiations table, and convene a meet and confer with the State for wage equity for CDCR/DSH Clinical Social Workers with CDCR/DSH Psychologists. Equal pay for equal work.
2. Bring to the negotiations table and convene a meet and confer with the State for proportional supervisory positions and creation of a Clinical Social Worker Specialist classification (with a salary equal to that of a Psychologist Specialist) to provide promotional opportunities for Clinical Social Workers.
3. Address any discriminatory practices within AFSCME 2620 that have resulted in either CDCR/DSH Clinical Social Workers not being heard, or, our above mentioned issues not being brought to the negotiating and/or meet and confer table with the State of California.
We recognize that there are other people in other classifications who are also struggling for equity. We would like to express our solidarity, and look forward to exploring how we can work together. Although our respective struggles may have unique characteristics – by working together we can both help make AFSCME 2620 a more representative and effective union, and have a stronger voice at the negotiating table.
We are willing to work with the AFSCME 2620 leadership, including serving on CDCR/DSH sub-committees to analyze and research the issues, become members of meet and confer sessions, and /or in any other capacity to achieve our goals.
We stand firm on the principle of equal pay for equal work, wage/salary equity, and an end to any and all discriminatory practices against CDCR/DSH Clinical Social Workers - be those at the state level, or within AFSCME 2620.
A response from AFSCME 2620, including a call for volunteers to work on this issue can be sent directly to the AFSCME 2620 social work distribution list to reach a wide audience.
The issue is time sensitive, and we request a response from the above mentioned union leadership within 21 days of receipt of this petition