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Petitions for Gov. Newsom, state leaders caution non-competitive state scientists' pay harms work to deal with everything from climate change to microplastics

SACRAMENTO, CALIF., UNITED STATES, May 4, 2022 / -- On Friday, California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS) members will deliver poster-sized petitions with thousands of signatures to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office and several state departments to impress on political and policy leaders that the state’s global influence in avoiding the collapse of everything from climate to secure food is in peril.

The reasons: Talented, experienced scientists are leaving state service for better-paying jobs. Meanwhile, prospective hires opt to go elsewhere. As a result, scientific programs intended to protect Californians’ health, environment, natural resources, and economy lack the staff to carry out those vital missions. And looking forward, inequitable pay for state scientists is undercutting California’s position as the 21st Century’s world leader in science-based public policy.

For nearly 20 years, California state scientists’ salaries have lagged those of state, local, and federal counterparts who perform the same or similar duties. Moreover, the pay gap has compounded over the years so that today, state scientists’ compensation lags by 30 percent or more. The state’s in-house analyses have borne out these inequities and media reporting has revealed some of the related recruiting and retention challenges they create. Earlier this year, the California Institute for Biodiversity, the Nature Conservancy and more than 40 other non-governmental organizations expressed the same concerns in a co-signed letter urging the governor to negotiate pay equity with CAPS.

CAPS members will meet at Cesar Chavez Park at 11 a.m. on Friday, then walk to the headquarters of the state Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Agency, the Department of Food & Agriculture, and the Health and Human Services Agency before their final stop at Newsom’s office at 10th and O streets. Journalists are welcome to meet scientists at any location for interviews and visuals.

CAPS “Avoiding Collapse” Petition Deliveries

Friday, May 6, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About 70 state scientists represented by CAPS, representatives of CDFA and CNRA, and possibly Gov. Newsom’s staff representatives.


Cesar Chavez Plaza (organizational rally), J and 10th streets, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Governor’s Office, 1021 O Street, Suite 9000, 1:45 – 2:00 p.m.
Environmental Protection Agency, 1001 I St., 12:05 – 12:20 p.m.
Natural Resources Agency, 715 P St., 1:20 – 1:35 p.m.
Health and Human Services Agency, 1600 9th St., 1:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Food and Agriculture Dept., 12:40 – 12:55 p.m.

CAPS members marching, delivering petitions, state officials accepting petitions.

CAPS represents roughly 4,500 state scientists, both rank-and-file and in management, who work for 40 agencies, departments, boards, commissions and offices throughout 81 scientific classifications. CAPS members protect the public from life-threatening diseases, safe guard our wildlife and abundant natural resources, and protect our air and water from toxic waste and pollution.

Jon Ortiz
California Association of Professional Scientists
+1 916-761-8267
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