The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 24, 2008
So who exactly would lose their jobs?

Word started to trickle out Thursday detailing what state employees would be affected by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's executive order to save money during the budget impasse.

According to the Department of Personnel Adminstration, the almost 22,000 workers to be immediately terminated include:

Permanent Intermittent Employees 7,923

Seasonal Employees 8,270

Retired Annuitants 5,662

Permanent intermittent employees are brought in as needed when the state's workload increases. They include CalTrans maintenance workers, exam proctors at the Department of Consumer Affairs, agricultural fair workers and others.

Retired annuitants are retired state workers who return to the job on a part-time basis. In total, they cannot work more than half the year. Most departments use them, claiming to save money by not having to pay the vaction or sick leave or health care costs.

Seasonal workers included park aides, seasonal clerks, tax processors and others.

A Bee analysis of the state payroll database by the Capitol Bureau's John Hill finds that the most common permanent intermittent employees are correctional officers, key data operators, state fair police officers, office assistants, security guards and motor vehicle field representatives. Some of these classifications may be exempt from the order because they are involved in protecting public safety.

The departments with the most permanent intermittent workers include Corrections, California Exposition and State Fair, the Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development, and Motor Vehicles.

Retired state workers who return part-time run the gamut of state titles, from middle managers to typists to transportation engineers to psychiatric technicians. The departments with the most retired part-timers are Corrections, Transportation, Mental Health, Developmental Services, and Motor Vehicles.

The most common temporary seasonal workers are assistant examination proctors, student assistants, seasonal clerks, firefighters, and California Conservation Corpsmembers and seasonal park aides. The departments most dependent on seasonal workers are Parks and Recreation, Consumer Affairs, Franchise Tax Board, California Conservation Corps and Forestry and Fire Protection. Firefighters would be exempted because they are involved in protecting the public.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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