The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 17, 2008
Blog back: Personal opinions, blog bias and a 'little haircut'

Blog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

Nov. 10 A state worker accepts Schwarzenegger's furlough, benefits cuts

Funny how the bee (sic) just wants to hear from people who agree with Arnold ...

We put out the call to workers who support the governor's proposal because we weren't having any problem finding workers who were willing to speak out against it.

Sac Bee, do you realize that the Whimpinator is our ultimate boss? Speaking to you over the phone, using our names in the paper - in some State agencies, that would be seen as an act of insubordination. And, certainly many civil servants would be held accountable - and it is possible in some instances termination could be the results (sic).

An interesting take that, if true, should spark some legal concerns. State agencies that we've talked to say that employees are free to speak and e-mail as individuals. Doing it on state time, however, is unwise.

Click here for a recent blog post about this issue.

Nov. 10 State responds to data security concerns

Mr. Ortiz, No one believes for one moment that you are not biased against state workers. Your final condescending statement that you believe most state workers "are not dishonest" doesn't fool us. This story is OLD, yet you run this article at a time when there is high scrutiny of state employees and much debate over mandatory furloughs for state employees.

True, the Dumbrique and Vue stories have been in the news for quite some time, but we thought the state's Nov. 6 policy memo deserved reporting, particularly because it came after those cases.

The Bee also featured a profile of Dumbrique the same day as this blog entry and her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 19. We thought those events made the unfolding story blogworthy.

Sorry that the final sentence came across as "condescending."

Nov. 12 CalPERS housing investments lose 35 percent

well, to see the retirement of gov. employees go down doesn't make me feel bad for one moment. They get all the entitlements/freebies and we get social security.......I guess with that kind of loss, maybe they'll see how the average joe feels. Worse yet?....knowing that the taxpayer funds pensions etc that we ourselves don't even get. Hope it goes down 50% or more.

State worker pension benefits are guaranteed by the state, so if CalPERS' assets for some reason can't cover retirement obligations the state (and by extension, taxpayers) must make up the difference.

The state's pension plan is not a "freebie." Nearly all state employees pay 5 percent of their wages toward their retirement. And remember, they pay taxes, too.

Nov. 12 'State worker' versus 'state employee'

The Governor's plan is an attack on state employees not a "little haircut". I don't know where the Governor gets his hair cut. My hair cuts cost $25. A monthly unpaid day of leave amounts to $163.20 pay cut. This is one month's groceries for me.

Well said.

Nov. 14 State workers counter Schwarzenegger plan

Jon, Jon, Jon, Trying to use a State employee from bargaining unit one to make it look like we support our own cuts. Why would we want to eliminate jobs, and accept temporary pay cuts?

We're not trying to "use" employees to promote an anti- or pro-state worker agenda. Our sole aim is providing a forum for thoughtful opinions and vigorous debate by presenting information and ideas.

That means all ideas, even those that challenge the status quo.

We get criticism from readers for going easy on state workers, and we get criticism for promoting a bias against state workers. As long as we're catching heat from both sides, we're satisfied.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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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