The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 7, 2008
State workers feeling pressured to keep mum?

Three months into covering state employees and we're noticing a trend: More and more of you are telling us that you can't speak on the record to the media.

"I don't want any pressure from my boss. Please don't use my name," wrote one e-mailer who commented on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to furlough state workers and cut some benefits.

"Can you use my words and not my name?" another state worker asked at the end of a telephone conversation.

Some workers have told us that they fear reprisal such as negative job reviews or bum assignments if their name appears in our weekly State Worker column or on this blog. One employee recently quoted in a column said that his supervisors approached him afterwards "just to see what was going on."

What is your deparment's policy? Do you feel any pressure to avoid making your personal opinions public?

Do you think that the governor's recent proposals for state worker furloughs and changes to the holiday schedule create more pressure on managers or department heads to control what state workers say? Or does your department take a more liberal view of state worker voices in the news?


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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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