The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 23, 2009
State worker rips Bass over raise rescission rationale

Bass-Amezcua-2009.JPGBoard of Equalization employee and SEIU member Bobbi Smith sent this letter to Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and cc'd us. Smith gave us permission to post it here, unedited:

From: Smith, Bobbi

Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 1:49 PM


Cc: Zamora, Jim; Perez, Edwin; Ortiz, Jon - Sacramento

Subject: Pay Increases for Legislative Staff

While I was happy to see the Legislative Staff salary increases rescinded, I was unhappy with the reasoning. This was purely a political reason, in support of the ballot initiatives.

In defense of the salary increase you stated that the Assembly has tightened its belt and streamlined it operations. All state departments have had their budgets cut within the past year and had to do the same. The constitutional offices had their personnel budgets further cut as retaliation for not participating in the Governor's furloughs.

While state employees represented by SEIU Local 1000 are having their salaries cut by 9.2%, until a new Memorandum of Understanding is crawling its way through the Assembly which would reduce their salary cuts to 4.62%, you are giving your staff pay increases. If there is money to give salaries increases to the Legislative staff, why are union represented employees having their pay cut? Why aren't the individual departments charged with finding their own cuts to avoid cutting employees' salaries?

Employees whose salaries are funded by the State should not be receiving salary increases under any circumstances if any State employees are having their salaries cut. You are sending a message to union represented employees that their hard work and sacrifices are not valued on the same level as other employees. This is the wrong message to be sending.

Bobbi Smith
President, DLC 782
SEIU Local 1000

IMAGE: Karen Bass / Sacramento Bee, Hector Amezcua, 2009

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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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