The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 17, 2009
Here's how to figure out (sorta) the drop-dead dates for state payroll changes

It's a bit of info you probably never thought you'd need, but it's become a near-obsession for some state workers: Exactly when is the deadline each month for submitting payroll changes to the State Controller's Office?

The answer matters because timing is everything when you're dealing with the SCO and payroll, and with all of the furlough lawsuits and SEIU's pending labor contract in the Legislature, state workers' earnings could change quickly.

In general, the larger the number of employees whose payroll data needs to be changed, or the more complex the changes, the more time that the SCO needs to do the work.

For example, the 500 SCIFers in Bargaining Unit 2 impacted by this week's SCIF lawsuit decision need to hope that Judge Peter Busch signs a final ruling by Tuesday so that the SCO has time to make changes to its payroll records in time for the April check run on Wednesday, controller spokeswoman Hallye Jordan told us.

BUT, if the ruling affects all 8,000 workers at SCIF -- and there are questions about the scope of the ruling that still need to be answered -- the SCO will need to know that by the close of business Monday. Jordan said.

"That's assuming we don't need a pay letter from DPA," Jordan said. The SCO doesn't think that's the case with the SCIF matter, since the change restores pay in compliance with a court order.

The calendar plays a key role with the SEIU contract ratification process, too. Changing the pay of 90,000-plus state workers will be a massive undertaking (assuming the Legislature approves AB 964) that would take several days. AB 964 would have needed to approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor today to have a shot getting union members' furlough pay changed this month in accordance with their union MOU.

(By the way, Speaker Karen Bass's office told us Thursday that the bill is scheduled for an Assembly Appropriations hearing next week.)

To see the SCO's payroll calendar for 2009, click this link and scroll down to page 23. Go to the 14th column from the left that says "CUTOFF" at the top. That's the cutoff date for inputting changes to state payroll each month.

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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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