Service Employees International Union Local 1000 plans to stage a rally this afternoon at the Capitol and drop off copies of petitions signed by 35,000 state workers that protest Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal for an across-the-board 5 percent wage cut.
The union's press release about the event, which you can read here, includes this bit of info about vendor contracts:
Since the governor declared a budget emergency in January 2008, the state has entered into more than 15,000 new private vendor contracts worth nearly $6 billion. Local 1000 has mounted legal challenges against about 120 such contracts in the past two years, winning 80 percent of the time because our attorneys were able to prove that the contracts were more expensive and less efficient than using state employees to perform the same work.
On a different note, the California National Guard is offering buyouts to 17 of its active duty members, including senior officers.
The story by Bee Capitol Bureau colleague Andrew McIntosh, which you can read by clicking here, points out that the Schwarzenegger's Department of Personnel Administration has no authority over the Guard, which operates by different state and federal rules.
Still, the story includes a succinct explanation from DPA spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley about why the administration isn't offering similar deals to state workers.