The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 31, 2009
Blog back: View a state worker's pay stubs pre- and post-furlough

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

This special edition blog back addresses our July 27 post, "View a state worker's pay stubs pre- and post-furlough."

Although commenters to this blog often ask for specific information about how furloughs are impacting state workers, it appears that a few didn't understand why we posted these two pay stubs from one state worker, one before furlough and one after furlough.

Many of the comments to the post were angry. Others contained misconceptions about the purpose of the post or how we got the information.

The biggest gripe was the pay of the person who provided the pay stubs. Apparently many commenters believe that users of this blog lack the sophistication to understand that a single person's earnings do not represent the entire state workforce. The percentage cut to gross pay does cut across income levels, however, and we thought the before-and-after comparison an interesting way to show how one person is coping with furloughs.

Other commenters seem to want any reference to a state worker's pay put into a larger context, a defensive posture that we're not willing to assume.

It would have been better to find someone that made no changes to withholdings, etc. so the impact on someone's net pay would be clearer.

We didn't seek out the state worker who made the offer to share the information; that person came to us. We accepted because we recognized the rare opportunity.

For impact on net pay, plug figures into the furlough calculator posted on this blog.

Hey Sac Bee - why don't you show what the average persons paystub is instead of this? Show the person who makes a 2500.00 salary and deduct the 3 days and post that!

Another state worker who makes less has offered to share this same information next month after the July furloughs kick in. If all goes according to plan, we'll post those redacted pay stubs next week.

But here's where it gets tricky. If you consider showing pay data for someone who makes $73,000 per year as spin, then isn't showing pay information for someone who makes $30,000 per year also spin?

You are nothing but pandering to the governor and his hate state worker's agenda. You have no problem showing things about the state worker but offer no comparison of what the same person makes in private sector.

The point of the post was to show the impact of furloughs on one person. As to whether it supports the governor's policies or casts furloughed state workers in a sympathetic light wasn't a consideration.

This blog user thought the pay stubs post repudiated Schwarzenegger's furlough policy:

Assuming this manager's pay does not come from the general fund, this employee's furlough days are costing the general fund about $102 dollars in lost revenue per month. Perhaps that is why almost all state with furlough programs excluded workers from furloughs who were not paid directly out of their general funds. But, not our governor. It was an act of pure hatred on his part that furloughed all state workers regardless of pay source.

LOL - Once again the Sac Bee is out telling lies. Look at the dependants M-20. No wonder it looks so jacked up. This is NOT a typical check stub and i bet it isnt (sic) even real!!!!!!!!!!! Give it up Sac Bee - I'm sick and tired of the abuse you give us State Workers.

The post doesn't portray the pay stubs as "typical." We don't pretend to know the definition of "typical" when it comes to California's vast, diverse state workforce.

Why hasn't the Bee reported that State employees are having two holidays taken away from them? (Lincoln's birthday and Columbus day) SCIF employees received this news from their management on Friday at 4:30. We were told this is part of the budget package that passed.

We reported about this and other changes to state worker holidays quite a while ago when they occurred. This blog has been adding a lot of new users lately, so it's understandable if information like this is missed. Click here for an earlier post about changes to the state's paid holiday calendar.

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On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com 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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.

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