The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 27, 2009
Blog back: Diversity, demeaning comments, divided opinions

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

The number of comments, e-mails and phone calls responding to this blog and our weekly State Worker column has increased over the last several weeks, so we're still a bit behind on blogging back. We hope to catch up this week.

Note: Sacramento Bee intern Sarah Frier will be posting some items to TSW this week and working with us on a couple of news stories. We're happy she's helping out.

July 7 CalTrans wins diversity award

It seems to me, if I remember correctly...the biggest construction failure mentioned in the Bible was the Tower of Babel. And the cause of that failure was diversity. It makes one think....does history really repeat itself?

The commenter is referring to an infrastructure an ancient civilization failed to deliver, according to Genesis 11:7, because the Lord "confused their language." (The scripture is silent on whether the job was being handled by state workers or outside contractors.)

July 8 Next hearing in State Fund furlough case set for Thursday; SEIU wants in

Sacramento Bee, please see that you are not a vehicle for red-faced hate spitters. They contribute nothing to the human dialogue and the world is a better place if they just keep their rage and social hatred to themselves. I think they should just go crawl under a rock. Thank you for taking the time.

Ironic that a commenter blasts "red-faced hate spitters" for failing to make significant contributions to the public discourse and concludes that the louts should "crawl under a rock."

Speaking as an occasional target of personal attacks by users across the political spectrum, we don't condone ad hominems. However, we view some of that junk as the price of keeping this blog a place for the airing of ideas and observations. We find many comments are useful and have gained insights and culled story ideas from them.

But there are rules of the road. We suggest that anyone who posts to any item on become familiar with the Web site's policies. To read the rules, which also are posted via a link at the top of every comment section on, click here.

Click the link below to continue reading blog backs.

July 8 Tentative ruling in State Fund furlough case issued

One issue, two takes:

totally unfair- most of us are looking at a 20% paycut-and meanwhile employees in BOE, Controllers, Sec oState, etc, aren't taking one cent pay cut even though they are in the same union- same classifications? How can that be????????
CONGRATULATIONS CASE! I sincerely applaude this court's decision. For the SEIU members working at State Fund, I hope the SEIU is successful in it request to have you included in the order. None of you should have been furloughed in the first place. One in the eye for Arnold!!

July 9 CASE wins: State Fund legal staff no longer furloughed, back pay coming

And just think; the private attorneys (hand-picked by Arnie) who are repeatedly getting their butts kicked by a lowly bunch of Workers Comp attorneys, are being paid with YOUR TAX DOLLARS! Hey Jon, when is the Bee going to look into THAT scam?

We blogged about the governor's contract attorney fees in this TSW post after Judge Peter Busch handed down a decision from the bench that furloughing State Compensation Insurance Fund staff was illegal. We'll ask for an update. We'll ask SEIU, CASE and other unions battling furloughs how much they've spent. The unions we asked a few months ago wouldn't give us details.

July 9 Is SEIU preparing to strike?

You can't fire 238,000 employees go ahead and try. Ronnie baby failed during the ATC strike, he couldn't replace them like he said overnight. If I remember correctly he ordered them back to work, because they couldn't hire replacements, and they got what they wanted.

Not quite. Click here for a brief summary of what happened after President Ronald Reagan fired 11,000 striking air traffic controllers in 1981. But remember the PATCO firings were a test of federal law, not state law.

July 10 CalPERS closed on Furlough Fridays; another union blasts governor

While the Unions are sitting around arguing who's fault it is, or not, we are hurting with a 15% paycut, soon to be 20% paycut. Unions need to be more proactive and not reactive. Should have settled on the first deal the Gov threw out which was only ONE furlough day, but no, they got greedy, and now it is us who suffer.

True, Schwarzenegger did start talking about one furlough day per month for state workers last November. What would have happened if, say, SEIU Local 1000 and the Legislature had agreed to it before the end of last year? Would SEIU-covered employees (including those under constitutional officers) be losing 5 percent of their pay to furlough instead of nearly 15 percent? Would the administration and other unions have come to a similar arrangement? We'll never know.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for CalPERS Stausboll.jpg

Why is Anne not 'manning' up and exempting her employees? She has a responsibility to protect the fund and she is cowering in a corner. What part of "SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE RESPONSIBILITY TO ADMINISTER..." does she not understand?

Three days after this item posted, CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll sent a warning shot letter to the Controller's Office and the Department of Personnel Administration that the fund may decide to opt out of the furlough program. Click here to read more about the letter.

The board is meeting today through Wednesday In Folsom, and as The Bee Capitol Bureau's "This week" item notes today, it appears that furlough policy is on the agenda.

IMAGE: Anne Stausboll /

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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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