The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 11, 2009
Bill Watch: What happens if AB 88 passes?

AB 88, which details the terms for Service Employees International Union Local 1000's contract, has reached the Senate floor for a vote.

Let's say the Legislature ratifies the deal and that Schwarzenegger signs it. What then?

We ask the question because the bill includes a one-day-per-month furlough for covered employees retroactive to February through June 30, 2010. You can read the analysis by clicking here.

That means the contract allows for 17 furlough days, total. But today is the 18th furlough day for state workers since the policy kicked in last February.

In other words, it looks to us like if AB 88 goes through as written, covered workers wouldn't only be off furlough for the rest of the 2009-10 fiscal year -- they'd be owed a day's pay.

Democrats, including Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass have said they want the legislation to pass but the odds of that happening seem extremely long. If AB 88 clears the Senate, it will still need Assembly approval. Republicans in the lower chamber defeated an identical bill earlier this year.

And while Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hasn't said he will veto the bill, officials speaking on his behalf have consistently said that he won't support anything that curbs his three-day furlough order.

Side note: SB 519, the addendum to the California Association of Highway Patrolmen contract, is in the Senate.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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