The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 29, 2009
Engineers, CalPERS send memos about Columbus Day

Professional Engineers in California Government is telling its members to work on Columbus Day. Here's a snippet of an e-mail the 11,000-member union sent out today:

What should you do regarding working on Monday, October 12? A long-established rule in labor relations is -- obey now, grieve later. This means that, in most circumstances, employees must obey directions from supervisors and managers and then obtain an appropriate remedy through the grievance procedure, which PECG is pursuing in this case.

Therefore, PECG recommends that you contact your supervisor to determine if you are being ordered to work that day. If so, come to work and PECG will seek reimbursement through the grievance procedure. If you take the day off, management may charge you paid leave credits and PECG will pursue reinstatement of those credits through the grievance. However, it is important to obtain clear direction from your supervisor or manager regarding whether you are expected to be at work that day or not.

If you are a supervisor, what do you tell your employees to do? We recommend that you obtain clear direction from your supervisor or manager and then carry out those instructions.

Read the complete PECG memo by clicking this link.

CalPERS also has told its employees that anyone taking the day off will need to use leave credits. Click here for the memo from the fund's Human Resources Division.

Click here for earlier posts detailing the controversy as the holiday approaches.

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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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