The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 11, 2009
State Fund updates: Furlough time compensation, cash award dispute

A quick update on the two issues at State Compensation Insurance Fund that we've been tracking:

How will the fund handle making formerly furloughed staff whole for their time?

And has the disagreement with DPA over a cash award promised to employees been resolved?

That first question is sticky, since State Fund employees, like most of the state workforce, was self-scheduling furlough days until July. That means that some workers took all the time off, some took no time off and some took some days off and worked others.

Yikes. Talk about an administrative nightmare. You can pay everyone the lost wages, but how do you fairly bring everyone to time parity? We blogged about this at length in this July 15 post shortly after CASE scored the first-ever furlough lawsuit win.

Nearly two months later, there's still no resolution.

Fund spokeswoman Jennifer Vargen tells The State Worker that fund officials have had one meeting with CASE, which won the first furlough lawsuit on behalf of its members way back in April. Judge Peter Busch issued the formal ruling on July 9.

Now add another 7,500 State Fund employees to the mix with Thursday's formal ruling in favor of SEIU Local 1000 and State Fund President Jan Frank.

Moving on ...

Blog regulars will recall that a State Fund plan to give a $250 award to all its employees hit a snag after the Department of Personnel Administration questioned it. The fund figures the award would cost a tad less than $2 million total. We reported the dispute in this Aug. 6 post.

Have the two sides reached a conclusion?

"We're meeting with DPA this month," Vargen said.

We'll let you know what, if anything, comes of that get-together.

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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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