The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 6, 2009
Administration to SEIU: Knock off the Columbus Day talk

The Department of Personnel Administration has fired off a letter to SEIU Local 1000 this morning, demanding the union to stop telling the 95,000 state workers it represents to not show up for work on Columbus Day.

Here's the opening paragraph from DPA Chief Deputy Director of Policy Julie Chapman to Local 1000 Chief of Staff Michael Baratz:

It has come to our attention that Service Employees International Union Local 1000 (SEIU) is making several statements urging its members not to report to work on Columbus Day, October 12, 2009, a regular work day. These statements are contrary to the law and must stop immediately. Further, SEIU must take immediate and effective steps to retract and correct its communications to accurately reflect the current state of the law.

A little further down, Chapman says this:

While we understand your organization's desire to communicate with your members, SEIU's efforts on this issue can no longer be considered fair communication about your members' rights and have become communication actively encouraging an illegal work stoppage. SEIU is advocating an illegal job action which may result in employees being subject to possible disciplinary action.

Click here to read the letter.

The letter also mentions what we reported in this Sunday story : Other unions are telling their members to work the day and let the legal system or administrative grievance process settle the matter.

We contacted SEIU for a response and expect to hear from the union later today.

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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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