The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 6, 2009
From the notebook: BOE executive director explains layoff pull back

Thumbnail image for BOE HQ_sacbee_Jay Mather_2005_1.jpgFrom the notebook State Worker blog posts feature news, quotes and information that may not see print in a news story but still provide context and insight for news stories that we write.

As we report in today's Bee, the Board of Equalization has pulled back on plans to lay off a quarter of its employees. The story references this e-mail from Executive Director Ramon J. Hirsig:

From: Executive Director
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 1:20 PM
To: +All BOE Employees
Subject: Budget Update - October 1, 2009

As you know, BOE submitted a layoff plan to DPA in early September that may potentially impact 1,100 BOE employees with 42 months or less of state service. Those 1,100 employees received initial letters requesting confirmation of months of service with the State. We have previously told you that once the plan is approved by DPA the next step will be Surplus or State Restriction of Appointment (SROA) letters sent to those same employees. The SROA process is intended to provide job placement assistance to employees who are facing layoff, and restricts the way hiring departments can fill vacant positions.

We have also previously explained that the layoff plan calls for layoffs as of February 1, 2010. The process requires 120 days from SROA notification to layoff. If the SROA letters do not go out to employees by October 1, a layoff cannot occur February 1, 2010, but rather 120 days following the SROA/Surplus notification.

At this point, it appears that BOE has found enough flexibility in our budget to avoid the immediate need for layoffs. Therefore, the layoff plan is temporarily on hold, and SROA/Surplus letters will not be sent at this time. As you know, the budget situation remains fluid, and there may be changes that could necessitate layoffs in the future. We will keep you informed on any developments.

The BOE must also continue with other cost saving measures, including imposition of the hard hiring freeze, limiting travel, equipment purchases and training to mandatory items only, and continued participation by our employees in the voluntary leave programs. I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the more than 1,300 employees who are contributing through the voluntary leave programs.

Read more about the BOE budget shortfall and its earlier layoff plan in this September blog post.

IMAGE: BOE headquarters / Jay Mather, Sacramento Bee, 2005

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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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