The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 22, 2009
Blog back: Hand washing, holidays, hacking state jobs

Blog backs review your thoughtful and provocative online comments, amplify points, answer questions, correct our mistakes and humbly accept your warranted criticism.

Oct. 2 CalPERS issues detailed handwashing instructions

Our post of the detailed hand hygiene memo struck a chord with blog users and was among the most popular State Worker items of the week. We thought it was a great example of the -- ahem -- culture of working for the state.

They missed the important steps of washing between fingers which few folks do
I received an email from the Dept. of Public Health telling me to order hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and facial tissue for the flu season. They even told me where to purchase it. I filled out the required purchase requisition and ordered enough for six months. I sent it to the Department Chief for signature. She sent it back telling me to cut the order down or find someplace cheaper to purchase the items. In the meantime, I get another email from her assistant telling me that as of the last Executive Order from Arnold we cannot purchase anything but to send the modified purchase requisition and she will hold it until we can purchase again. Then I find out from someone in the Dept's upper management that these supplies are exempt from the Exec. Order. I'm curious as to whether we'll get the supplies or not.

With flu season in full swing, we're curious, too.

... actually there are 2 memos coming out next week. The first will give the proper steps on how to brush your teeth nd or dentures and the second one pertains to the correct way to trim your toenails!

Then again ...

This is really something that is needed. I can't count the times I have witnessed people come out of the stalls and run their hand under the water and grab a handful of paper towels. You have to use soap and rub people. I have stopped shaking hands at meetings because of this. Wash your freaking hands.

Oct. 4 Sunday reading: Columbus Day; Meg Whitman talks more about job cuts

Former eBay CEO Whitman's comments prompted more dissing by State Worker blog commenters:

And so, as we look through and say, "What are the portions of this budget that we can attack," one that stands out in stark relief is the number of employees who work for the state.


- The only comment I'm going to make about the Whitman Q&A is the words she uses. She uses such offensive words such as "attack". (see above quote). There are so many words in the English language that can be used that aren't so blatantly negative. But, she's famous for using negative words.

She's using an old trite and worn-out play from the demagogue's playbook - demonize somebody and make people feel as though they are being attacked or cheated ...
Apparently, she does not want the State employee vote.

Oct. 6 Administration to SEIU: Knock off the Columbus Day talk

The Columbus Day controversy matter revved up SEIU Local 1000 critics. A sampling of their comments:

Apparently cognitive dissonance is not enough to keep DPA from arguing that SEIU members are bound by the no-strike clause (5.1) but the State is not compelled to honor holidays spelled out in the very same contract. Such a deal. Labor is constrained by a contract but management is not...it's the wet dream of every conservative free-marketeer the world over.
... As and (sic) IT professional, SEIU has NO business representing me.

SEIU is by all definitions, a janitors union. Nothing against janitors, but I did not spend my time and money in college to be represented by The Purple Shirt People.

SEIU are to blame. They should have known better than to trust the Govenor. SEIU is worthless. They should have stayed on the ball and followed this prior to it becoming law ...
The administration has absolutely no business advising SEIU. But the SEIU is putting its members at risk by advising them to stay home on Columbus Day - Their position assumes the matter has been legally decided... It hasn't, and the SEIU members should therefore follow the advice of the other unions and wait until the courts have actually settled the matter.


So far, almost everything SEIU has done on behalf of its members has been done on the cheap, and has been ineffective. The SEIU should be devoting less of its resources on ineffective advertising campaigns and lawn signs, and more of its resources on an effective legal team that can defeat the tax-payer financed legal team that Arnold has retained for his crusade of personal vengeance.

No doubt, it's been a tough year for Local 1000.

Oct. 6 Administration to SEIU: Knock off the Columbus Day talk

This comment was fairly indicative of the calls and e-mails we received from private sector employees to our coverage of the Columbus Day issue:

I worked my butt off for more than 20 years for a company that this year cut our pay by 20%, is forcing us to take a one week unpaid furlough every three months, and has cut back on medical benefits. If I didn't show up for work on Columbus Day out of protest, I would be fired, plain and simple. State workers, wake up. Be thankful you still have a job and work for the government. While I can't stand Schwarzenegger and can't wait until he's out of office, I would back him totally if he got rid of anyone who took a day off to protest cuts. What a bunch of whiners.

We sometimes hear from state workers who despair that no one has their backs. This comment encapsulates those calls and e-mails:

... The Union, The State, The Legislature all have a bunch of Egomaniacs in command. ...and do ya know where THAT has gotten us? Even all banded together we can't make a difference up against this Abomination ...

Then there are the those who saw the Columbus Day/Lincoln's Birthday matter as far from being settled and thought other unions' counsel was wiser than Local 1000's:

The administration has absolutely no business advising SEIU. But the SEIU is putting its members at risk by advising them to stay home on Columbus Day - Their position assumes the matter has been legally decided... It hasn't, and the SEIU members should therefore follow the advice of the other unions and wait until the courts have actually settled the matter.


So far, almost everything SEIU has done on behalf of its members has been done on the cheap, and has been ineffective. The SEIU should be devoting less of its resources on ineffective advertising campaigns and lawn signs, and more of its resources on an effective legal team that can defeat the tax-payer financed legal team that Arnold has retained for his crusade of personal vengeance.

In fairness, the controversy over changes to holiday and overtime policy weren't imposed by executive order; the Democrat-led Legislature passed a bill that included those changes, as we first reported here. And the the governor has said that he didn't relish ordering furloughs, either. Whether you believe him is a different matter, but we feel obligated to present his side.

Oct. 6 SEIU to DPA: Law and contract say Monday is a paid day off

Of course, there are plenty of Local 1000 supporters, such as this commenter:

Yvonne, you go, Girl!!! Your letter was terrific. It's about time Local 1000 showed some backbone. It's also about time they asked their members to join with them in a true show of solidarity. I hope there are some state workers out there who won't be intimidated by DPA/management into showing up for work on Monday.
Well, I don't know about the rest of you state workers, but I am calling in sick on Tuesday. So with Furlough Friday, the weekend, the Columbus day holiday & one day of sick pay I will get a week off. Now that's how you do it!

We'll see soon what happened on Columbus Day, since Wednesday was the deadline for departments to submit October payroll changes like AWOLs to the State Controller's Office.

Oct. 8 Schwarzenegger files response in furlough appeal case

Hey Jon, how bout a link to the governors filed defense so all can read it?

A subsequent update to this post included this link. We always appreciate gentle nudges from our army of informal but ever-vigilant online editors who let us know about everything from oversights such as this one to technical glitches on the Web site.

I wonder how much taxpayers money GAS is spending on this.

We've reported on the state's contracts with Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard a few times, including this August blog post with links to the contract. Last fiscal year the state's furlough fight bill ran about $228,000.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



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.

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.

Categories


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives