The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 15, 2009
SEIU releases list of offices impacted by Columbus Day actions

SEIU Local 1000 put out a list of DMV operations it said were affected by short staffing on Columbus Day Click here to view it.

DMV says the list overstates what happened on Columbus Day.

Less than 8 percent of DMV's 9000 employees "followed the union," department spokesman Mike Marando told The State Worker. (Worth noting: About 5,000 DMV employees are SEIU-covered).

He said that of the 45 listed by the union as opening late, "only two delayed opening for one to two hours." Those were offices in Los Angeles and Compton.

Four other operations shut down for the day: field offices in Barstow, Gilroy and Watsonville and a call center in Lincoln Park. Union action impact at call centers statewide accounted for a 4.6 percent absenteeism rate, Marando said.

Five of the greater Sacramento area's nine field office registered 100 percent attendance, Marando said.

We wonder what happened the next day. If some folks where you work took the holiday and others didn't, what was the atmosphere on Tuesday? Was it tense, or did people have a "live and let live" attitude?

The impact statewide won't be known for several more days, when departments report payroll changes to the SCO. But do you think SEIU's action was a win for the union? A win for the state? A loss for both sides? A draw? A win or a loss for the public?

And thinking a bit further out, let's assume there's no change to the contract situation by February and Lincoln's Birthday. Will Local 1000 take the same position? If so, how will state workers respond?

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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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