The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 10, 2009
Column extra: Whitman on labor contract negotiations

We're snowed under today with e-mails and phone calls about our column about state worker pensions in today's Bee. The responses are all over the board.

Some readers are criticizing the column for failing to spell out all of the nuances of employee pension formulas. Those folks think we didn't write enough.

Others think our aim in writing about the topic is to foment state worker hatred in the private sector. For them, we wrote too much.

A few people said they liked the column, but for different reasons. Some felt it outed unreasonably rich state worker pension benefits. A couple of others were pleased that it highlighted the fact that state worker benefits aren't all the same.

The column springs from comments Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman made last week. We wrote about them here and posted a brief audio clip from a longer recording by Capitol Bureau colleague Jack Chang.

State Worker blog users, some who support Whitman and some who don't, have asked if we could make the entire 40-minute file available. Unfortunately, our blog software's uploading capacity won't allow that. But here's another clip that captures more of what Whitman said when asked about the impact of labor unions on government. This time she talks about how she would handle contract talks, especially during this recession cycle.

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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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