The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 22, 2009
Is the governor's OK for holiday time off hypocritical?

We've been meaning to note that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved 4 hours of informal time off for state workers, just as he and other governors have done for years during the holiday season. The Department of Personnel Administration issued this PML on Dec. 7. Some departments have just recently sent official word to their employees.

And here's an e-mail sent to The State Worker by SEIU activist Mike Bonner, who works at the Department of Community Services and Development. We publish it here, unedited, with his permission. Bonner is speaking for himself, not for his employer or for the union:

Well this year he didn't make us wait until the last minute. Despite all the protests from the Governor and his spokes-people over the last year, and contrary to his efforts to eliminate 2 state worker holidays (since we already have too much time off!!!), the Governor has once again granted the completely discretionary 4 hours of time off to use either for ½ day on Christmas Eve or ½ day on New Year's eve, and most department directors will grant an additional 4 hours of time off to make it a full day.

If the real reason the Governor wants to take our 2 holidays away from us is that we have too many paid holidays, why does he continually grant us the additional discretionary holiday hours year after year? It's all about control, Jon, when the Governor isn't in control (i.e. when there's an existing contract he didn't negotiate for example) then he's all about taking things away, when it's something in his power, then it's a different story and he doesn't have a problem "giving" us extra time. What a hypocrite! (Not that I don't appreciate the extra time, btw!)

Have a good one!

Mike Bonner, Steward
SEIU Local 1000, DLC 784

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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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