The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 19, 2010
CCPOA calls administration's Corrections furlough 'hypocrisy'

CCPOA Executive Vice President Chuck Alexander blasted Corrections Secretary Matthew Cate and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for arguing that correctional officers are too important to the prison system to end their "self-directed" furloughs but not important enough to exempt from the controversial policy.

In a letter to Cate on Friday that you can read by clicking this link, Alexander referred to arguments from Schwarzenegger's recent petition to the 1st District Court of Appeal to keep Controller John Chiang from restoring correctional officers to full pay this month.

One could reasonably deduce from the State's position in this petition, that Unit 6 correctional peace officers are critical to "the preservation of human life and safety." However, in the same brief, the State vigorously defends the continuation of furloughing these same peace officers in "self-directed" fashion, yet continues to argue that furloughs during the pay period they were earned would somehow jeopardize public safety.

As we noted in this post, the governor's attorneys filed a writ of supercedeas last week that included a deposition by CDCR Deputy Director Scott Kernan that lays out a catastrophic scenario if the state gives all correctional officers their furlough time off during each pay cycle instead of deferring it as self-directed furloughs allow.

Is Alexander right? If prison officers are so vital to public safety that furloughing them like, say, DMV employees, would disrupt the prison system and create a public and prison safety hazard, should they be exempt from the policy altogether?

Take our poll to register your opinion. And, as always, we welcome your comments.

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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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