The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 21, 2010
Column extra: Read the unions' letter to Steinberg and Bass

With just 400 to 450 words for our Thursday State Worker column, much of what we learn in the ramp up to writing it never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes and the observations that don't make the cut.

Today's column looks at union efforts to move legislation that would make state employee wages a continuous budget appropriation. This post has more about the issue and links you to the stalled legislation, AB 1125. As we explain in the column, the bill has virtually no chance of becoming law, but the unions want it put to a vote anyway.

The column quotes from a joint letter by state labor executives to Sen. Darrell Steinberg and Assemblywoman Karen Bass that underscores their worries that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger might order wages temporarily withheld to the federal minimum this summer.

In the absence of an on-time budget, the state doesn't have authority to issue payroll above the federally mandated minimum, so if the budget talks lock up like they did two years ago, state worker pay could be withheld to $7.25 per hour until a budget is passed. Then the state would restore wages and issue back pay.

You can read the coalition's letter by clicking here.

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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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