The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 4, 2010
Column extra: The memo, the numbers, a quote

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 lays out why the Division of the State Architect is going to a "self-directed" furlough program for architects who review school construction plans. One thing we didn't mention in the column: The division also stopped alternative work schedules for affected employees while it presses to reduce "bin times."

If you haven't already, read the column by clicking here and then check out these links for more info:

The State Worker spoke to Bruce Blanning, executive director of Professional Engineers in California Government, which represents the 200 or so architects switching to self-directed furloughs at DSA. We asked him what he thought of the policy: "It's a pay cut," he said.

"The governor may be able to tell people to stay home and not be paid -- that's what's in the courts right now," Blanning said during a brief Wednesday afternoon telephone interview. "But the governor doesn't have the authority to tell people to come to work and not be paid."

As we mentioned in the column, the Schwarzenegger administration says self-directed furloughs are legal and necessary for the state to conduct its business. An Alameda judge ruled the the policy is illegal for state prison officers. Schwarzenegger is appealing (although CCPOA contends the that appeal is flawed). Read more about the CCPOA lawsuit 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


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