The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 2, 2010
Poll: Protests vs. lawsuits vs. grievances

In the fight against furloughs, which is the most effective for the unions: lawsuits, grievances or protests?

The question is prompted by an e-mail to The State Worker from the 7,000-member California Association of Psychiatric Technicians , announcing a furlough protest at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk on Wednesday. Click here to read the release.

CAPT and SEIU Local 1000 have been among the most visible unions when it comes to such protests. They've also been fighting the policy in the courts, along with ten other unions, employee groups and professional associations. CAPT has a hearing set for Mar. 19 in Sacramento Superior Court. Click here for more about that.

(If you want to see the status of 27 furlough lawsuits The State Worker is tracking, click this link for our Furlough Fights spreadsheet.)

Then there's the Public Employees' Relations Board. The International Union of Operating Engineers gave that a shot and lost the opening round, but it can appeal.

What about a strike? Well, Local 1000 raised the possibility last summer when voting members authorized union leaders to call a walk out, but it's clear that's an option that has fizzled.

This is a battle that is far from over. But which union tactic currently in play is the most effective for fighting furloughs? Take our poll and leave 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


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