The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 8, 2010
SEIU Local 1000: Take threat of minimum wage 'very seriously'

Yvonne_Walker_small.jpgSeiu Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker has posted a letter on the union's website warning the 95,000 state workers the organization represents to brace themselves for a drastically smaller July paycheck.

In the event a state budget is not in place by June 30, the California Superior Court has granted the governor the authority to impose federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The pay reduction, if ordered by the governor, would be reflected in the Aug. 1 paycheck for most state employees.

... It is important that all workers represented by Local 1000 take the possibility of minimum wage very seriously.

... I encourage you to take steps to protect yourself and your family from this potential fiscal abuse by the governor.

If the Department of Personnel Administration issues letters to withhold state worker pay to the federal minimum and Controller John Chiang complies, the temporary reductions would impact 241,000 state workers and another 73,000 California State University employees. The law allows for that when lawmakers fail to pass a budget on time that includes an appropriation for employee payroll, as we explained in this post.

The x factor in all of this is the scheduled June 21 Gilb v. Chiang hearing before the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento. Will the court overturn Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley's decision that the controller has to comply and issue checks withheld to the minimum wage? Will the appellate court issue a ruling in time to affect July payroll? Could the court's decision come quickly enough to affect budget talks now threatening to run past the June 30 end of the fiscal year?

Click here to read Walker's letter to members.

PHOTO: Yvonne Walker / Sacramento Bee file photo

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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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