The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 30, 2010
Jack O'Connell: 'I maintain my opposition to furloughs'

100730 O'Connell 2009 Jose Luis Villegas.JPGWe've been calling the state constitutional officers to see if any plan to furlough their employees next month in keeping with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's new executive order. All have refused earlier furlough orders, citing what they believe is their constitutional independence to control their own employees.

In response to our query, Department of Education information officer Tina Jung sent over a recent e-mail to all staff from Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction:

From: Jack O'Connell
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 4:52 PM
Subject: Furlough Update 7/28/10

As you may be aware, the Governor issued an executive order today to place represented employees for most state government agencies on a 3-day-per-month furlough and a DPA-adopted plan to implement a furlough or salary reduction for all non-represented employees (including supervisors, managers, exempts) starting August 1, 2010 and continuing until a budget is approved. We are reviewing the executive order for implications for CDE, but the language appears to be similar to the previous furlough executive orders. Be assured that I maintain my opposition to furloughs for our hardworking staff.

I know we all remain aware of and concerned about the serious state budget crisis. To that end, I want to stress that we continue our vigilance in cutting costs and conserving funds wherever we can. We have, in fact, taken a cut equivalent to 24 furlough days to date and continue to remind the Governor and Legislature of this at every turn.

In the meantime, negotiations continue between the Governor and the unions that represent state employees. A final budget agreement negotiated by the Governor and the Legislature could still include furloughs or salary reductions for all state employees, including those who work at the CDE. I will continue to keep you apprised of any developments that could affect your work schedule or your compensation.

Thank you, as always for your professionalism and dedication during these very challenging times.

IMAGE: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell addresses students at a Save Me A Place in College event on the south steps of the California State Capitol. July 29, 2009 / José Luis Villegas, Sacramento Bee

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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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