The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 3, 2010
CalPERS to Chiang: No furloughs for us, thanks

The state's multifaceted furlough civil war took a new twist today as CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll sent a letter to Controller John Chiang asking that he "continue to transfer funds from our accounts sufficient to fully compensate our employees, notwithstanding the governor's illegal furlough order."

The letter which you can read here, says that furloughing CalPERS employees doesn't help the general fund, that an Alameda judge ruled that furloughs are "capricious and unlawful," and that Chiang has the authority to "exercise your independent judgment on the matter."

Stausboll also says that the "new furlough will continue to interfere with our ability to carry out our constitutional duties of prudently administering the retirement system and delivering the promised benefits to our members and their beneficiaries."

Worth noting:
The Stausboll letter doesn't mention that CalPERS sued Schwarzenegger over his furlough order and lost. You can read more about that case here.

We've left a message with Chiang's office seeking comment about the letter. Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Rachel Arrezola sent this e-mail comment in response to the letter:

"The state controller has said he will have to begin issuing IOUs without a budget in place, so the governor was forced to implement this short-term furlough program to preserve cash. The furlough program must be applied with only the very narrow exemptions to achieve maximum savings, feasibility and equity. The governor's authority to furlough state workers is clear and has been upheld in the courts, including the San Francisco Superior Court decision upholding CalPERS furloughs."

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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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