Attorneys for eight state employee organizations have filed a response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's request that the state Supreme Court allow him to furlough state workers while it reviews an appellate court decision that kept him from restarting the policy last Friday.
The employee groups' answer, a 26-page letter hand-delivered to the court's San Francisco offices, argues a review isn't warranted.
Schwarzenegger's attorneys last week asked the First District Court of Appeal for permission to restart furloughs, despite a trial court decision that stopped the policy pending a full hearing on Sept. 13. The appellate court denied the request.
The governor took up the matter with the state Supreme Court last week, calling the policy "one of the aggressive cash management measures" needed to "preserve vital cash assets." The appellate court got it wrong, his lawyers contended, and they also attacked the trial court's ruling:
The employee groups, which are parties in nine furlough lawsuits that have been consolidated for that September hearing in Alameda Superior Court, fired back today. They argued that the governor's review request doesn't raise any new issues that merit consideration and that the appellate court correctly decided against Schwarzenegger.
Click here for that document.
The employee associations and unions involved in the litigation include Professional Engineers in California Government; California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment; SEIU Local 1000; the Association of California State Supervisors; the California Correctional Supervisors Organization; the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association; the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 39 and the California Correctional Peace Officers' Association.
If the high court agrees with the governor, more than 144,000 state workers would be back on Furlough Fridays, possibly this week. Otherwise, furloughs are on ice until at least next month when more court action is scheduled. A new budget deal between now and then also could affect state employees' work schedules.
Everyone we've spoken with today expects the court to rule soon. Stay tuned.