The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 15, 2010
Bills change employee compensation, but DPA can't yet say how

legislation.jpgA week after lawmakers passed bills making sweeping changes to state employee pay and benefits, state officials still don't know exactly what the new legislation means.

Here's why: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger left the country after signing the main budget bill (which authorized him to continue furloughs for employees in unions without contracts), but he didn't sign the trailer bills containing employee compensation particulars, such as changes to pensions.

Apparently, those measures weren't rushed through the vetting and proofing process for his signature.

But the bureaucracy, like nature, abhors a vacuum. So in the absence of clear information from the administration, at least one well-intentioned department sent out some incorrect info to its employees about what the budget's passage means to its employees.

After we reported the confusion in our weekly State Worker column and posted the erroneous department memo and a subsequent retraction, the Department of Personnel Administration issued this e-mail Thursday afternoon:

From: Debbie Endsley
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 4:03 PM
To: LIST-AgencySec-Cabinet; LIST-UnderSecretaries; LIST-Directors; LIST-EmployeeRelationsOfficers; LIST-PersonnelOfficers; LIST-ConstitutionalOfficers
Subject: Employee Compensation and the Budget

I want to assure you that DPA will get details out soon on the upcoming employee compensation changes. However, we cannot formally release the information until early next week, when we expect the bills implementing these changes to reach the Governor's desk. Once that legislation is signed, we'll immediately issue the personnel memos.

The budget trailer bills will authorize changes in pensions for all new employees by rolling back pension formulas and basing final compensation on average salary over 36 months. Separate legislation is on its way to the Governor's desk to ratify the recent SEIU agreement. The union ratification is underway.

The FY 2010-11 State Budget passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor last Friday assumes employee compensation savings from the bargaining agreements reached to date, and continuation of the current furlough program for bargaining units that did not negotiate alternative savings. The memos we issue next week will also address these impacts.

Thanks for your patience.

Debbie Endsley
Director
Department of Personnel Administration

IMAGE: www.freeclipart.com

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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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