The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 15, 2010
State to issue layoff notices to janitors

101015 DGS logo.jpgThe state will soon issue layoff warnings to about 1,000 state custodians with the goal of eliminating about 450 jobs by the end of February, The State Worker has learned.

The layoffs have been prompted by the pending sale of 11 state buildings to California First LLC, a partnership that includes Texas-based Hines Interests and Antarctica Capital of New York.

Department of General Services spokesman Eric Lamoureux confirmed the plan to issue surplus notices by Nov. 1. The department will begin meeting with affected employees next week.

The new owner has "given indication they want to hire as many of our employees as possible," Lamoureux said. DGS will also help workers move to other government jobs. The affected employees are in Bargaining Unit 15 and are represented by SEIU Local 1000.

State layoff rules allow displaced employees who are more senior to "bump" those with less service time. So even though the state is eliminating the 450 positions and another 50 vacancies, it will issue double that many layoff notices to include workers who might be bumped.

The $2.3 billion sale hasn't closed yet, he said, but it probably will within the next few months, perhaps before the end of the four-month layoff notice period. Regardless, "no one will lose their job before the end of the 120-day notice period," Lamoureaux said.

The Bee learned of the layoff plan today, just eight days after Local 1000 and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed to a new three-year labor contract. The deal, which doesn't provide layoff protections, has been approved by the Legislature. Union members begin voting on Monday with a deadline of Nov. 8 to cast ballots.

Here are the 11 state-owned buildings that will be sold to California First LLC:

• Attorney General Building, Sacramento
• California Emergency Management Agency Building, Sacramento
• Capitol Area East End Complex, Sacramento
• Franchise Tax Board Complex, Sacramento
• Department of Justice Building, Sacramento
• San Francisco Civic Center, San Francisco
• Elihu M. Harris Building, Oakland
• Public Utilities Commission Building, San Francisco
• Judge Joseph A. Rattigan Building, Santa Rosa
• Ronald Reagan State Building, Los Angeles
• Junipero Serra State Building, Los Angeles

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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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