The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 22, 2010
UPDATE: CCPOA files appellate brief in 'self-directed' furlough case

Editor's update, 8 p.m.: This post now includes a Scribd download of the CCPOA brief filed with the 1st District Court of Appeal.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association filed a 42-page brief on Friday, arguing that the California Supreme Court's furlough ruling last month didn't wipe out an Alameda judge's earlier ruling that "self-directed" furloughs are illegal.

"The governor says that the (Supreme Court's) ruling is a big blanket that you can throw over all furloughs," said Gregg Adam, one of the attorneys with San Francisco law firm Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, which represents CCPOA. "Obviously, we disagree."

Self-directed furloughs deduct an employee's pay at the furlough rate of roughly 15 percent per month, but the time off is deferred. The 32,000 or so correctional officers represented by CCPOA continue to work under self-directed furloughs. They're among the roughly 63,000 state workers represented by unions without current labor pacts.

Alameda Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled that self-directed furloughs are illegal. Schwarzenegger appealed the ruling to San Francisco's 1st District Court, where it was on hold until the state Supreme Court ruled on furloughs last month.

The appellate court then asked the governor and the prison officers' union to update their arguments in light of the high court's decision. Schwarzenegger opened with a Nov. 9 filing (click here to read more about it).

CCPOA's response includes these arguments:

  • The budget acts violate the "single subject rule" that requires legislation restricted to one subject at a time.
  • Furloughs are an hourly wage reduction that the Legislature didn't ratify or delegate to the governor.
  • Self-directed furloughs weren't OK'd by the Legislature because the policy violates various labor and wage laws.

The administration has until Nov. 30 to reply to CCPOA's filing. What happens after that isn't clear. The court hasn't scheduled a hearing yet.

It's possible that the 1st District Court justices have already written a decision, Adam said in a telephone interview with The State Worker, "but we're throwing a lot of stuff at them ... I hope we get our day in court."

View the CCPOA brief below:

CCPOA Supplemental Brief, 1 DCA

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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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