The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 9, 2010
State Compensation Insurance Fund consolidating operations

The quasi-public State Compensation Insurance Fund is closing its downtown San Francisco home office, shuttering field offices and shuffling employees to consolidate operations, aiming to save an estimated $200 million over three years.

The plan will go into motion in September 2011. It's not yet clear what the plan means for Sacramento. Some insurance adjuster jobs here will move to offices in Redding or Stockton, fund spokeswoman Jennifer Vargen said this morning. But other jobs now outside of the capital region will move, since the fund is consolidating its underwriting services here.

Vargen said the fund hasn't yet analyzed the net impact on Sacramento.

Fund officials started visiting employees around the state on Wednesday to explain the plan, which will go in motion next fall. It likely means some of its 8,000 employees will leave rather than move, despite assurances from its leadership that anyone willing to switch locations can keep their job.

"The nearest office to where I work is a three-hour drive away -- in Bakersfield," said one employee in State Fund's Oxnard office who didn't want to be identified complaining about her employer. She hopes to find work in the private sector.

State Fund operates as a state alternative to private worker compensation insurance companies. Although it is a government-created agency, it operates solely on client premiums, and the returns it generates from investments and competes in the insurance provider market. Its employees are considered state workers.

The fund is going to leave its 16-story home office at 1275 Market St. in San Francisco. Most of the 800 or so employees who work there will have a chance to relocate to State Fund locations in Vacaville or Pleasanton. Vargen said that California law requires State Fund keep a presence in San Francisco, so executives along with some finance and legal staff will move to another location in the city.

Claims services will consolidate to Redding, Stockton, Pleasanton, Fresno, Riverside and Bakersfield. The fund will keep satellite offices in Eureka, Bakersfield and Monterrey Park.

Closing: Glendale, Oxnard, Burbank, City of Commerce, San Bernardino, San Diego and San Francisco.

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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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