The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 31, 2011
Poll: What do state workers expect?

Note: This poll first posted on Thursday. A few blog users have suggested that we post it again with a current date to keep it on The State Worker home page so that it's easy to see the results after a few days.

We thought it was a good idea, since the home page holds just 10 posts at one time and items usually drop off after two or three days. We'll consider doing the same thing for future polling posts.

During a lunch conversation today with two state employees, an interesting question arose: Are state workers in the midst of a downward shift in what they expect from government as their employer?

There's no doubt that California's government and union leaders are tamping down expectations. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal for next year makes deep and permanent cuts to programs and, you would assume, government jobs.

Then there's Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat with a high concentration of state workers in his district, who has committed to making the $12.5 billion in cuts in Brown's budget plan.

And don't forget unions that have bargained contracts that included concessions in pay and pensions that were unthinkable a few years ago.

That's all talk from the political mountain top, but we're hearing the same sort of thing from state workers at ground level, too. More and more, it seems, your humble blogger fields calls and e-mails that include phrases like, "I know I'm fortunate to have a job," or "I'm just glad I'm still working."

What do you think?

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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


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