The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 14, 2011
A.M. Reading: Calif. tech snafu; GOP scare tactics; Wis. protests

State worker news in our morning roundup includes a Bee editorial that asks whether the California judicial branch should scrap its big IT project ... A CalSTRS lawyer calls out the GOP in Congress for scare tactics ... Wisconsin state workers protest a plan to end collective bargaining, prompting the guv there to talk about calling in the National Guard.

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifEditorial: Yet another state snafu that doesn't compute
Has another state information technology project gone badly wrong? Will it have to be scrapped? That's the obvious question raised by a scathing audit released last week that slams the Administrative Office of the Courts' handling of a $2 billion, seven-year-long statewide court computer system project.

Republicans Beat Unions With Pension 'Fright,' Fund Lawyer Says
Congressional Republicans are using scare tactics to push a bill blocking bailouts of state pensions as a way to undermine government unions, said John Stanton, a lawyer for the California State Teachers' Retirement System. "They are peddling fright about the supposed imminent insolvency of public pension plans," Stanton said yesterday at a meeting of the second-largest U.S. public pension fund's board. "It really is an attack on the public-employee unions." (Hat tip to Blog User J for flagging this story.)

States Aim Ax at Health Cost of Retirement
Governors and mayors facing large deficits have set their sights on a relatively new target -- the soaring expense of health benefits for millions of retired state and local workers.

Cell-phone outrage
State employee contracts should not be a barrier to keeping smuggled cell phones out of dangerous inmates' hands. The Legislature should impose criminal penalties for sneaking the devices into prisons, certainly. But the administration also needs to kill a provision in the prison guards' contract that actually assists this contraband trade.

Del Mar officials and Fair Board joust over fairgrounds
Both want control over the facility. Then-Gov. Schwarzenegger had listed it for sale, but Gov. Brown is not so sure.

Swept out the door?
Custodians, printers, procurement officials and computer help-desk technicians are some of the state employees who would lose their jobs under Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's proposed budget.

Taxpayers have right to know data on benefits
Early last week, the Statesman Journal noted that the newspaper has gone to court to fight for the release of benefits information for retirees in the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System. A couple of days later, the newspaper ran a story about the unauthorized release of payroll data from the Oregon Department of Corrections in a security breach that affected about 550 retirees. At least one reader found some hypocrisy in presenting the security breach as a bad thing while at the same time trying to get information on how much money individual retirees receive from PERS.

Protests held by state workers over Walker budget
State employees held protests yesterday at the Wisconsin Capitol, the Governor's Mansion, and the home of Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald in Horicon. They railed against Governor Scott Walker's budget proposal to virtually do away with collective bargaining rights by Wisconsin's public employee unions.

Wisconsin Gov May Call in Guard to Quell State Workers
Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond wherever is necessary in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights from state employees.

Arizona to defend benefit cuts for gay partners
Arizona is back in court today, this time to defend the Legislature's decision to deny health benefits to the gay partners of state employees.

Audit: Program meant to cut red tape for state workers flunked its goals
A highly touted program meant to cut red tape for Iowa state employees so that they could achieve better results failed to live up to its goals, a new audit shows.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives