The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 31, 2011
LAO: Union contracts ramp up pressure for layoffs, hiring freeze

Contracts recently negotiated by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration don't come close to saving the state enough money, placing "greater pressure on the administration to achieve employee compensation savings through other administrative actions, such as hiring freezes, furlough programs, and layoffs," an internal state memo says.

The memo sent Wednesday from the Legislative Analyst's Office to the Senate Republican Budget Committee, embedded below, estimates that the contracts will produce only about one-third of the $308 million in general fund savings that Brown proposes in his budget.

Steve Maviglio, spokesman for the union coalition Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security, sent The State Worker an e-mail with this take: "This memo is another strong dose of pension reality. For all the alarmist political attacks on public employees, this shows that they are making significant concessions to get us through this economic crisis."

The LAO, which not long ago suggested that lawmakers impose pay cuts to save money, bases its MOU cost estimate on a review of the ratified or tentative memoranda of understanding reached with 19 of the state's 21 bargaining units. As of Wednesday, the LAO hadn't received the details of deals reached with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association or the International Union of Operating Engineers (Unit 13).

Will Republicans hold up a legislative vote on the tentative MOUs? It's happened before.
Legislative Analyst's Office memo regarding state labor contracts, Mar. 30, 2011

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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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