The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 24, 2011
Attorneys' union says furloughs still an option for lawmakers

As we worked on the mountain of e-mail in our inbox this morning, we ran across several forwarded items carrying the subject line, "Additional Information," from the board of the California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment.

Apparently, the union's leadership had heard that members might reject the recent tentative agreement reached with Gov. Jerry Brown, since furloughs will end before the deal is ratified by members and the Legislature.

With so many other state employee unions facing similar issues, dates and deadlines, we thought the CASE response was worth sharing:

For the first time in years, CASE is dealing with an administration that is bargaining in good faith. Part of the tentative agreement negotiated by CASE was the condition that furloughs would end on April 1, 2011. The fact that the Brown Administration has agreed to honor that provision and to stop furloughs while the ratification process is pending should not be mistaken for an opportunity to exploit the temporary cessation of furloughs by rejecting the MOU on the false assumption that once furloughs stop on April 1, 2011, that they will never resume.

The 2011-12 budget bill has language that deputizes Brown to enact furloughs on behalf of the Legislature, the memo notes. So, while Brown may not be firing at state workers who don't yet have ratified contracts, there are furlough bullets in the chamber.

Click here to read the entire CASE e-mail.

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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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