The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

March 9, 2011
Engineers' union takes labor savings ideas to Legislature

Professional Engineers in California Government has fired off a letter to legislative leaders arguing that ending furloughs for its members and cutting back on outsourcing would save the state more money than the 10 percent employee payroll reduction that Gov. Jerry Brown wants unions to accept.

This letter to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez from union President Matt Hanson says that PECG negotiators presented its idea to Brown's Department of Personnel Administration on Mar. 2.

PECG estimates its proposal would save $336 million, or about $80 million more than DPA's savings target. Apparently the plan went nowhere with DPA, hence Hanson's letter, which concludes:

"In finalizing the State Budget for the upcoming fiscal year, PECG encourages the Legislature, as well as DPA and the Brown Administration, to include this proposal to achieve savings beyond its goals and to eliminate furloughs for Special Fund employees in engineering and related classifications."

The union attached a breakdown of the math behind PECG's proposal. Click here to view it.

DPA spokesman David Gay declined to comment, since the administration is in talks with PECG and doesn't talk about ongoing labor negotiations.

The union is one of six state employee labor groups working under the terms of expired contracts. Brown wants to negotiate $308 million in 2011-12 payroll reductions with those unions, which represent about 63,000 state workers. PECG covers about 11,000 employees.

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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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