Editor's note, 1 p.m.: This post has been edited to clarify that the unions are continuing to fight furloughs in court.
Six state employee groups that had renewed their furlough court fight last month have decided to drop the preliminary injunction that sought to stop furloughs, although they are continuing the litigation against the policy itself.
California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment this morning told their members of the coordinated decision to withdraw a motion for preliminary injunction in Alameda Superior Court. The lawsuit sought to stop furloughs for state workers in unions without contracts that had been ordered by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last summer.
As we reported earlier this month, the renewed lawsuit had named Gov. Jerry Brown as defendant, since he took over after Schwarzenegger was termed out.
"In light of the fact that all of the bargaining units have now secured tentative agreements, and in light of the administration's decision to end furloughs on April 1, 2011 for all units regardless of whether the MOUs have been ratified by that date, the plaintiffs determined that there would be nothing to enjoin on April 8, 2011," said the letter from the CASE board of directors.
Officials with CASE, Professional Engineers in California Government, California Correctional Peace Officers Association, California Association of Professional Scientists, International Union of Operating Engineers and Association of California State Supervisors all agreed to drop the lawsuit, according to the CASE memo.
That settles the fight over stopping the last furlough order, but the battle over the furlough policy will continue, the CASE board said:
"This action in no way affects or limits our ability to seek damages/back pay for members of Bargaining Unit 2 who were furloughed. The trial on the merits of our challenge to furloughs remains on calendar, and is presently set to begin this July. We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of all pending litigation as events develop."