The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 28, 2011
A.M. Reading: Capital jobs; contract vote; Wisc. sticker protest

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Sacramento area ranks worst in job losses
The latest employment numbers weren't pretty Wednesday. They rarely are in Sacramento these days. ... The numbers show how the region's construction and government sectors have struggled under the weight of the housing crisis and the state's ongoing budgetary woes.

The State Worker: Timing of legislative vote on labor pacts is iffy
Some quick takes from the week gone by.

Democrats threaten to target cuts in GOP legislators' districts
With no agreement in sight on how to close the state's remaining $15.4 billion deficit, some Democrats are discussing targeting GOP districts with steeper cuts if legislative Republicans will not vote for a solution that includes taxes.

Travel Ban For State Workers Could Affect Valley's Economy
Governor Jerry Brown's travel ban for state workers could affect the valley's economy.

CalPERS invests funds with 3 smaller firms
CalPERS on Wednesday committed $400 million to three small investment firms.

Travel Ban For State Workers Could Affect Valley's Economy
Governor Jerry Brown's travel ban for state workers could affect the valley's economy.

Brown's Shrinking Universe
The office of Governor Jerry Brown should be focused on finding a path to big, structural changes that restore democracy, accountability, and honest budgeting to California. Instead, the governor's office decided it was going to spend its time micromanaging requests by state workers for out-of-state travel.

Grocers prepare for anti-Walker stickering
The Wisconsin Grocers Association has alerted members to an anti-Walker product sticker campaign planned for May 1. Opponents of Gov. Scott Walker for months have been urging people to boycott companies linked to donations to Walker's campaign. Now there is an effort under way to expand the boycott nationally to encourage people to go into stores and place stickers on products. Among products targeted for stickers are Johnsonville brats, AngelSoft toilet paper, Sargento cheese and Coors beer. ... The identity of the backers of the sticker effort is unknown, although many assume it is being orchestrated by public employee unions.

Merit commission must follow records law
The Oklahoma Merit Protection Commission hears appeals from state workers who have been disciplined on the job. Under both the state's Open Records Act and the commission's own policies, records of closed cases - those in which the commission has issued its final orders - are open to public review.

Op-ed: Hubbard: Newspaper wrong on Legislature's treatment of state workers
On Tuesday, The Opelika-Auburn News published an editorial ("State employees feel wrath of Legislature") claiming the Alabama Legislature is targeting state employees and educators with a "double-barrel shotgun" in the 2011 Regular Session. Overlooking the careless confusion of facts and outright inaccuracies, I take issue with the overall theme that lawmakers, specifically Republicans, are treating government employees unfairly.

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy May Send Out Layoff Notices Next Week
HARTFORD, CT (AP / CBSNewYork) - The Malloy administration is looking into which state employees could soon receive layoff notices, preparing for the possibility that an agreement over labor savings can't be reached with Connecticut state employee unions, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday.

Editorial: Change pensions for current state workers
Illinois is dead last. Again. A new report out this week says Illinois is in last place among states when it comes to putting away enough money for benefits promised to its employees in retirement.

Ohio governor says Obama should focus on nation's debt, not collective bargaining restrictions
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio's governor says President Barack Obama should focus on tackling the nation's debt and balancing the budget before he weighs in on collective bargaining restrictions in states.

Oregon to invest $100 million in Brazil
Today, the Oregon Investment Council authorized the state's first major investment in Brazil, committing $100 million from the Oregon Public Employee Retirement Fund (OPERF) to help finance real estate construction and acquisitions in the fast-growing South America country.

State plan assets plunge 24% in FY2009, says Census Bureau
State retirement systems lost a combined $641.3 billion in fiscal 2009, with a total of $2 trillion in assets as of June 30, 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Mass. Gov.: `Dial down rhetoric' on union fight
BOSTON--Gov. Deval Patrick urged both sides to "dial down the rhetoric" in an increasingly bitter debate over whether to sharply limit the collective bargaining power of public employees over their health insurance benefits.

Employee salary increases not meeting guidelines of study
Legislators put a state agency in charge of implementing new salary ranges for state employees without extra funding and ignored key advice from the hired consultants.
The Legislature signed a nearly $300,000 contact with the Hay Group, which found average state employees' salaries to be about 7 percent behind the regional and state market and benefits about 6 percent ahead of the market.

Unions irate over Mass. House vote to limit health care bargaining
BOSTON -- Hundreds of police and firefighters from across the state swarmed around the entrance to the House Chamber at the Statehouse today, cheering lawmakers who opposed a budget amendment that would strip municipal unions of bargaining rights over health care, and complaining to those who backed the measure.

SC lawmakers reject health insurance rate increase
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina senators have refused to go along with a proposal to raise state worker's health insurance premiums.

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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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