The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 19, 2011
A.M. Reading: Pension returns up; Ore. inching toward labor deals; Ind. issues bonuses

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifCalPERS, CalSTRS report big gains in investment returns
California's two statewide retirement systems earned a combined $66 billion on their investments in the past year - but still can't shake criticism that public pensions are a black hole for taxpayers. CalPERS and CalSTRS on Monday reported 20 percent-plus investment returns for the fiscal year that ended June 30. Both funds said it was their best performance in more than a decade. (Sacramento Bee)

CalSTRS wants (no) change in anti-spiking bill
Two amendments pushed by the CalSTRS board would remove most current teachers from coverage by a bill aimed at curbing spiking, the manipulation of final pay or service credits to boost pensions. (Calpensions)

Prisoners' hunger strike in its third week
Reporting from Sacramento-- More than 400 inmates at four California prisons are in the third week of a hunger strike to protest long, punitive stays in isolation cells. (Los Angeles Times)

Needs collide in pact offer
ALBANY -- Union leaders will have to bridge a generation gap in the coming weeks as they work to sell tentative contract agreements with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.(Albany Times Union)

State Workers to Vote Again on Concessions Package
The battle over Connecticut's budget crisis took another turn Monday when leaders of state employee unions arranged for a second vote on a $1.6 billion concessions package, according to multiple media outlets. (The Daily Norwalk)

Daily Caller: Ohio State Workers Advise Men Posing as Rich Russian Drug Smugglers to Lie on their Medicaid Applications
James O'Keefe, the controversial guerilla journalist, has struck again, this time catching on camera several Ohio Medicaid officials advising a pair posing as wealthy Russian drug smugglers to lie on their Medicaid applications so as to gain government benefits. From the report in the Daily Caller: (Forbes)

Some progress in contract talks
Labor negotiators expected to work late into the night Monday, trying to hammer out a deal between Oregon state government and the top two state workers' unions. Both the state and the two unions, AFSCME Council 75 and SEIU Local 503, showed some give on key issues involving health insurance and pay raises during hours of back-and-forth bargaining Monday. (Statesman Journal)

Raises, at last, for N.Y. judges
The purpose of Wednesday's hearing in Albany by the state Judicial Compensation Commission couldn't be more urgent. Depriving the state's judges of a pay raise for 12 years has put New York close to the point where justice could become ill-served, even denied. It's past time to fix that. (Albany Times Union)

Indiana State Employees Get Bonus for Losing Collective Bargaining Rights
Having adopted a state budget with more than a billion-dollar surplus, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has decided to throw a bone to government employees who lost their collective bargaining rights years ago. (

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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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