The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 19, 2011
A.M. Reading: Speedo controversy; UC says no to Chiang; pension changes stalled?

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifLifeguard, 61, sues state for firing him after he refused to wear Speedo
Roy Lester is out to prove that no man above the age of 50 has any business wearing a skimpy, form-hugging Speedo. In 2007, Lester was forced out of the Jones Beach lifeguard job he had held for four decades when he was told he had to squeeze into a Speedo for the annual swim test. (New York Daily News)

State attorney general declines to investigate identity theft ads
The state attorney general has declined a request that it investigate a labor-backed coalition running radio ads claiming that signing initiative petitions increases risk of identity theft. (Sacramento Bee)

UC opts out of controller's public pay database
Hundreds of government agencies across the state, from the Vista Irrigation District to the Governor's Office, have provided state Controller John Chiang with detailed salary and benefit information on public employees. Not the University of California. (

Pension reform stalled?
Five months after Gov. Jerry Brown released a detailed plan about reforming public pensions, there has been a lot of talk, but very little action on the issue at the Capitol. (News10_

State Workers Have Their Deal, Now They Have An Image To Mend
The good news is that there's finally an agreement to prevent layoffs and balance the state budget. But for public employee unions, the troubles might have only just begun. (Hartford Courant)

At the end of the day, state workers couldn't stomach the layoffs
With student and car loans to pay off, the last thing 24-year-old Joseph Ambrogio needed was to lose his new job at the state Department of Social Services' Stamford offices. Ambrogio was among the thousands of potentially laid-off state workers celebrating Thursday's news that Connecticut's state public employee unions had passed a $1.6 billion concessions deal intended to preserve as many as 6,500 jobs as well as eat into the state's budget deficit. (Connecticut Post)

State gov't shutdown wipes out private job gains
Minnesota's jobless rate shot up to 7.2 percent in July from 6.8 percent as the state lost nearly 20,000 jobs. But the three-week state government shutdown was largely to blame for the increase, which pushes the state back to where it was a year ago. The losses more than wiped out the job gains in June and made the state an underperformer in terms of the pace of job growth compared with the nation. (Pioneer Press)

Opinion: For whom the toll tolls; for N.J.'s middle class
Recently, the Federal Reserve offered us a lesson in how to respond to economic crisis. By keeping interest rates low until mid-2013, our otherwise volatile economic future will have at least one aspect of predictability. A future that provides knowledge of what to expect when making investment and job creation decisions is a critical element for getting our economic house in order.(

Ohio: Union Groups Reject Call to Cancel Referendum
A coalition opposing a law limiting rights for public employee unions rejected Gov. John Kasich's offer to negotiate to avoid a Nov. 8 referendum, saying the measure must first be repealed. (Bloomberg / New York Times)

For links to more news, views and video, check out The State Worker's Individurls page. To see our vast archive of searchable A.M. Reading headlines, go to Publish2.

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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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