The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 6, 2011
A.M. Reading: Labor's tough year; Iowa's lunch rule; Ill. layoffs

Economic Slump Brought a 'Tough Year for Labor'

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My View: Economic downtown not public workers' fault
The common perception of many people is that workers in the public sector are paid better, with better benefits, than workers in the private sector. This perception has been reinforced by a recent piece in The Journal-Standard from Gatehouse News and also in a column by Representative Jim Sacia. The result has been to divide public workers and private workers, to increase resentment even among friends, and to vilify workers in the public sector. (Journal-Standard)

Branstad's order on lunch may save state $1 million
Governor Branstad has issued an order which forbids most state workers from claiming their bill for lunch as an expense unless they're spending the night away from home. (Radio Iowa)

CO state's old computer system called unstable (11 News)

Vice President Biden, in Ohio, urges unions to stand up against assault on their rights
CINCINNATI -- Vice President Joe Biden, saying organized labor is under the most direct assault in generations, urged a major Ohio union gathering Monday to lead the way in fighting back. (Associated Press / Washngton Post)

Public employees ever fewer in S.D.
The number of people employed full time by the state or by a local government in South Dakota is dropping, a trend that could continue because of austere budgets and layoffs. (Argus Leader)

Quinn plans layoffs, facility closings
Gov. Pat Quinn plans to issue layoff notices to thousands of state workers this week as he deals with a budget shortfall he pegs in the hundreds of millions of dollars, a state government source with knowledge of the situation told the Tribune. (Chicago Tribune)

Some union support for Gov. Pat Quinn wavering
Just over a year ago, Gov. Pat Quinn was basking in the endorsement of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the labor union's backing became a key political and financial part of his narrow election victory two months later. But by this Labor Day, Quinn and the state's public sector union movement have had a major falling out -- one that threatens to cost him at least one union's long-term political support. (State Journal-Register / Rockford Register Star)

Some state employees will receive smaller pensions
Thousands of state employees could re­ceive smaller pensions as a result of a state at­torney general's ruling that says overtime and law enforcement subsistence pay don't count toward retirement benefits. (Associated Press / Montgomery Advertiser)

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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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