The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 23, 2011
Cal Fire's hiring requests reveal Brown's freeze order rationale

110923 CalFIRE badge.JPGState workers are necessary, but some are more necessary than others.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's request to hire 57 employees dramatically illustrates how Gov. Jerry Brown's hiring freeze order draws a line between essential and non-essential employees during the government's tough fiscal times.

The Brown administration OK'd 52 of Cal Fire's requests. Foresters, heavy fire equipment operators and 12 research program specialists all got the nod.

Research program specialists? Whaaaa?

While those other job classes are front-line responders central to the department's mission to protect life and property, the research program specialists analyze data key to the department's timber harvesting and sales. They fall under the caveat in Brown's freeze order that allows hiring for revenue-producing positions.

Cal Fire's requests to hire for jobs with words like "office," "clerk" and "analyst" in the title all got the big thumbs down.

The Cal Fire hiring requests were among the hundreds of pages we reviewed for a recent story about what jobs state departments have asked to fill and how Brown has responded.

Since the story ran on Sept. 18, we've posted daily links to documents we used so that loyal State Worker blog users can see the figures, read the departments' rationale for hiring and the Brown administration's replies.

Today's batch: Food & Ag, Forestry and Fire Prevention and the Franchise Tax Board:

Food and Agriculture I-0002.pdf
Food and Agriculture I-0003.pdf
Food and Agriculture I-0010.pdf
Forestry and Fire Protection G-0004.pdf
Forestry and Fire Protection I-0002.pdf
Franchise Tax Board G-0003.pdf


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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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