The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 31, 2011
A.M. Reading: Jerry Brown's pension reform motivation; conservative Ore. state workers; Alabama's declining state workforce

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifGeorge Skelton: Brown has two reasons to push pension reform
... (Jerry) Brown's proposed overhaul of public pensions is a major step toward fiscal prudence and political reality. The governor should take even bolder strides, affecting current workers more. But that's unlikely, because he and the Democratic-dominated Legislature are indebted to public employee unions for campaign money. Republicans, however, also feed at a shared trough: the prison guards union. (Los Angeles Times)

Editorial: Parks partnerships help, but they're not a panacea
Slowly, ever so slowly, some of the 70 state parks scheduled for closure in July 2012 are getting a reprieve. (Sacramento Bee)

Q & A with Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod
COState Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Montclair, is co-chairing a committee to hear the statewide concerns of employers and employees on the issue of pension reform.
Researchers estimate the combined unfunded obligations for retirement systems covering state employees, public school teachers and university workers could be as high as $500 billion. McLeod, who plans to run for Congress next year, recently sat down with the Daily Bulletin to discuss her role in state pension reform, and other major issues facing Californians. (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Alabama Sees 4.4% Decline in State Workers
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The number of state employees in Alabama has declined 4.4 percent in the last year. (Associated Press / WAAY TV)

Right-wing AFSCME members have a voice
Lots of the vitriol aimed at state workers' unions tend to paint the groups as leftist, progressive, perhaps even, dare we say, socialist? So some folks might be surprised to learn that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 75, better known as Oregon AFSCME, has established a conservative caucus to provide a collective voice for the union's more right-leaning members. (Statesman Journal)

Editorial: Haslam's pay and benefits study should pave way for better state workers
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is right to take his time and study state employee salaries with the idea of making them more competitive with other state and local governments. The study should lead to a more professional and better-paid work force. (

Pensions the latest political risk for RI governor
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- In 10 months in office, Gov. Lincoln Chafee has managed to anger an impressive assortment of constituencies: business leaders and organized labor, medical marijuana advocates and critics of illegal immigration. (Associated Press / Seattle Post Intelligencer)

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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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