The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 11, 2011
SEIU president: 'We're going to be a watchdog' on outsourcing

Thumbnail image for Yvonne_Walker_small.jpgYvonne Walker, president of SEIU Local 1000, said in a telephone interview this morning that the union will continue to push for easier access to government outsourcing costs, despite Gov. Jerry Brown's veto of a labor-backed measure aimed at making those expenses more transparent.

Walker said she was disappointed that Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 172, which would have forced the state agencies and departments to post contracts of $5,000 or more on the Reporting Transparency in Government website.

While labor had a big stake in the measure because it would have put a spotlight on what the state pays for outside services, Walker said that the bill "isn't just about the workers we represent, it's about how the public's dollars are being spent. We're going to be a watchdog on this."

For the last few years, SEIU and other labor organizations have supported similar bills that died in committee or were vetoed. But with Brown's return to the governor's desk, the unions figured that they finally had a labor-friendly Democrat who would sign off on the legislation.

He didn't, for reasons we reported on Monday.

Walker said that SEIU has been talking to the governor's office and that part of the rationale for the veto was that the state's anticipated all-in-one finance-tracking program, FI$Cal, will make navigating outsource contracts easier. (The system has been something of a boondoggle, as we noted earlier this year.)

"We're certainly going to keep our eye on this," Walker said. "You might see a version of this bill again."

PHOTO: SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker / Sacramento Bee file photo

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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