The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 8, 2011
A.M. Reading: Pension debate; CSU faculty strike; Ohio vote

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifCSU faculty union OKs one-day strike at two campuses
The union that represents 23,000 professors, librarians and coaches at California State University voted Monday to strike on Nov. 17, canceling classes that day for tens of thousands of students at the system's East Bay and Dominguez Hills campuses. (Sacramento Bee)

The Buzz: California Assembly aides expecting budget deficit up to $8 billion
Assembly budget aides expect California to face a deficit of about $5 billion to $8 billion in the next fiscal year, higher than the $3.1 billion projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, according to a memo obtained by The Bee. (Sacramento Bee)

Audit recommends fewer state-owned vehicles
Illinois state employees aren't driving state-owned passenger vehicles enough. (Rock River Times)

Lawmakers get positive grades from union
Oregon's major state employees union offered a bundle of budget advice to lawmakers earlier this year, pointing out a number of areas where the state could save an estimated $1 billion. Now the union, Service Employees International Union Local 503, has issued a report card grading the Oregon Legislature on how thoroughly it pursued the recommendations in its "Moving Oregon Forward" report. (Statesman Journal)

Head to Head: Does Brown's pension reform plan go far enough in curbing costs?
THE ISSUE: Gov. Jerry Brown last week unveiled his 12-point plan to overhaul California's public pension system. If passed, Brown's plan would switch the pension program for new hires from a defined-benefit plan to a partly defined contribution plan, and raise the retirement age for most workers outside public safety from 55 to 67. Does Brown's pension reform plan go far enough in curbing costs? (Sacramento Bee)

Live Chat Replay
Join Ben and Pia during a live chat today at noon on Brown's pension plan. Joining them will be Marcia Fritz, president of California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, and Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Retirement Security. (Sadcramento Bee)

Court got it right in pension ruling
How do you balance an individual's right to privacy versus the public's right to know how its tax dollars are being spent? (Nashua Telegraph)

Unions: Lawmakers shouldn't meddle in labor talks

SPRINGFIELD -- Labor union officials told a House panel Monday they are opposed to having lawmakers play a larger role in negotiating state employee wage hikes. (

Grand Rapids veterans home privatization fight gets national attention in New York Times article
The national spotlight is shining on the ongoing battle over a controversial plan to privatize 170 state-paid caregiver positions at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. (

State Lawmakers May Delay Pension Reform
Next week marks the last week of the fall legislative session and state lawmakers are putting various items off towards the spring, including pension reform. While the issue has been debated hotly all year, WBEZ reports the Illinois General Assembly may wait until spring 2012 to vote on Senate Bill 512, which requires state workers to pay more into their retirement funds. (

Ohio labor fight is early battle in 2012 election
A battle over union benefits in Ohio has ballooned into an all-out war between organized labor and conservative activists, who view the state contest as a bellwether for President Barack Obama's re-election hopes. (Reuters)

Florida private prison fight puts state on defense
The state has twice squared off in court with a union for prison workers. Twice the union has won and the state has lost. Is the state prepared to lose a third time? (St. Petersburg Times)

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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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