The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 3, 2011
A.M. Reading: Pension proposals; Ore. raises; NY contract vote

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifOpinion: Thomas D. Elias: Brown's pensions, prisons plans draw skepticism
Political landmarks that can properly be labeled "Nixon-to-China" moments are rare, usually occurring only once in a career, if ever. But his actions on prisons and pensions gave Gov. Jerry Brown two of them this summer and fall. (Long Beach Press-Telegram)

Ballot proposals seek change in California's pension system.
State and local workers would pay more for their pensions under two ballot initiativeproposals made public Wednesday. (Sacramento Bee)

The State Worker: Former GOP chair brings pension reformers together
Wednesday's unveiling of two plans to roll back public employee retirement benefits signals that the once-fractured "pension reform" movement is on the mend. (Sacramento Bee)

Opinion: Marcia Fritz: Support Brown's pension plan
One way or another, California will get public pension reform. (Los Angeles Times)

Opinion: Jon Coupal: Jerry Brown has no leverage with unions
In the waning days of World War II, during a discussion of the future of Eastern Europe, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill cautioned Josef Stalin to consider the views of the Vatican. To this the Soviet leader responded, "How many divisions does the pope of Rome have?" ... Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has announced his intention to reform unsustainable government employee pensions that threaten to bankrupt state and local governments, he finds himself in the position of the pope. In the coming struggle with the public employee unions who will fight change, the governor has no leverage. (Orange County Register)

Mississippi PERS Becomes Hot Political Issue
Republican Senator Michael Watson accuses Democrats of scaring retired state workers about possible changes to PERS, the public employees' retirement system. Watson says Democrats running for the state legislature are telling retirees they could lose their annual cost of living adjustment, known as the 13th check. But it was the chairman of Republican Gov. Barbour's commission studying PERS that first raised the possibility that benefits may have to be reduced.

1,100 get raises at University of Oregon
Some state workers are being hit hard by the economic crisis, but apparently not some at the University of Oregon. (Associated Press / Fox 12)

State workers' union today will release results of vote
ALBANY -- New York's second-largest public-employees union this afternoon will release the much-anticipated results of a vote on a revised contract, after the majority of members rejected the first agreement in September. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Civil Service Commission tentatively approves new state employee job evaluation process
BATON ROUGE -- The State Civil Service Commission voted 6-0 Wednesday to proceed with a new state employee job-evaluation system, but did not link it to a new pay raise schedule. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

State: Cut hours, cut pay
ALBANY -- Ideally, the Cuomo administration wants 7 percent of the state workforce working -- and getting paid for -- less than five days a week. The Budget Division issued a bulletin to state agencies Tuesday urging them to make fuller use of a program that allows most state workers to voluntarily reduce their hours (and pay). (Albany Times Union)

Citizens United spends big in Ohio
Citizens United, the conservative political organization best known for the eponymous Supreme Court decision that last year altered the nation's campaign finance landscape, will on Thursday begin blasting six-figures worth of advertisements throughout Ohio in support of limiting most state workers' collective bargaining rights. Includes video. (Politico)

State worker pension changes won't happen soon, local lawmakers say
Springfield's lawmakers said Wednesday they do not think a bill revamping pensions for current Illinois state employees will be called for a vote during the remaining three days of the veto session. (State Journal-Register)

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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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