The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 23, 2011
A.M. Reading: Paycheck protection; NJ unions reach contracts; Russian bureaucrats

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifDan Morain: 'Reform' initiative wears a soiled white hat
The latest initiative to qualify for the 2012 ballot is thick with the earnest rhetoric of white-hat-wearing good government reformers. It's also dripping with cynicism. ... The initiative is a remake of so-called "paycheck protection" measures rejected by voters in 1998 and 2005. While those propositions were direct attacks on labor's political fundraising, the new version tries to be clever, purporting to restrict corporate money as well. In fact, it would gut only one side's ability to play in politics - organized labor. (Sacramento Bee)

Pension plans look toward rate of return
Nearly every state has cut public pension benefits for new workers in the last three years, with an emphasis on reducing the money the states will owe to employees when they retire. (

Montclair council votes to continue retirement contribution by firefighters
MONTCLAIR - The Montclair City Council decided 3 to 1 Wednesday night to require members of the Montclair Fire Fighters Association to continue their 6 percent individual contribution toward their retirement fund. Negotiators for the city and the association (MFFA) had been at an impasse since February. (Contra Costa Times)

Gov. Christie reaches contract agreement with two public worker unions
TRENTON -- Gov. Chris Christie and two public employee unions have reached a four-year tentative contract agreement, the first agreement reached with the Christie administration since all state workers' contracts expired in June. (Star-Ledger)

In their own words: Union Workers
A state employee, a UAW negotiator, and an airline mechanic talk about the challenges facing labor. (Businessweek)

Mich. governor signs domestic partner benefits ban
LANSING, Mich. -- Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed legislation that blocks taxpayer-paid health insurance from being offered to domestic partners living with some public employees. (AP /

Bureaucrats Costly And Too Numerous
There are too many bureaucrats, and each year they are costing more, according to government experts. Their ranks have to be reduced 30 percent, and those that remain have to be compelled to work better, the experts say. (Moscow Times)

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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


Now on the State Worker column

State Pay Database

This database allows you to search the salaries of California's 300,000-plus state workers and view up to four years of their pay history.


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives