The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 7, 2011
A.M. Reading: Jerry Brown's pension plan polls well; Chris Christie's mission; bye-bye Rod Blagojevich

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifCalifornia voters give edge to Jerry Brown's public pension overhaul
A majority of California voters support Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to dial back public employee pensions and a plurality think that state and local government retirements are "too generous," according to a new Field Poll. (Sacramento Bee)

Many Workers in Public Sector Retiring Sooner
MADISON, Wis. -- As states and cities struggle to resolve paralyzing budget shortfalls by sending workers on unpaid furloughs, freezing salaries and extracting larger contributions for health benefits and pensions, a growing number of public-sector workers are finding fewer reasons to stay. (New York Times)

Top Sacramento city managers agree to pay share of their pensions
With the annual cost of employee pensions rising, top management officials at Sacramento City Hall have agreed to pay the entire employee share of their CalPERS retirement contributions. (Sacramento Bee)

Herdt: Glitzy pensions? Not for teachers
With 1,200 members, Ventura County has one of the more active divisions of the California Retired Teachers Association. They're not a glamorous bunch. (Ventura County Star)

Gov. Brown's tax hike initiative stirs opponents
Area business leaders and Republican lawmakers are slamming a November ballot proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to temporarily increase the state sales tax and raise taxes on the wealthy. (San Bernardino Sun)

County workers argue against pay, benefit cuts
In Contra Costa County, thousands of public employees are fighting for their livelihoods. They are desperately worried about a plan that would take a bite out of their pay and benefits. Tuesday, they let county officials know it. (KGO-TV)

Panel to discuss future of Kan. pension system
TOPEKA, Kan. -- A study commission continues to study whether to recommend that Kansas legislators create a new 401(k)-style plan for new teachers and government workers. (AP / The Republic)

State officials to clarify gift policy
TUSCALOOSA | For first-grade teacher Alicia Jenne, the possibility that a new state law would severely curtail holiday gifts from students and parents is just another rule dumped on her head from on high that degrades the profession. (Tuskaloosa News)

GovLoop to Give Back to Public Employees With Lunch, Online Scavenger Hunt
Public-sector employees may not always feel appreciated at the end of the workday, so government social networking group GovLoop is hosting a free lunch event on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Washington, D.C., just to tell them, "Thank you." Last month, GovLoop reached 50,000 members and wanted to celebrate the occasion with free food and an online scavenger hunt. (Government Technology)

Daily poll: Should payouts for public employees' unused sick days be eliminated?
Gov. Chris Christie continued his mission to seek help from heavily Democratic Hudson County, appearing here at a town-hall meeting yesterday to drum up support for his plan to weaken civil-service regulations and eliminate sick-time buyouts for public employees. (nj.com)

State workers throw mock farewell for Blagojevich
SPRINGFIELD - Two Illinois Department of Transportation employees are bidding a not-so-fond farewell to ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich before he's sentenced today. (WJBC)

Christie's cheaper health plans fail to hook public workers
As we reported this morning, Governor Christie's healthcare offer to public workers -- to sign up for health plans that will cost the state less -- hasn't exactly snagged many takers. For every worker who selected the highest-deductible family plan over the traditional state health family coverage, taxpayers would have saved at least $4,000. (NorthJersey.com)

Union: Worker payouts show state jobs dangerous
A union that represents Illinois state workers at facilities where there were large payouts for workers' compensation claims says the numbers show that the work is difficult and sometimes dangerous. An Associated Press analysis of state data shows that a cluster of 12 state-run prisons and human services facilities accounts for $41 million in on-the-job injury compensation from 2007 to 2010. That's nearly one-third of the total paid out to state workers during that time. (AP / Bloomberg)

Some state workers coming forward about storm funds
HARTFORD -- A top Malloy administration official said Tuesday that some state workers who may have underreported their incomes to gain acceptance in the state's federally funded Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or D-SNAP, following Tropical Storm Irene have mentioned it to their bosses in an apparent attempt to come clean. (Connecticut Post)

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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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