The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 7, 2011
From the notebook: Pension poll particulars; labor's response

Thumbnail image for notebook-thumb-216x184-9328.jpgWe never get all of what we learn into a news story, but this blog can give users the data, the notes and the quotes from the notebook that informed what was published.

Our report in today's Sacramento Bee discusses the latest Field Poll results concerning California voters' views on public employee pensions. You can read the story here, then click these links to go more deeply into the survey:

Tabulations From a Survey of California Registered Voters about the State and Local Government Employee Pensions and Pension Reform : These tables slice and dice responses by various demographic measures.

Plurality of voters sees public pensions as too generous, most react positively to Brown's reform proposals. Want changes to apply to both current and new public employees: Summarizes the November telephone survey's findings on voters' attitudes about public pensions.

Dave Low, chairman of union coalition Californians for Retirement Security, issued this statement about the new Field Poll results about public employee pensions:

It is very revealing that after an intensive and sustained political campaign attacking public employees, about half of voters believe public pensions are just right or too small, while just four in 10 think they are too high. We believe voters have yet to get sufficient details and facts about the governor's proposals to make a truly informed decision, and our own polling demonstrates that, given specifics, some of his proposals are very unpopular. Although voters might think it sounds unfair to single out new employees, it is unconstitutional to impair benefits for current employees and, given all the facts, Californians will not stand for our state government breaking the law and breaking promises to those who have dedicated their careers to serving the public.

Our goal remains simple: We will continue our hard work with the Governor and the Legislature on reasonable, common-sense measures to sustain our state's retirement system, rebuild our state's working class, provide adequate retirement benefits, eliminate abuses and tackle fiscal realities.

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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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