The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 4, 2012
The State Worker's Top 10 of 2011: No. 2 -- Jerry Brown's pension reform plan

countdown 2.JPGThis is the latest installment in a series of posts looking back at the most-read State Worker blog items of 2011.

Labor unions poured money and manpower into Democrat Jerry Brown's 2010 gubernatorial campaign, even while privately admitting concern over his notorious unpredictability.

Which Gov. Brown would they get? The one who, during his earlier turn in office, signed the law that allowed state workers to organize? Or would they get the Brown that cut 2,000 Caltrans engineers and vetoed raises for state workers?

They got a little of both.

Brown reached labor agreements with the six unions that refused to do deals with the previous administration, including the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. He froze hiring, but then let the freeze thaw as departments cut their budgets.

Public pension reform may be the issue with the least daylight between Brown and his GOP predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Democrat offered to trade pension roll-backs for Republican support of a tax initiative and then raised the issue again in October.

Brown telegraphed his pension position -- which is more drastic than anything union-baiter Schwarzenegger proposed -- in a March announcement by the governor that ranked as the State Worker's second most-viewed blog post of 2011: "Jerry Brown issues pension reform plan."

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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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