The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 9, 2012
A.M. Reading: Pension reform effort suspended; SD rethinks collective bargaining; SC's pay and pension idea

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifDemocrats gear up to fight part-time Legislature measure
A Democratic political strategist and a former Democratic assemblyman will help lead opposition to a proposed ballot initiative that would reduce California's Legislature to part-time. (Sacramento Bee)

The State Worker: Some California unions drop furlough cases; two soldier on
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association quietly dropped two furlough lawsuits last week, one in Alameda Superior Court and the other a federal case before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Sacramento Bee)

Sick pay cashouts for NJ public workers the talk of the day
Emotions ran high Wednesday at a conference of New Jersey mayors, some of whom demanded stepped-up state assistance in controlling municipal budgets, with others being lashed by a legislator for creating massive taxpayer liabilities to public workers for unused sick pay. (Asbury Park Press)

Group suspends California public pension reform ballot effort
The cause of pension reform in California took a significant body shot Wednesday when a group hoping to put an overhaul measure before voters this year suspended its campaign. (Sacramento Bee)

Commentary: Central Louisiana State Hospital plan hurts those most vulnerable
Thursday's Town Talk headline regarding Central Louisiana State Hospital in Pineville sounded like great news, but to many of us directly involved in the behavioral health continuum of care it was troubling. (Town Talk)

Parents fume over accused LA teachers' pensions
LOS ANGELES -- The abuse scandal in the Los Angeles Unified School District has angered many parents and left students heartbroken. And now there's another issue brewing: pension payments for teachers accused of misconduct. (

South Dakota weighs ban on public sector collective bargaining
South Dakota is considering a Wisconsin-style ban on public sector collective bargaining at all levels of government. But because many public workers have limited or nonexistent bargaining rights to begin with, the debate is causing considerable confusion. (

Michigan state workers will avoid furlough days
LANSING, Mich. -- An estimated 37,000 state of Michigan workers represented by unions won't have to take unpaid furlough days this fiscal year because of a budget surplus, state officials said Wednesday. (AP / CBS Money Watch)

MD: State workers to get new pharmacy plan
More than 200,000 Maryland state employees, retirees and dependents will switch to a new pharmacy plan as a result of the Board of Public Works' decision Wednesday to award the $2.4 billion contract to a St. Louis-based company. (Baltimore Sun)

MA: 2 ex-state workers get probation in pool fatality
FALL RIVER - Two former state workers who oversaw a Fall River pool where a woman drowned last year - and her body went unnoticed for two days - were sentenced yesterday to a year of probation. (Boston Globe)

SC: Proposal squeezes retirees, workers
South Carolina's 106,000 retired teachers, state employees and local government workers would get raises only if the state's retirement fund makes more money consistently from its investments. And state workers hired after July 1 would have to work longer - 30 years, up from the current 28 - before they could retire. (The State)

NY: Unions air ads against Tier VI pension plan
The unions that represent state workers are taking their fight with the governor to the airwaves. (

MI: Originally exempt, Wisconsin police and firefighters now face cuts (Part 2)
Midwest states are changing their relationships with unions. (Michigan Radio)

CT: Malloy Mimics Christie by Attacking Connecticut Teachers' Tenure
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat elected in 2010, wants to overhaul rules for giving public-school teachers tenure, introducing new standards for evaluating their performance. (Bloomberg / San Francisco Chronicle)

CT: Hackett on Politics: Pension payment plan looks to future
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's midterm budget address Wednesday was 14 pages long and took nearly 40 minutes to deliver. The last seven pages were dedicated exclusively to his centerpiece legislative initiative: education reform. But what may prove to be the most crucial proposal was included in a mere seven paragraphs on page 6, where Malloy briefly addressed his plan to tackle Connecticut's most nagging fiscal crisis -- its long-term, unfunded pension obligations. (Norwich Bulletin)

U.S.: GovExec: Freezing Federal Salaries, OPM And Its Pension Backlog
In this era of concern about the federal deficit, the federal workforce has been a common target for spending reductions. Federal salaries have already been frozen for two years, and now there are calls for additional curbs on compensation. Kellie Lunnie, a senior reporter at Government Executive, talks to WAMU Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about what that could mean for federal employees. (WAMU)

NJ: Issue of sick leave for state workers nearing a resolution
For 14 months, Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic lawmakers have been at an impasse over payouts to public workers for unused sick time when they retire, further straining the budgets of hard-pressed municipalities. (Star-Ledger)

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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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