The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 21, 2012
A.M. Reading: Super Bowl sick calls; Brown doesn't match with Gray; Caltrans SoCal snafu; pay raise news in ID, NC and WV

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifCT: Prison guards backed off Super Bowl sick calls
Efforts to stop the annual Super Bowl flood of "sick" calls among state prison guards largely succeeded in stopping staff shortages and statewide inmate lockdowns while the New York Giants clashed with the New England Patriots. But unionized guards have now called illegal procedure, filing about 100 grievances against Department of Correction Commissioner Leo C. Arnone for allegedly changing work rules and requiring doctor's notes for those who called in sick. (Connecticut Post)

Meg Whitman contributes $100,000 to Mitt Romney's Super PAC
Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman pulled out her checkbook last month to boost her former boss Mitt Romney's presidential bid. (Sacramento Bee)

Dan Walters: Jerry Brown and Gray Davis a study in contrasts
If Californians believed that electing Democrat Jerry Brown as governor would mean a big break with Republican predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger, they must be disappointed. (Sacramento Bee)

Massive traffic jam on 10 Freeway becomes Caltrans scandal
Even in a region where gridlock is a daily fact of life, what happened Sunday on the 10 Freeway west of Palm Springs has morphed from traffic jam to full-fledged scandal. (Los Angeles Times)

CA: The Buzz: Proposal to make it harder to discpline unionized California state workers takes heavy fire
A proposal to give unionized California state workers first dibs on government work and make it tougher to discipline them has taken heavy fire from newspaper editorial boards all the way from Redding to San Diego. (Sacramento Bee)

WV: Some judges could see more pay
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In a year without new raises for state workers, some state judges could take home several thousand dollars more. (Charleston Daily Mail)

TN: Haslam Bills Meet Resistance
Last week was trying for Gov. Bill Haslam after a number of his high-profile bills faced turmoil and criticism from both Democrats and the GOP faithful in the Legislature. Haslam has dozens of legislative initiatives he'd like the General Assembly to pass this year, ranging from lowering the tax on food to overhauling how state workers are hired and fired. (Missouri News Horizon)

OR: Features in health model irk workers
Ever heard the saying, "It's not a bug, it's a feature?" It's an in-joke among computer programmers, used to explain away software errors. If you flip the saying, it provides an interesting way to look at the Health Engagement Model wellness plan. (Statesman Journal)

NC: State employee association to make a case for a small raise
(RALEIGH) -- State employees could see a little more in their paycheck at some point in the near future. Dana Cope with the State Employees Association said his group believes the economic environment is favorable for a small raise. (North Carolina News Network)

IL: Unions may have to choose between salaries, pensions
As Gov. Pat Quinn prepares his budget address for Wednesday, the president of the Illinois Senate says state workers might have to compromise between salary increases and pension benefits. (WBEZ)

NV: National Group Calls On Nation's Governors To Freeze Defined Benefit Pension Plans For Public Workers
CARSON CITY - A national nonprofit organization seeking fundamental reforms to state budgeting today sent a letter to the nation's governors urging them to follow General Motors' lead and freeze defined benefit pensions for all public employees. (Carson NOW)

W.Va. public workers rally for better pay, conditions
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Several dozen West Virginia public employees are spending their day off rallying for better pay and conditions. (AP / Charleston Gazette)

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver not totally with Gov. Cuomo on pension reforms
ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has raised the prospect of supporting some pension changes this year -- but nowhere near the sweeping reforms Gov. Cuomo seeks. (New York Daily News)

ID: Thayn brings bill to create health savings accounts for state workers
On his second attempt, Rep. Steve Thayn, R-Emmett, introduced a bill to allow the state to give its employees health savings accounts, a move he believes will save Idaho money in medical care expenses. (Idaho Reporter)

ID: State workers may get 2 percent raise
After four years without funding raises for state employees, the Idaho Legislature's joint budget committee voted Friday to give 2 percent raises next year to every permanent state worker who's performing at standards, except for teachers, who have a chance at new merit-pay bonuses. (The Spokesman Review)

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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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