The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

May 4, 2012
Reader of State Worker furlough column defines 'fair'

Reader Linda Clark emailed her reaction to Thursday's State Worker column about whether it's fair for several hundred California government employees in five departments to be paid the wages they lost to furloughs.

With Clark's permission, we're posting her email here, unedited:

Mr. Ortiz,

I read you column today in the Sac Bee today and just want to talk to you about FAIR!

I am so disgusted with the mindset of this liberal state. Fair? Let me tell you how the PRIVATE sector is dealing with fair. My husband and I have owned our own business for 27 years and we are just about to loose EVERYTHING we have worked for. When this depression started in 2008, our employees took a 10% cut in pay, then in 2010 we had to stop paying for employees' dependents insurance benefits, They took another 10% cut in pay when they were told the government needed to deduct more for withholding taxes and for the first time since we hired an employee we are not matching their IRAs. We cut our staff by 7 people, so we are asking our employees to do more work for less pay. And you know what, they did not strike or were able to call a Union boss, They dug their heels in and did what had to be done! There is no back pay for our employees! We have been receiving 60% less in our wages than before this mess the government and banks got us into and for the first time in our lives we are not contributing to our retirement IRA.

I have a friend in the mortgage lending business and he has told me that every single one of his government-employed clients since 2008 have made on an average $10,000 - $20,000 more a year in pay. And, his private sector clients are making at least 10% less each year in pay, most more than that. I find that very interesting and disgusting. This State should be cutting staff, EVERY State worker should be making at least 20% less in pay and paying for more of there benefits and retired State workers should be contributing to their insurance benefits.

The bottom line is Mr. Ortiz, THIS STATE IS BROKE!! But, they just keep doing the same thing . . . keeping the Unions happy. Gotta love the Democrats, who have been running this State in the ground for the past 40 years. I am not saying the Republicans would have done it any better, because when you get power and money you get corruption and this government is corrupt and just too big. The bigger the government the smaller the people, and right now I am feeling very small!

L. Clark

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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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