The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 23, 2012
From the notebook: A student assistant comments on her impending layoff, tuition hikes and job prospects

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 story in today's Bee takes a closer look at the state's plan to ax hundreds of its student assistants at the end of next month, in keeping with a furlough agreement Gov. Jerry Brown reached with SEIU Local 1000 lastt month.

In the course of reporting, we talked to about a dozen students and corresponded via email with about the same number.

Here's one of those emails from Sacramento State student Heidi Temple. We're posting her words here unedited and with her permission. She was speaking for herself, not her colleagues, supervisors or her employer:

Good Afternoon Mr. Ortiz,

I was referred to you from Jordan Adams about this story and I'm glad that this will receive some media attention since it will be affecting so many students statewide.

I am a senior at CSUS and will be graduating this December. I have been working for the CDPH for about a year now and this job has been very beneficial to me as a student. I have a great boss and an amazingly flexible schedule that works around my school classes.

Yesterday, I received the unfortunate news that had confirmed the rumors which have been going around for the past few months- that our positions will be terminated. It almost brought me to tears and definitely left a knot in my stomach for the rest of the day. I just moved alone into a studio apartment 3 months ago, I'm putting myself through school while trying to keep my head above water with my last load of courses before graduation. It will be a challenge trying to find a job in the Sacramento area- as I will be competing with the hundreds of students who also have been let go. It baffles me how tuition keeps rises, classes keep getting cut and to add fuel to the fire...all student state positions are being terminated! I don't understand how the governor made any sense of this one. It's safe to say that I will not be attending graduate school anywhere in California.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Heidi Temple

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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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