The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 6, 2013
Column Extra: California state unions veer around 'Jerry Brown'

20130605_HA_SEIU0601.JPGOur State Worker column in today's Bee looks at Wednesday's SEIU Local 1000 rally and how it underscores tension for state employee labor and the local in particular as it negotiates new contracts: How do you push back against Gov. Jerry Brown?

Unions tend to separate the governor himself from the administrative machinery of governing when disagreements arise. Unlike their highly personal public criticisms of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during the height of his battles with labor, union leaders tend to place blame anywhere but on Brown personally.

Local 1000, for example, has called out "the state's bargaining team" for rejecting bonus and pay raise proposals. Of course, that's a reference to the Department of Human Resources, which is under Brown's authority.

Last year, the state's engineers and scientists filed a grievance over furloughs, but blamed the matter on Schwarzenegger, even though the events in question involved Brown's budget.

PHOTO: Robert Walsh of San Diego, a state lottery worker, holds a sign expressing his feelings about Gov. Jerry Brown as state workers wearing purple shirts rally at the Capitol in support of a raise on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua

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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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