The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 15, 2013
The Roundup: Pension fears prompt state worker exits; furloughs in OK; climate change and pensions

State workers face furloughs
Nearly 400 Oklahoma state employees could be furloughed this week because of the federal budget impasse, Gov. Mary Fallin said Monday - Tulsa World

State Appeals Ruling On Public Worker Layoffs To U.S. Supreme Court
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a court ruling that said former Gov. John G. Rowland's administration violated state employees' constitutional rights when it laid off 2,800 workers based on their union membership in 2003. - Associated Press/CBS Connecticut

Climate and Pension Activists Should Unite
... Climate activists rightfully demonize certain oil and coal companies blocking action on climate change. In this case, the demons are state legislators who don't act on CalSTRS's request because they know the cliff won't be reached during their terms in office. Even more cynically, this year California's legislators patted themselves on the back for a budget they claimed had a surplus but only because they ignored CalSTRS's request. - Huffington Post

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

October 8, 2013
The Roundup: CO lottery spending; NJ considers GPS for state cars; federal workers file for unemployment

HA_newspapers3808.JPGAudit: Colorado Lottery spending too much, including $400K on bonuses
A state audit released Monday criticized the Colorado Lottery for high prize payouts and administrative costs -- including nearly $400,000 of employee bonuses last year -- which siphoned away millions of dollars from public-school construction and parks, recreation and open space. - Denver Post

Editorial: Install GPS devices to track use of state-owned vehicles in N.J.
It's only human nature. When the boss is in the vicinity, keeping an eye on employees, workers pick up the pace, cleave to the corners that might otherwise be cut, and carefully carry out their tasks. And when the boss is away, employees may be more relaxed about the job, perhaps devoting some time to personal business. - The Times of Trenton

Maryland state workers busy -- processing federal workers' unemployment claims
Furloughed federal workers have filed more than 16,000 unemployment insurance applications -- more than four times the number typically received from that sector in a year. - PUBLICATION

Enron billionaire expands craven plot to abuse workers
A week after the simultaneous release of my Institute for America's Future report and Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone investigation into John Arnold, huge news hit California: The Enron billionaire whose former company wrecked the Golden State's economy appears to be using a shadowy Texas front group to now try to loot the Golden State's public pension system. As the Sacramento Bee reports ... - Salon

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

October 3, 2013
The Roundup: Texas money helps CA pension reformers; federal shutdown affects MN state workers; OR reduces retiree COLA

The State Worker: Pension reformers retooling with help from Texas
With the first deadline looming for a new public-pension proposal to make the November 2014 ballot, a Texas nonprofit has emerged in a behind-the-scenes battle poised to break into public view next year. - The Sacramento Bee

Special session is successful despite its difficulties
In just three days, the Oregon Legislature cut retirements for public employees, raised taxes on the wealthy, cut taxes for small businesses, dedicated a cigarette tax to mental health services and passed a bill regulating agricultural seeds. - The Statesman Journal

Caltrans entirely rebuilds I-80 from Auburn to Nevada state line
A half-dozen years ago, then-Caltrans Director Will Kempton says he was so embarrassed by the cracks and ruts while driving Interstate 80 that he wanted to pull over and cover the Caltrans logo on his car. Wednesday, Kempton, now head of a coalition of companies that worked on the road, joined government officials at the Donner Summit rest area to celebrate what they call the biggest freeway renovation project in California in years. - The Sacramento Bee

3,000 state workers at risk of furlough in shutdown
MINNEAPOLIS - The governor's office said Wednesday that up to 3,000 state workers are at risk of being furloughed during a prolonged government shutdown. - KARE 11

Walker: Self-insured health plan for state workers needs more study
MADISON -- More time is needed to study options about whether it makes sense to shift state employees from health maintenance organizations to a state self-insured program, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday. - Associated Press/Green Bay Press Gazette

Nebraska state employees in charge at the federal Meat Animal Research Center - KHAS-TV

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

October 2, 2013
The Roundup: Stockton's bankruptcy proposal includes taxes; CA inmate abuse alledged; federal shutdown affects NC state workers

HA_newspapers3808.JPGStockton city manager: 'We need new taxes'
STOCKTON - Officials in this struggling city made the case Tuesday for their plan to exit bankruptcy, saying the brunt of the burden will be shouldered by taxpayers and municipal employees and retirees. - The Sacramento Bee

Dramatic videos open latest salvo in California prison battle
Claiming that California prisons use force against mentally ill prisoners too often and overzealously, attorneys for inmates opened their latest attack on the system Tuesday in federal court by playing two graphic videos of inmates in their cells being pepper-sprayed, then rushed by a team of guards who forcibly subdued them. - The Sacramento Bee

State workers in North Carolina feel effect of federal shutdown
RALEIGH -- The federal government shutdown caused the furlough of hundreds of state government workers whose jobs are fully or partially federally funded Tuesday, and state officials said several thousand more jobs could be be affected. - Charlotte Observer

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

October 1, 2013
The Roundup: Federal shut down impacts; pensions 'looted'

HA_newspapers3808.JPGShutdown would hurt Sacramento's recovery but not kill it
Sacramento's wobbly economic recovery wouldn't be crushed by a shutdown of the federal government, but the region would surely feel the pain of employee layoffs and the likely jolt to consumer confidence. The heaviest burden would likely fall on hundreds if not thousands of federal employees in greater Sacramento facing the prospect of not collecting a paycheck. - The Sacramento Bee

State workers in North Carolina may feel effect of federal shutdown
RALEIGH -- The federal government shut down could effect as many as 6,000 state government workers whose jobs are fully or partially federally funded, North Carolina officials said Tuesday. - The News & Observer

State governments shut down, too
It may be the first time in 17 years for the federal government, but states are no strangers to government shutdowns.. - Washington Post

Looting the Pension Funds
In the final months of 2011, almost two years before the city of Detroit would shock America by declaring bankruptcy in the face of what it claimed were insurmountable pension costs, the state of Rhode Island took bold action to avert what it called its own looming pension crisis. - Rolling Stone

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

September 26, 2013
The Roundup: Ohio's IT win; NH payroll snafu; Iowa ordered to reimburse state travel costs

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe State Worker: Lessons from Ohio's state tech project
Ask John Conomy the key ingredient for a successful government technology project and he'll give you one word: "Fear." - The Sacramento Bee

State workers say payroll software causing problems
CONCORD, N.H. --State workers are complaining about payroll software that they say keeps screwing up their checks. - WMUR

Iowa Ordered To Refund State Workers' Meals
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa is in the process of reimbursing public employees for meals dating back to 2011 after an arbitrator ruled that Gov. Terry Branstad's administration improperly slashed the travel allowances. - AP/KCRG

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

September 24, 2013
The Roundup: San Jose's pension battle; FL drug-test fight; Greeks go on strike

HA_newspapers3808.JPGStruggling, San Jose Tests a Way to Cut Benefits
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- This metropolis of nearly a million residents is the third-largest city in California, home to tens of thousands of technology industry workers, as well as many thousands more struggling to get by. Yet even here, in the city that bills itself as the capital of Silicon Valley, the economic tidal wave that has swamped Detroit and other cities is lapping at the sea walls. - The New York Times

Government shutdown? 59% of workers exempt
WASHINGTON -- If Congress doesn't pass a new spending bill in the next week, the federal government will shut down on Oct. 1. That is, 41% of it will. - USA Today/Lansing State Journal

Greek workers start 48-hour public sector strike
ATHENS, GREECE -- Greek civil servants walked off the job Tuesday at the start of a 48-hour public sector strike, the second in as many weeks, to protest job cuts required for the country to continue receiving international rescue loans. - The Olympian

Rick Scott Continues to Push for State Employee Drug Testing
Florida has been the brunt of jokes since it decided to drug test state workers and welfare recipients. - WJHG

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

September 24, 2013
The Roundup: Thieves banned from MS state service; pension history; government workers protest in Spain

HA_newspapers3808.JPGNew state law invoked in cases of former state employees guilty of stealing
Two former state employees will no longer be eligible to work for the state in any capacity, a result of a new law that prohibits anyone guilty of stealing public funds to serve for any Mississippi agency. - The Clarion-Ledger

The Long, Sorry Tale of Pension Promises
Fifty years ago, the auto industry suffered a massive pension bust. The numbers back then were small, but pension failures are never about the numbers--they're about human frailty. People are tempted to promise more than they can deliver. Today, cities and states across the country are way behind on the promises they made to their employees. Several--including Detroit--are in bankruptcy. - The Wall Stree Journal

Spanish public workers continue to protest spending cuts - Press TV

State officials planning in case of federal shutdown
Virginia state officials are making contingency plans in the event that gridlock over spending in Washington forces a federal government shutdown. - Richmond Times-Dispatch

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

September 10, 2013
The Roundup: State economies still struggling; MD gun-registration deluge sparks controversial staffing policy

HA_newspapers3808.JPGFive Years After Crash, States Still Picking Up Pieces
Five years after the 2008 financial crisis sent the U.S. economy into a tailspin, only a handful of states are charging full steam ahead. Four states' economies are the shakiest and one of them, Delaware, is in danger of slipping back into recession. - Stateline

State workers, retirees object to single plan, higher-out-of pocket costs for state health insurance
ATLANTA -- Private-sector employees affected by Obamacare won't be the only ones seeing changes in their health insurance on Jan. 1. The half-million state workers, retirees, teachers and school workers will also see their coverage revised when 2014 begins. - Florida Times-Union

Metro State University says summer staff shortchanged
The Metropolitan State University system in the Twin Cities has shortchanged many of its employees' paychecks this summer, prompting a call for an outside audit. Heavy turnover in the school's human resources division contributed to a series of payroll problems, including overlooked promotions and career step increases, administrators said. - Pioneer Press

Maryland's 'all hands on deck' firearms application review under fire
Facing a deluge of gun ownership applications, state employees from multiple agencies were called in to process paperwork over the weekend -- to the dismay of gun-rights activists. - Capital Gazette

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

September 9, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS pension data; MN state workers' ID info stolen; VA workers' ID info mishandled

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe Public Eye: California public pension payouts doubled after bump in benefits
The average retirement payout for new retirees in California's biggest public pension system doubled between 1999 and 2012, according to CalPERS data, and initial monthly payments for one group nearly tripled in that period. - The Sacramento Bee

4 Charged In ID Theft Ring Targeting State Employees
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Ramsey County investigators say they have busted a major identity theft ring involving the personal information of hundreds. Four St. Paul women have been charged in the string of ID thefts. The victims were retired state employees, investigators said. - WCCO

13,000 Va. state workers' personal info disclosed
ROANOKE -- Virginia officials are working to improve security after 13,000 state employees' personal information was mistakenly sent to 11 state human resource and payroll workers. - Richmond Times-Dispatch

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

September 5, 2013
The Roundup: California's pension-law conflict; government hiring, criminal questions

HA_newspapers3808.JPGCalifornia mass-transit workers get pension reprieve
Federal officials cut off $54 million for Sacramento Regional Transit on Wednesday, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to announce a pension-law compromise intended to keep the money flowing to transit agencies on the verge of losing grant funds. - Sacramento Bee

The State Worker: Which 'common-sense' view on criminal records will prevail?
A week after The Sacramento Bee detailed an employee's return to state government after a two-year prison term for embezzling $320,000, we're still hearing about it. - Sacramento Bee

State employees fired: Michael Chyi at the Princeton lagoon
Michael Chyi, an environmental engineer for the DNR, was fired in 2010 after he illegally permitted the city of Princeton to use a sewage treatment program that he had patented. Chyi says the system saved the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. - Des Moines Register

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

August 29, 2013
The Roundup: Embezzler rehired by California state government; governors want civil service changes

HA_newspapers3808.JPGRule change helped thief return to state of California payroll
Two questions removed from most civil service job applications three years ago allowed an embezzler to return to state government work after she went to prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from another agency. - The Sacramento Bee

States Overhaul Civil Service Rules
State civil service rules originated a century ago to prevent incoming governors from replacing state workers with their political supporters. Now a handful of governors are working to change those rules, saying they make it difficult to hire and retain the right employees and to fire anyone -- even the worst underperformers. - Stateline

Audits: State workers didn't go extra mile - only got paid for it
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two state audits released Wednesday urged the Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Insurance to seek repayment from employees who obtained improper mileage reimbursements. - WRAL

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

August 28, 2013
The Roundup: New Mexico state building concerns; Brown's prison plan; CHP weapons stolen

New Mexico state workers say building's making them sick - KOAT

Brown's $315 million prison plan at odds with Senate Democrats
Gov. Jerry Brown, laboring under a federal court order to reduce California's prison population by nearly 8,000 inmates, proposed Tuesday to spend hundreds of millions of dollars housing those inmates in local lockups and out of state. - The Sacramento Bee

Report: Tactical Weapons Stolen From CHP Officer's Car
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- The California Highway Patrol was searching Tuesday for a number of weapons stolen from an officer's car. - KTLA

Private lobbyists get public pensions in 20 states
ALBANY, N.Y. -- As a lobbyist in New York's statehouse, Stephen Acquario is doing pretty well. He pulls down $204,000 a year, more than the governor makes, gets a Ford Explorer as his company car and is afforded another special perk: Even though he's not a government employee, he is entitled to a full state pension. - Associated Press/ Sacramento Bee

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

August 14, 2013
The Roundup: MI pension fight; NY goes for Microsoft; highway to memorialize fallen CHP officer

HA_newspapers3808.JPGAppeals court: Michigan law requiring state employees to pay 4% to pension plan violates constitution
The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling that the key element of a law requiring state employees to pay 4% of their income in order to remain in the state's defined benefit pension plan is unconstitutional. - Lansing State Journal

Microsoft signs up New York state's 120,000 government workers for Office 365
Microsoft has been signing up more and more large businesses and governments to use their Office 365 productivity software service, including the cities of Chicago, Seattle and Kansas City and the state of Texas. Today, Microsoft announced one of their biggest Office 365 government contracts yet, this time with the state of New York. - Neowin.net

Highway 1 To Be Dedicated to Fallen Officer On Wednesday
Almost eight decades after California Highway Patrol officer Albert Donald Hoover was killed while on patrol, Highway 1 will be dedicated to the fallen officer. - Santa Cruz Patch

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

August 13, 2013
The Roundup: CA pension law versus federal grant law; lawmaker wants CalPERS to dump Russian investment

HA_newspapers3808.JPGBillions in federal transportation funds riding on California's new pension law
Less than a year after California lawmakers mandated sweeping changes for state and local government pensions, federal officials are poised to cut off billions of dollars in transportation funding because of the new laws. - The Sacramento Bee

For CalPERS, a Russian shopping center is "a good addition to our portfolio"
Here is what prompted State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, to come up with a resolution, introduced today, calling on the state's public pension funds to cease investing in Russia on account of its "homosexual propaganda" law ... - San Francisco Chronicle

Federal Workers Try New Ways to Protest the Sequester
When furloughs of the federal workforce hit earlier this year, some government workers grumbled or headed to a local bar. - Wall Street Journal

Oklahoma state regents gave employees 5 percent raise
While state workers await the outcome of a compensation study to see if raises will be forthcoming, the Oklahoma State Regents last month quietly gave a 5 percent increase to employees. - Tulsa World

Big Minn. State Workers Union Ratifies Contract
Two labor unions representing thousands of Minnesota state employees have ratified new contracts that include across-the-board raises but higher health insurance contributions from workers. - Associated Press/WCCO Minnesota

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

August 7, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS gets sued; federal furloughs trimmed; CalPERS scandal figure wants speedy litigation

HA_newspapers3808.JPGSuit alleges CalPERS misled customers about long-term care insurance
When CalPERS imposed an 85 percent rate hike on its long-term care insurance program, it caused a fuss among customers and some legislators. Now it's sparked a lawsuit. - The Sacramento Bee

Furloughs for civilian federal employees to end sooner than expected
The Pentagon is easing the pain of mandatory, unpaid work furloughs that civilian federal government employees, including those at White Sands Missile Range, have had to bear for a month because of budgetary pressures. They have cut the number of furlough days from 11 to six. - Las Cruces Sun-News

CalPERS scandal figure Villalobos opposes delay in civil suits
The central figure in the CalPERS bribery scandal says he is in "failing health," nearly died two years ago and needs a quick resolution to the pile of litigation he faces. - The Sacramento Bee

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

August 5, 2013
The Roundup: Public unions pressured to accept medical-benefit cuts; CO and OR pay

HA_newspapers3808.JPGDanger: 'Cadillac tax' ahead
Cities and school districts across the country are pushing municipal unions to accept cheaper health benefits in anticipation of a component of the Affordable Care Act that will tax expensive plans starting in 2018. ... State and local governments across the country tend to offer more expensive health plans than private businesses do, and workers often accept smaller wage increases to retain their benefits. Because of this, state and local government employees are expected to be disproportionately represented among those whose plans will be subject to the tax. - The New York Times / The Sacramento Bee

Report: State workers need raise to match private sector
Colorado's roughly 32,000 state workers need a 3.8 percent raise to catch up to their counterparts in the private sector, the state Department of Personnel and Administration said Thursday. - Sterling Journal-Advocate

Improved economy leads to pay raises for Oregon politicians, state workers
After years of freezes and unpaid furlough days, state workers and some Oregon politicians will see their pay go up in a few months. - The Oregonian

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

July 25, 2013
The Roundup: Goodbye furloughs; state workers' paid to stay home

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe State Worker: An ode to furloughs
It's the end of an era. After more than four years of on-and-off furloughs, most state workers' Aug. 1 paychecks for July will show full hours and pay for the first time since last summer. - The Sacramento Bee

State pays employees to go home
An investigative report by WRAL-TV has found that nearly 900 North Carolina state workers were sent home over the past two years while investigations were conducted into their conduct at work. While on leave, these workers collected a total of $1.7 million in salaries, reports the WRAL team. - Triangle Business Journal

DOC salaries too high? Private prisons pay much less
A letter from Colorado Senate Republicans spotlighting the salaries of roughly 4,000 Department of Corrections workers is drawing fire from the state employee union as well as Senate Democrats. - Pueblo Chieftan

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

July 23, 2013
The Roundup: Controversial hold on video; Ore. contracts; Vernon pension fight


Caught on camera: State worker fired for dangerous restraint of teenage girl
Security-camera footage from the Iowa Juvenile Home shows a state worker dragging a 17-year-old girl out of a chair and pinning her, doubled over, to the floor where he holds her for eight minutes in a position that can cause asphyxiation. - Des Moines Register

Many labor contracts unfinished, state says
Nearly 6,000 state employees still have contracts being negotiated, now that the state's Department of Administrative Services has reached tentative agreements with its two largest unions. - Statesman Journal

Top public pension earner sues Vernon after CalPERS cuts his benefit
The man who was granted California's biggest public pension isn't giving it up without a fight. - Los Angeles Times

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

July 19, 2013
The Roundup: Ore. union contract; British employee cashouts; N.M. management turmoil

HA_newspapers3808.JPGState worker union deal eliminates furloughs, adds COLA and step increases
Oregon's largest public employee union announced early this morning it has reached a tentative deal with the state on a two-year contract that would end unpaid days off, averting a possible strike. - The Statesman Journal

State workers given £2.7 billion in pay-offs in a single year
Nearly 3,500 staff received compensation packages worth more than £100,000, and more than 14,000 were awarded "golden goodbyes" of between £50,000 and £100,000. - The Telegraph

State workers: Hostile bosses impede jobs
The state agency charged with vetting terrorism threats and helping New Mexicans during disasters has been embroiled in turmoil for the last year, which some employees say has hindered their ability to do their jobs. - The New Mexican

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

July 19, 2013
Fake signs say CHP using drones enforce speed limit

CBS Bay Area affiliate KPIX 5 reports that someone mounted professional-grade signs along a highway that falsely caution drivers the speed limit is "enforced by drones." The sign also shows a drone firing a weapon.

The signs have popped up on Highway 37 and other locations, according to the report. Authorities are investigating.

July 18, 2013
Column Extra: The first try at CHP pay parity

Our column in today's Bee takes on the question: How did CHP officers' pay become set by law?

The answer is a story than spans four decades, Republican and Democratic governors and battles wages in the statehouse, the courthouse and the ballot box.

Ironically, Caifornia voters rejected a measure to guarantee CHP officers receive pay comparable to the maximum paid their counterparts statewide. Gov. (and former actors' union president) Ronald Reagan signed the first CHP pay parity law.

The documents below include the 1972 ballot measure's title and summary in a letter from then-Attorney General Evelle Younger to -- that's right -- former Secretary of State Jerry Brown.

Proposition 16 Title and Summary

July 18, 2013
The Roundup: CHP's pay parity; pension hypocrisy; La. layoffs

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe State Worker: How CHP officers' salaries became law
Of all the state employee unions that bargain with Gov. Jerry Brown, the group that recently got what will likely be the biggest bump this year wasn't even part of a contract negotiation. - The Sacramento Bee

AP Exclusive: Pension funds keep elective travel
California's two public pension systems continued to fly top officials around the globe for conferences, workshops and speaking engagements even after Gov. Jerry Brown ordered a ban on discretionary travel while the state was trying to emerge from years of budget deficits. - Associated Press

Dan Morain: Hypocrisy and Rep. McClintock's pension
Tom McClintock used the occasion of a 2005 hearing into state pensions to denounce government workers' rich retirement benefits, as was his wont back when he was in California's Senate. - The Sacramento Bee

3,800 state workers laid off in last budget year
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The layoff figures for the just-ended 2012-13 budget year have grown to show that more than 3,800 employees received pink slips from the state. - Associated Press

Want more news? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

July 16, 2013
The Roundup: California's prison problems; good year for CalPERS, CalSTRS; Greek protests

HA_newspapers3808.JPG
CalPERS, CalSTRS pension funds post double-digit gains, still face funding shortfalls
CalPERS says it earned 12.5 percent on its investment portfolio in the latest fiscal year, well above its official forecast. - Sacramento Bee

California Is Facing More Woes in Prisons
Just six months after declaring "the prison crisis is over in California," Gov. Jerry Brown is facing dire predictions about the future of the state's prison system, one of the largest in the nation. - The New York Times

Thousands of Greeks Join Strike Against Public Sector Layoffs
Tens of thousands of Greek workers walked off the job on Tuesday and rallied in front of parliament in a noisy protest against government plans to fire public sector employees to satisfy foreign lenders. - Moneynews.com

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

July 11, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS delays database; Oregon pay hike; California hiring to help feds

HA_newspapers3808.JPG
CalPERS holds off on launching pension database Amid an outcry from worried retirees, a lawsuit threat and talk of legislative action, CalPERS on Wednesday delayed plans to launch a website that would disclose pensioners' names, their retirement allowances and other public pension information. - The Sacramento Bee

State workers may see double-digit pay raises
Oregon state employees would receive pay increases of 8.7 percent to 15.4 percent under the current contract offer from the state's Department of Administrative Services, according to a memo DAS Director Michael Jordan sent to agency heads on Wednesday. - The Statesman Journal

Calif. hiring state workers to help VA with claims
California is moving to help the federal government cut the backlog of veterans' disability claims with a new law creating a 36-member state strike force to help the Veterans Affairs Department process claims. - Military Times

The State Worker: Water department worker becomes published author
She's a second-generation state worker who has endured a decade of insecurity, a cubicle dweller who writes about fantastic worlds, an 8-to-5er who wakes up inspired to create at 4 a.m. Now, after years of frustration and fighting self-doubt, Stacy Garrett is a published author. - The Sacramento Bee

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

June 13, 2013
The Roundup: SEIU labor deal; CalPERS loses $52 million lawsuit

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe State Worker: Here's the case for SEIU pay raises
Now that SEIU Local 1000 has negotiated an across-the-board pay bump for the 95,000 employees it represents, the inevitable question follows: Is it a sensible agreement? - The Sacramento Bee

CalPERS loses lawsuit, must pay $52 million
CalPERS was ordered to pay about $52 million to a former business partner in a dispute over fees generated by an investment in a string of Florida nursing homes. -The Sacramento Bee

Florida prison officers win $603,000 settlement
The state has worked out a $603,000 settlement with the federal government to settle a long-running dispute with the union representing prison guards, compensating them for time spent preparing for going to and from their duty stations. - The Current

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

June 10, 2013
The Roundup: U.S. Senate staff classes teach sleeping, small talk, forgiveness

HA_newspapers3808.JPGSenate Staffers Can Take Free Classes On Sleeping, Sitting and Forgiveness
The Senate Office of Education and Training offers many classes to workers in the Senate. - BuzzFeed

Bomb threat linked to sign misspelling
A man brought a pressure cooker that he claimed was a bomb into the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission office Wednesday and told employees he tried to blow up their sign because it was misspelled. - Statesman Journal

State workers spend three days a year waiting for PCs to start
Stephen Kelly, the government's chief operating officer, said it took seven minutes for his own PC to spring into life in the morning. - The Telegraph (UK)

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

June 3, 2013
States get into the mobile app game

130603-apple-samsung--phones.JPGStates are rolling out mobile applications that do everything from touting tourism to assisting with tax payments.

Stateline's Melissa Maynard recently reported on the phenomenon and linked to a National Association of State Chief Information Officers site that catalogs 160 or so apps from around the nation.

The most common mobile programs connect users with their state's motor vehicles agency or provide state parks' information. Many help voters locate polling places or look up contact information for their elected officials.

Other apps are more tourism- and business-minded. "Delaware Fresh," gives users an interactive map that shows more than 80 farm stands and markets in the state.

And New York promotes its lottery with the "Yo-Yolanda" app. The Apple App Store description:

Spin your yo-yo like a New Yorker with Yo-Yolanda Vega! This yo-yo application from The New York Lottery shows you how to perform iconic tricks like The Brooklyn Bridge, Lady Liberty, The Niagara Fall and The Perfect Slice. The more tricks you master, the more points you get. NY Lottery announcer Yolanda Vega will be there to cheer you on. And after you're an ace with the yo-yo, you can check the NY Lottery winning numbers to see if you've really hit it big.

Please play responsibly. You must be 18 years or older to purchase a Lottery ticket.

PHOTO CREDIT: An Apple iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy. 2012 AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon

May 31, 2013
The Roundup: NM workers win back pay; NY case tests workplace privacy; pensions versus pavement in Sonoma County

HA_newspapers3808.JPG
NM high court orders back pay for state workersThousands of state workers are owed back pay totaling millions of dollars, New Mexico's highest court ruled Thursday in a victory for unions representing public employees. - Bloomberg Businessweek

Fired state worker tests GPS use
New York's top judges on Wednesday listened to arguments in a workplace surveillance case that, depending on the outcome, could affect the privacy of hundreds of thousands of public employees. The case could set a precedent on the use of electronic tracking devices to trace the movements of state and possibly local government workers. - Albany Times-Union

In California wine country, bumpy roads tell tale of fiscal woe
The serpentine strip of asphalt known as Sonoma Mountain Road wends its way through a bucolic landscape 50 miles north of San Francisco, curving past rows of grapevines, dipping into redwood groves, rising again through rippling hills.- Reuters

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 30, 2013
The Roundup: California state retirees; department's errors cost $100 million; funding CalSTRS

HA_newspapers3808.JPG
The State Worker: California employee retirements are rising
California will likely bid farewell to more than 10,000 state employees by the end of this year as a range of factors - from age to the economy to politics - prods them to retire. - The Sacramento Bee

California agency failed to collect $100 million for cleanup of contaminated sites
A California agency spent $100 million in public funds over the past 26 years to clean contaminated property for which polluters were liable but never were sent a bill, officials said Wednesday. - The Sacramento Bee

Viewpoints: Unexpected state revenue should go to teacher pensions
In the May revision to his 2013-14 budget, Gov. Jerry Brown announced an increase in state revenue, largely as a result of rising stock and real estate prices. Appropriately, the governor has counseled spending restraint because the state still hasn't addressed core budget issues and inevitably will face more shortfalls when markets revert to the mean. But there is a uniquely good spot for that revenue. - The Sacramento Bee

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 29, 2013
The Roundup: Bay Bridge bolts; former state worker witness in son's murder trial

HA_newspapers3808.JPG
Sacramento man convicted of shaking down rehab clinics now a witness in his son's murder trial
A dad who was under federal investigation for using his California state job to shake down drug rehab clinics for thousands of dollars in cash has turned into a key witness against his son in an upcoming Sacramento murder trial. - Sacramento Bee

Transportation commissioners seeking answers on Bay Bridge
Members of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said Tuesday that they expect new details on fixes for broken and suspect bolts on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at a special meeting Wednesday. - Sacramento Bee

Labor big a real heavy sleeper
Union fat cat Mark Rosenthal spends more time sleeping at his desk than organizing labor, a series of damning photos reveals. - New York Post

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 28, 2013
The Roundup: States deploy apps; CA high-speed rail hits speed bump; IL pension politics

HA_newspapers3808.JPG
There's an App for That State Service
After a long day of slogging through the woods, Arkansas hunters used to have to check in their game at the nearest mom-and-pop establishment. At the end of the season, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff would drive around the state to collect the paperwork.- Stateline

Builder of 1st phase of California's bullet train faces scrutiny
The state bullet train agency is pushing full throttle to start construction of the important first phase of the California high-speed rail system in as little as six weeks, prompting scrutiny of the state's selection of a construction company with the worst technical scores among bidders.- Los Angeles Times

RPT-Deadline near, Illinois pension reform snarled in state politics
With less than a week left to go in Illinois' spring legislative session, the future of reforms to rein in burgeoning costs for the nation's worst-funded public pension system rests with the two Democrats who run the state's House and Senate chambers.- Reuters

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 17, 2013
The Roundup: Unions lose holiday court fight; questions arise over donation to California state parks

HA_newspapers3808.JPG

California state worker unions lose ruling on loss of holidays
A Sacramento appellate court ruled Thursday that state workers covered by expired job contracts were not exempt from the state's elimination of two paid holidays.- The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: 'Nevada must be made whole'
As the 77th session of the Nevada Legislature nears its close, I invite my fellow Nevadans to learn about their state employees before the final votes are cast to determine the economic fate of state employees, their families, and their neighborhood businesses.- Elko Daily Free Press

State officials say parks fundraiser wrongly used cash
A private fundraising company hired to raise money for California state parks is accused of spending almost $1 million of a large donation on its own bills, an accusation it denies as legislators say they want more information.- News 10

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 15, 2013
The Roundup: Bay Bridge questions; NC could curtail civil service protections

HA_newspapers3808.JPG

Senate panel questions Caltrans about Bay Bridge broken bolts, broken trust
Frustrated state senators pressed California Department of Transportation officials at a Tuesday hearing about how they will deal with thousands of suspect steel parts in the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which were installed even though they had not met specifications.- Sacramento Bee

Civil protections curtailed for state workers under McCrory bill
RALEIGH -- The legislature is poised to curtail civil service protections for state employees, giving preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill pushed by Gov. Pat McCrory.- Raleigh News & Observer

New state budget: Where's the heart and humanity?
Try looking for some trace of heart and humanity in the $7.2 billion state budget for fiscal 2014 approved by the House and awaiting Senate action. Still searching? So too are many others. The budget is big on bricks and mortar and meager for people, those state employees who keep the government running. - Tulsa World

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 9, 2013
The Roundup: California's tech test; AK workers learn bear defense

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe State Worker: Small project a big test for California's government tech skills
At the state's human resources headquarters in Sacramento, a small-but-significant test of state employee computer prowess is rebooting. - Sacramento Bee

State Workers Get Bear Defense Training
NCHORAGE - Some state employees' job requires them to deal with the state's crankiest residents. That's why for about four weeks every year, about 100 state workers who work in the field prepare for the worst-case scenario. - KTVA

New effort targets Pa.'s 'triple-dipping' state workers
Public employees would be protected from punishment for providing information requested by Louisiana lawmakers under a bill approved by a House committee Wednesday. House Bill 387 by Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, comes after some high-profile instances in which state officials who disagreed with Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration lost their jobs. - NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 8, 2013
Indiana state worker fired for forwarding anti-Muslim joke email

Check out this report from Indiana, where a state worker is claiming he was treated unfairly for forwarding a joke from his work email account.

Discipline for 3 Indiana state workers over forwarding joke emails - RTV6

May 3, 2013
The Roundup: California prison plan; capitols crumble; PA triple-dippers legislation

HA_newspapers3808.JPGBrown says more prison releases require Legislature to act
The Brown administration told a federal court Thursday night that to further reduce inmate prison population the Legislature would have to agree to dramatically restructure the laws governing California's corrections system. - Sacramento Bee

States Rush to Fix Capitol Buildings After Years of Decline
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin literally had a nose for news when she took a group of journalists on a tour of the state Capitol's basement "dungeon" in January. Gas from raw waste fouled the air, the result of collapsing sewer lines underneath the century-old building. But the nasty odor didn't bother a hairy-legged bug crawling out of its moldy, moist habitat to say hello. "Ooh, there's a big cockroach," Fallin said. - Stateline

New effort targets Pa.'s 'triple-dipping' state workers
Progress may have slowed on legislative efforts to put an end to a practice known as "triple dipping" -- although Pennsylvania lawmakers say they're determined to get a measure to the governor's desk soon.
- WHYY

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

May 2, 2013
The Roundup: Legislature takes up CalPERS' long-term care; federal hiring slows

HA_newspapers3808.JPG

The State Worker: Committee calls hearing on CalPERS long-term care insurance
Don't be surprised if an Assembly hearing next Tuesday gets a tad heated. - The Sacramento Bee

Budget cuts squelch hiring
Hiring in the federal government has dropped by a third over the past three years as budget cuts have taken their toll.- Federal Times

Senate kills 'right to work' plan for Ohio
Just hours after two House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled a three-part strategy to make Ohio a "right to work" state, GOP leadership in the Senate killed the idea.- Cleveland.com / The Plain Dealer

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

April 30, 2013
The Roundup: NV hospital workers fired; CA to move prisoners

Two hospital workers fired over 'dumping' of Nevada psychiatric patients
Nevada state officials said Monday that two employees at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas have been fired and another three will be disciplined as a result of an internal investigation into the hospital's practice of busing mentally ill patients to other states.- Sacramento Bee

State must remove thousands at risk of valley fever at two prisons
The federal court official in charge of running healthcare for California's troubled prison system on Monday directed the state to immediately remove more than a third of the inmates at two state prisons because of the risk of valley fever.- Los Angeles Times

Lawmakers agree on pay raise for state workers
TALLAHASSEE -- For the first time in seven years, Florida lawmakers have agreed to give state employees automatic salary increases, ending a bleak stretch for a 160,000-member workforce that has weathered cutbacks, pay reductions and slashed benefits.- Miami Herald

Want more? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

April 19, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS diversifies health insurance options; scapegoating pensions; FL public-employee pay politics

HA_newspapers3808.JPG

Blue Shield loses quasi-monopoly on CalPERS health insurance
In a bid to curb health care inflation, CalPERS is splitting up its multibillion-dollar HMO contract among five different companies. - The Sacramento Bee

Don't blame worker pensions on government financial failures: Editorial
Perhaps the most telling number in a recently released national survey about retirement is the one that describes how many Americans believe their elected officials in Washington, D.C. simply don't understand how difficult it is to save for the golden years. Eighty-seven percent. So it's no wonder Californians don't believe politicians in this state who continue to use the public employee pension system as a scapegoat for governments' financial woes.- Long Beach Press-Telegram

Lawmakers playing favorites when considering raises for state workers and teachers
TALLAHASSEE -- The past five years haven't been easy for state government workers and teachers.- Tampa Bay Times

Want more news? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

April 16, 2013
The Roundup: Jerry Brown to comply with prison order if appeal fails; NY plan strips pensions for political corruption; SD guard killer loses resentencing bid

HA_newspapers3808.JPG

Senate Dems would strip officials of their pensions in corruption convictions
The Senate Democratic Conference unveiled its legislative ethics package Monday afternoon, designed to reform New York State government and fight the constant corruption issues facing the state. - LegislativeGazette.com

Jerry Brown to comply with prison order if appeals fail
SHENZHEN, China - Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday his administration will prepare to release as many as 10,000 state prisoners if the state is unable to get out from under a court order demanding it reduce California's prison population. - The Sacramento Bee

Gay rights activists seek more state worker protections at NC legislature's lobbying day
RALEIGH, North Carolina -- Gay rights supporters in North Carolina fell short last year in stopping a constitutional amendment that made clear same-sex marriage and civil unions are unlawful in the state. Now they're lobbying again, this time to seek more protections for state workers. - The Republic

Want more information? For stories of interest to state employees, check out the State Worker's new and constantly updated News & Views feed by clicking here.

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out our community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns.

April 10, 2013
The Roundup: San Jose judge rules on leave cashouts; Texas denies union-rep rights; phishing scheme targets government workers

HA_newspapers3808.JPGSan Jose public employees: Judge says city owes retired librarian $28,000 for unused sick leave
SAN JOSE -- San Jose owes a former employee more than $28,000 for unused sick leave under a judge's ruling that puts the city on the hook to pay millions of dollars to other retiring workers from the generous perk that it has tried to claw back. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Mary Arand's tentative ruling, dated Thursday, could influence other cases in California. Mercury News

Missouri workers could keep gun in locked cars
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (AP) -- The Missouri House has advanced legislation guaranteeing state workers the right to keep firearms in their vehicles on state property when they're on the job. KRCG 13

PUC official in hot water for trying to secretly record meeting
A routine staff meeting at the state Capitol turned controversial last week when a California Public Utilities Commission official was caught trying to secretly record the conversation. Sacramento Bee

Daniel Borenstein: Stockton bankruptcy explores whether pension promises can be broken
A bankruptcy judge's ruling last week declaring the city of Stockton insolvent sets the stage for a possible legal showdown over whether financially destitute municipalities can alter employee pension benefits. Mercury News

State jobless agency changing how it handles claims
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's jobless will now have to file claims online instead of having state workers take their applications at a workforce center, a move required by shrinking federal funding, officials announced this morning. GreenvilleOnline.com

March 31, 2013
The Roundup: Audit blasts Caltrans; two views of CA; FL and MT eye raises for state workers

HA_newspapers3808.JPGThe State Worker is back after a week off.

State auditor: California's net worth at negative $127.2 billion
Were California's state government a business, it would be a candidate for insolvency with a negative net worth of $127.2 billion, according to an annual financial report issued by State Auditor Elaine Howle and the Bureau of State Audits.


California Beaming
But there is something irrational, indeed unpatriotic, in rooting for California to fail, as so many conservatives are now doing. Sure, they are upset that the Republican Party is dead in this state -- R.I.P. G.O.P. And, among the fringes, there are those who cannot accept that California is a minority-majority state, with whites making up about 39 percent of the population. They've seen the future and don't like it one bit.

Legislature urges state worker raises; first time in 6 years
The Florida Senate and House rolled out their respective budget proposals on Friday. Both budgets are slightly bigger than Gov. Rick Scott's spending plan, and both differ from Scott's in one respect: Lawmakers want to give across the board pay raises to all state workers, while Scott favors bonuses to workers.

State audit faults Caltrans lapses
In an investigation released Thursday, the Bureau of State Audits sharply criticized the California Department of Transportation for numerous lapses in managing a unit that tests foundations of bridges and other freeway structures to verify their soundness and safety.

March 20, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS scandal; furloughs and leave; high court takes state age discrimination case

HA_newspapers3808.JPGCalPERS Criminal Prosecutions Needed To End Public Pension Fraud
Yesterday a federal grand jury indicted two former top officials of CalPERS, the nation's largest public pension fund on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges. Three years after the "pay-to-play" influence peddling scandal surfaced at the $225 billion fund, the Department of Justice may be poised to investigate and prosecute public pension corruption nationally. Take my word for it, there's enough public pension corruption across the country to keep DOJ busy for decades. Forbes

Pensions part of system that actually works right
We elect our state legislators with the hope that they will look out for the public. So it always is sort of a shock when legislators work to undermine government services which work best for people. Heraldnet

Dan Walters: California Legislature 'solving' problems it created
The 2013 session of the California Legislature is nearly four months old, having begun in early December, and lawmakers have done little to earn their salaries and living expense checks. Sacramento Bee

Gov. Jerry Brown takes notice of realignment complaints
As lawmakers stepped up pressure to modify California's historic prison realignment - most recently at a news conference Tuesday featuring a crime victim in a wheelchair - Gov. Jerry Brown is taking notice. Sacramento Bee

Post-crisis reforms sustainable?
A nationwide study, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, projects that huge pension fund losses during the financial crisis will be offset over three decades by a wave of recently enacted cost-cutting reforms -- but only if several things happen. Public CEO

Oklahoma firefighters rally against consolidating state pension boards
About 400 firefighters showed up outside the Oklahoma Capitol to oppose a plan to consolidate state pension boards. The plan has the support of the governor and state treasurer. The Oklahoman

February 27, 2013
The Roundup: March trial looms in Stockton pension dispute; ME struggles to recruit; OR union wants more pay and vacation

The Roundup: March trial looms in Stockton pension dispute; ME struggles to recruit; OR union wants more pay and...

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Wed, Feb 27 2013 06:33:01

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.

Stockton's CalPERS payments will be tested in March bankruptcy trial - The Sacramento BeeStockton is going to have to prove in court that it's broke, going up against angry Wall Street creditors who say the city is improperly ...
State trying to count parolees who have ditched GPS trackersSACRAMENTO - California corrections officials, expressing concern over a rise in paroled sex offenders disabling their GPS tracking devic...
Stateline - Infographic: State and Local Government Employment TrendsState and local governments have shed 681,000 jobs since their peak in August 2008, by far the steepest drop of any recession in the last...

February 26, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS' unfunded liability; WI budget includes smokers' fee; New York state worker chastised for talking to media

The Roundup: CalPERS' unfunded liability; WI includes smokers' fee; New York state worker chastised for talking

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Tue, Feb 26 2013 07:01:23

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
California pension liabilities may swell to $328.6 bln -reportAt the higher level, the unfunded pension liabilities would come to $8,600 per resident of the most populous U.S. state, the report by th...
As economy recovers, CalPERS may lift rate lidCalPERS last week gave some 1,575 local governments a small increase in their annual pension costs, one of the last rates kept low by unu...
Talks Between State & AFSCME Drag Along | Alton Daily NewsState workers are talking about going on strike if contract talks don't show more progress. The state is involved in negotiations with AF...
Walker budget charges smoking state workers $50 insurance fee | Superior Telegram | Superior, WisconsinGovernor Walker wants to charge state workers who smoke. The monthly $50 fee is included in his budget proposal. According to the Nationa...

February 20, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS' looming long-term care hike; AFSCME in IL talks strike; WA considers truth-telling law

The Roundup: CalPERS' looming long-term care hike; AFSCME in IL talks strike; WA considers truth-telling law

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Wed, Feb 20 2013 06:08:30

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
CalPERS enrollees receive notice of long-term care rate hikes - The Sacramento BeeWith an 85 percent premium hike looming, government workers and retirees covered by CalPERS' costliest long-term care insurance policies ...
California universities see future in online classesLONG BEACH - For millions of students around the country like Cal State Long Beach student Dan Deguzman, the appeal of online classes is ...
Capitol Alert: Fiscal analyst has legal concerns with Gov. Jerry Brown's budget - sacbee.comWhat You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and...
CalPERS to unload firearms investments - The Sacramento BeeResponding to the elementary school massacre in Connecticut, CalPERS on Tuesday moved to unload $5 million worth of investments in two ma...
California pushes - some say too hard - to recover money for fighting wildfires - The Sacramento BeeThe fire started with an anchor bolt on a hot October day at a Ventura County reservoir. A laborer took his chop saw to the half-inch-thi...

February 12, 2013
The Roundup: Dual-wage state doctors; inmate lawsuits; VA limits part-time hours

The Roundup: Dual-wage state doctors; inmate lawsuits; VA limits part-time hours

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Tue, Feb 12 2013 06:30:34

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Prison receiver says he is ending practice of dual-wage doctorsThe court-appointed receiver for California's prison healthcare system has asked prison doctors to end the practice of moonlighting withi...
Inmate Lawsuits Cost State HUGE SumSACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown has begun aggressively challenging federal court oversight of California's prison system by highlig...
San Bernardino, Calpers fail to reach deal ahead of court dateSenior officials at the California Public Employees Retirement System, the biggest U.S. public pension fund and San Bernardino's biggest ...
Dan Walters: California vs. Texas debate rages on - The Sacramento BeeUnto itself, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's supposed business recruitment trip to California this week is nothing more than a publicity stunt, a...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

February 8, 2013
The Roundup: Caltrans acknowledges testing flaws; lessons from Knox v. SEIU; states' pay and benefits

The Roundup: Caltrans acknowledges testing flaws; lessons from Knox v. SEIU; states' pay and benefits

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Fri, Feb 08 2013 07:26:00

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Caltrans experts, despite testing problems, say structures are safe - The Sacramento BeeAn analysis from a team of California Department of Transportation experts, released Thursday after more than a year of preparation, conf...
Are Government Layoffs the Problem? - Room for DebateAndré da Loba As the economy continues its slow, fitful recovery, the private sector has added hundreds of thousands of jobs. But state, ...
Justice(s) at WorkThis column is prompted by the eye-catching headline that appeared two weeks ago: "Share of the Work Force in a Union Falls to a 97-Year ...
The State Worker: Basic numbers go missing in state bureaucracy - The Sacramento BeeYou would think that a multibillion-dollar enterprise could do the basic stuff, like track how many employees answer to the boss or where...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

February 6, 2013
The Roundup: CA budget games; states consider, reject employee raises; 'death spiral states'

The Roundup: CA budget games; states consider, reject employee raises; 'death spiral states'

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Wed, Feb 06 2013 08:09:56

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Money managers, California Department of Finance, play annual accounting games - The Sacramento BeeState parks employees told investigators last year it was common to hide money in their budget because they were afraid the state Departm...
Pension forfeiture bill wins legislative panel's supportBill would allow government to try to recoup tax dollars from retirement accounts of convicted public employees
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

January 31, 2013
The Roundup: The tangled chain of command; anti-union battles heat up; why democracy needs unions

The Roundup: The tangled chain of command; anti-union battles heat up; why democracy needs unions

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Thu, Jan 31 2013 06:08:04

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Extra jobs could complicate chain of command - The Sacramento BeeIf you're looking for another reason to criticize a state policy (suspended, for now) that allows employees who can't earn overtime to ta...
State university faculty union says strike threat is serious but remains a last resortState university faculty say their patience is wearing thin. Faculty negotiators from the 14 state-owned universities have been to the ba...
The Buzz: Budget boom comes to $5 billion this month - The Sacramento BeeIt's official. California is rolling in dough, at least for now. The state's fiscal review office said Wednesday the budget is poised to ...

January 30, 2013
The Roundup: CA state workers with two state jobs; FL spiritual leaders back state pay raises; PA looks at privatizing booze sales

The Roundup: CA state workers with two state jobs; FL spiritual leaders back state pay raises; PA looks at...

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Wed, Jan 30 2013 08:12:58

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
U.S. judges give California six more months to cut inmate population - The Sacramento BeeThree weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state's prison overcrowding crisis over, a court of three federal judges said Tuesday tha...
Many state workers hold more than one job; Brown administration puts a brake on the practice - The Sacramento BeeNearly a dozen state departments have allowed hundreds of employees to hold more than one job, confirming CalPERS officials' claims that ...
Spiritual leaders gather for state worker raisesThe Rev. R.B. Holmes and other spiritual leaders Tuesday spoke as one in support of state workers getting a pay raise. Holmes, pastor of ...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

January 28, 2013
The Roundup: California pension pressure; states' anti-union movements; federal job cuts

The Roundup: California pension pressure; states' anti-union movements; federal job cuts

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Mon, Jan 28 2013 06:48:01

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Capitol Alert: Assembly sets pay ranges for newly created job classifications - sacbee.comNow for the money: The California Assembly has set salary ranges for a handful of new job classifications it created this month. Dozens o...
Budget officials flee San Bernardino amid bankruptcy chaosBy Tim Reid LOS ANGELES, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Top budget officials in crisis-hit San Bernardino, California, are quitting the city at a cru...
Federal receiver says California prison claimThe overseer of California's prison healthcare said Friday that Gov. Jerry Brown's claim he supports California's contention that prison ...
Dan Walters: California pension funds still face huge liabilities - The Sacramento BeeThe California Public Employees' Retirement System has reported - with no small elation - that it has recouped virtually all of the $95 b...
Outnumbered Michigan Democrats start longshot bid to repeal right-to-work laws in LegislatureLANSING, MI - In what likely will turn out to be a largely symbolic move, Michigan Democrats who are outnumbered in the Legislature say t...

January 18, 2013
The Roundup: Raley's strike leader named to CalPERS board; CA legislators will look at CalPERS pay program

The Roundup: Raley's strike leader named to CalPERS board; CA legislators will look at CalPERS pay program

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Fri, Jan 18 2013 10:00:00

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Leader of strike against Raley's named to CalPERS governing board - The Sacramento BeeOne of the leaders of the recent strike against Raley's has been named to the CalPERS governing board. The newest board member is Ron Lin...
Lawmakers say they will probe dual jobs of California state workers - The Sacramento BeeLawmakers promised Thursday to investigate revelations that California's largest public pension fund has paid some salaried managers extr...
Capitol Alert: Dan Walters Daily: CalPERS revelations feed cynicism - sacbee.comWhat You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and...
Union accuses administration of aiming cuts at employees, not contractorsThe Obama administration is favoring contractors over federal workers in its strategy for confronting threatened across-the-board budget ...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

January 15, 2013
The Roundup: CalPERS' rebound; Jerry Brown pressures colleges; SC tells workers to stay home

The Roundup: CalPERS' rebound; Jerry Brown pressures colleges; SC tells workers to stay home

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Tue, Jan 15 2013 06:33:18

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.

CalPERS' investments bounce back - The Sacramento BeeBoosted by stocks and real estate, CalPERS' investments bounced back strongly last year. The big pension fund said Monday it earned a 13....
How gay friendly is state government? - State Workers BlogYesterday, we reported that Salem was ranked 14th on a list of the "gayest cities in America." Since state workers make up a huge part of...
Legislative analyst embraces Jerry Brown's budget plan - The Sacramento BeeThe state's top fiscal analyst generally embraced Gov. Jerry Brown's budget Monday, agreeing that the state's spending and revenues are "...
Jerry Brown pressing for efficiencies at California's universities - The Sacramento BeeGov. Jerry Brown, who paid relatively little attention to the University of California for the first two years of his term, started showi...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

January 8, 2013
The Roundup: CA asks court to rethink prison overcrowding order; another CA computer snafu; FL governor giveth and taketh away

The Roundup: CA asks court to rethink prison overcrowding order; another CA computer snafu; FL governor giveth and...

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Tue, Jan 08 2013 05:59:00

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Halt in inmate releases sought - The Sacramento BeeClaiming that the state has made substantial progress in solving its prison overcrowding problem, California officials asked a federal co...
Software update accidentially cancels food stamp cards for 37,000 CaliforniansAbout 37,000 Californians who receive food stamps are currently unable to access their benefits after their electronic benefit cards were...
Rick Haglund: Right to work is latest panacea meant to transform Michigan's economyByon January 06, 2013 at 7:00 AM, updated I used to be a sucker for the next big thing that would turbocharge Michigan's economy. High te...
U.S. Set for Biggest State-Local Jobs Boost Since 2007State and local governments are in their best financial shape since the recession, giving them leeway to cushion the U.S. economy from fe...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

December 28, 2012
Top 10 of 2012: State worker posts nearly 5,000 comments

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for countdown 10.JPGThis is the first in a series of posts counting down the most-read State Worker blog items of 2012 -- with a little hindsight twist.

When the state auditor reported that a Department of Education employee had posted 4,900 sacbee.com comments on his work time, our post about it drew enough attention to earn it 10th place in our countdown of this year's most-viewed State Worker blog items.

While the unnamed state worker's comment tally was astounding, Bee managing editor Tom Negrete to put the number in perspective for media blogger Jim Romenesko.

"As commenters go, he would not make our top 20 commenters, who each average 1,000 comments a month or more. We've spoken to most of those on the top 20 list, and they are mostly retired folks." Negrete said. "... so impressive to have a day job and still post about 600 comments a month."

Here's the Dec. 11 item: California state employee posts nearly 5,000 online comments from work

December 27, 2012
The Roundup: Wall Street firms fined; how labor beat Prop. 32; Maine workplace settlements cost $2 million

The Roundup: Wall Street firms fined; how labor beat Prop. 32; Maine workplace settlements cost $2 million

Storified by Jon Ortiz· Thu, Dec 27 2012 09:48:55

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Five Wall Street investment banks fined for using bond sale proceeds to pay California lobbyist - The Sacramento BeeIn a case involving California municipal bonds, five Wall Street investment banks were fined today for using proceeds of bond sales to pa...
The State Worker: Public jobs now more public than ever - The Sacramento BeeSay your neighbor is thinking about a job with the state. What advice would you offer? Sacramento Assemblyman Roger Dickinson said last w...
Labor beat Prop. 32 via social mediaLeaders of the California unions that spent $75 million to defeat Proposition 32's union-busting campaign in November discovered somethin...

December 16, 2012
The Roundup: CalPERS v. San Bernardino; most MI state workers exempt from new anti-union law; NV governor sidesteps state pay raise issue

The Roundup: CalPERS v. San Bernardino; most MI state workers exempt from new anti-union law; NV governor sidesteps...

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Sun, Dec 16 2012 11:48:37

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
CalPERS fight tries to salvage full pensions - The Sacramento BeeThe bland bureaucracy that dispenses pension checks to half a million Californians has taken on a new identity: fierce and unyielding cha...
Editorial: State audits need to name names - The Sacramento BeeThe Bureau of State Audits has a well-deserved reputation for issuing solid reports on important topics, particularly misuse of public mo...
Michigan Official: Union-Dues Ban Spares State WorkersMore than two-thirds of Michigan state employees won't be covered by laws that prohibit paying union dues as a condition of employment, a...
Californian's $609,000 Check Shows True Retirement CostCalifornia employees accounted for 39 percent of that total. Since 2005, the state's workers collected $1.4 billion for accumulated leave...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

December 13, 2012
The Roundup: CalPERS hangs out 'help wanted' sign; Bloomberg series highlights California state wages; feds consider social media rules

The Roundup: CalPERS hangs out 'help wanted' sign; Bloomberg series highlights California state wages; feds consider...

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Dec 13 2012 07:14:15

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
What follows is a mix of interesting (and sure to be controversial) stories over the last few days, including the first three installments in a six-part series by Bloomberg that leads off a look at California state pay.
The State Worker: CalPERS is filling pricey jobs - The Sacramento BeeCalPERS, the state's massive public pension system, is back in hiring mode, big time. The fund's board of administration moved Wednesday ...
Biggs and Richwine: The Underworked Public EmployeeWith state and local governments struggling to balance budgets in a still sluggish economy, government employment has fallen by 562,000 j...
$10 million Bay Bridge contract included book deal, video - The Sacramento BeeState officials overseeing construction of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge agreed this year to pay a public relations company ne...
Gov. Jerry Brown undergoes treatment for prostate cancer - The Sacramento BeeGov. Jerry Brown is being treated for prostate cancer, his administration said Wednesday, characterizing the condition as "localized" and...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

November 21, 2012
The Roundup: CA lawmakers' pay cut; CalPERS news; pension funds profit from privatization; IL governor axes AFSCME contract

The Roundup: CA lawmakers' pay cut; CalPERS news; pension funds profit from privatization; IL governor axes AFSCME...

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Nov 21 2012 08:00:03

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
California elected officials set to take pay cut - The Sacramento BeeCalifornia elected officials from governor to legislator will see their pay cut by thousands of dollars next month under decisions made b...
Pension Fund Gains Mean Worker Pain as Aramark Cuts PayRick Thorne worked as a custodian in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, schools for 22 years, earning $20 an hour cleaning floors, cutting grass ...
NC changes motor fleet management :: WRAL.comNorth Carolina officials have ordered changes in how state agencies are charged for the use of state-owned vehicles, two years after a WR...
San Bernardino wants to delay payments to CalPERS - The Sacramento BeeCalPERS is facing a new challenge from insolvent San Bernardino, which is proposing to renegotiate its debts to the pension fund. San Ber...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

November 19, 2012
Th Roundup: CA prison nurses investigated; newspaper calls for WI pay raise; IL lawmakers against pay hikes

Th Roundup: CA prison nurses investigated; newspaper calls for WI pay raise; IL lawmakers against pay hikes

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Nov 19 2012 09:37:37

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Report: Soledad prison nurses being investigated - The Sacramento BeeSacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the ...
Privatizing Florida prison health care to cost 2,000 state workers their jobs | Politics | Bradenton HeraldTALLAHASSEE -- Nearly 2,000 state workers are being displaced from Florida Gov. Rick Scott's administration because of the nation's bigge...
Pension headlines:
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. running $34 billion deficitCiting the increasing deficit, PBGC Director Joshua Gotbaum called on Congress to give the agency power to set its own premiums. "We cont...
High cost of leaving CalPERS may get higher | PublicCEOThe CalPERS board may make it more costly for struggling local governments to close their pension plans. A pending change is driven in pa...
Study: Pensions not a panaceaWhat do employees lust after most these days? A fat bonus? A bigger salary? Extra time off? According to one new study, a surprising numb...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

November 15, 2012
The Roundup: Jerry Brown's unfinished business; CA lawmakers take their leave; VA's state worker loan program

The Roundup: Jerry Brown's unfinished business; CA lawmakers take their leave; VA's state worker loan program

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Nov 15 2012 00:22:48

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Retiree health care still a long-term problem for California - The Sacramento BeeThe sound of backslapping between Gov. Jerry Brown and union leaders who helped put his tax initiative over the top last week could soon ...
Two views of the state budget post-Proposition 30:
Analyst sees potential for budget surpluses in California's future - The Sacramento BeeThe state's fiscal analyst said Wednesday that California's long-tattered budget is on the verge of producing surpluses, but he cautioned...
California's fiscal troubles are far from resolvedLast week, Proposition 30 sailed to victory, and $6-billion worth of nasty budget cuts were avoided. Problem solved? Guess again, Goldilo...
Then there are elected state workers who leave the country:
After election, state lawmakers and interest groups travel in tandem - The Sacramento BeeIt's mid-November. The election is over, and the new legislative session has not yet begun. Perfect time for a lawmaker to take vacation ...

November 9, 2012
The Roundup: Jerry Brown's new challenge; Caltrans worker's killer faces death; big wins for unions

The Roundup: Jerry Brown's new challenge; Caltrans worker's killer faces death; big wins for unions

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Nov 09 2012 05:54:41

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.

Jerry Brown plans to restrain Democratic desires at the Capitol - The Sacramento BeeThe din of election night parties spilled into morning as California Democrats soaked in their victories, but the politician who had perh...
Toll-taker's killer says death penalty OKA death penalty hearing for an unrepentant killer convicted of murdering two people at the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge toll plaza opened w...
Stateline - Labor Unions Won Key Victories In Indiana, California, New Hampshire and IdahoNo state has ushered in more education changes over the past four years than Indiana. The Hoosier State instituted an A to F grading syst...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

November 8, 2012
The Roundup: How Prop. 32 helped Prop. 30; $5 trillion public pension debt; Mich. union initiative loses

The Roundup: How Prop. 32 helped Prop. 30; $5 trillion public pension debt; Mich. union initiative loses

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Nov 08 2012 08:29:24

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Did move to rein in California unions backfire? - The Sacramento BeeDid a handful of wealthy conservative interests set out to undermine California unions with a statewide ballot measure only to see it bac...
Elections Update: Labor Relations and the Pollsauthor: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor] Constituencies in a number of states have made their votes known regarding hot topic labor r...
Unions make statement in Calif., defeat Prop. 32 - The Sacramento BeeAfter scalding defeats this year from Wisconsin to Indiana, organized labor held its ground in California and beat back the latest attemp...

November 6, 2012
The Roundup: Caltrans worker's alleged killer: 'I did it'; FL axes prison health jobs; Canada considers pension downgrades

ELECTION 2012
Vote results: Customize your races
Sacbee.com's Election Central: News, photos, video
Voter Guide: Candidates, issues
California propositions
Sacramento Bee endorsements
Live today: Tell us if you voted. Report what's going on at your polling place, in your neighborhood, at your workplace. Share a photo: email breakingnews@sacbee.com

The Roundup: Caltrans worker's alleged killer: 'I did it'; FL axes prison health jobs; Canada considers pension...

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Tue, Nov 06 2012 06:16:00

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Murder defendant: 'I did it. So what?'The showdown between a prosecutor and a defendant who takes the witness stand can make or break a trial. [...] on Monday, a man accused o...
Capitol Alert: California officials consider civil, criminal action in mystery donation case - sacbee.comCalifornia regulators and attorneys said today they are seriously weighing next steps - including criminal charges - against parties invo...
Forget Prop 32, Costa Mesa's Measure V is the real union fightLabor unions are spending upwards of $70 million to defeat California's Proposition 32. But they're spending more per voter to stop anoth...
Compton chips away at its CalPERS debt - The Sacramento BeeIn a case that highlights the debate over pension costs, Compton has sent CalPERS about $2.07 million after getting sued for nonpayment. ...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2 for news about Canada's public pension proposal, an opinion piece touting "managed competition" between public and private sectors for government work and today's big vote on Michigan's Proposition 2, which constitutionally guarantees certain collective bargaining to public and private employees.


November 5, 2012
The Roundup: Mystery campaign money to be revealed; state workers battle outbreak; IA workers' pay

The Roundup: Mystery campaign money to be revealed; state workers battle outbreak; IA workers' pay

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Nov 05 2012 08:53:03

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Capitol Alert: FPPC expects to reveal Arizona nonprofit donors today - sacbee.comWhat You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and...
Meningitis outbreak: TN health workers sensed danger | wbir.comBy Tom Wilemon | The Tennessean It was just an email about a single case of illness, but a gut instinct developed through years of diseas...
Voters Will Rule on Whether Judges Should Pay More for BenefitsA decision by the state Legislature last summer means voters will decide Tuesday whether New Jersey judges should have to pay more for th...

November 1, 2012
The Roundup: Prop. 30 could pass; union perception versus reality; CA's prison guard beard ban

The Roundup: Prop. 30 could pass; union perception versus reality; CA's prison guard beard ban

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Nov 01 2012 08:04:54

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Poll finds Jerry Brown has a chance to pass Proposition 30 - The Sacramento BeePublic support for Gov. Jerry Brown's initiative to raise taxes remains below 50 percent, but the measure no longer appears to be on a do...
The State Worker: Separating perception from reality in union wars - The Sacramento BeeWith Election Day looming, let's look at some popular perceptions about unions filtered through ballot measure Proposition 32: Perception...
Judge orders Arizona campaign group to turn over records to California officials - The Sacramento BeeA Sacramento Superior Court judge confirmed Wednesday her ruling against an obscure Arizona campaign group, saying California officials' ...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 30, 2012
The Roundup: CSU grades legislators; states cut health insurances costs; IL to vote on pensions

The Roundup: CSU grades legislators; states cut health insurances costs; IL to vote on pensions

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Tue, Oct 30 2012 08:59:07

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Dan Walters: CSU plunges overboard into politics - The Sacramento BeeThe California State University system has traditionally been the steady workhorse of California higher education, generating the enginee...
Calif. 3-year recidivism rate fallingAbout 64 percent of offenders released from state prisons during the 2007-2008 fiscal year were sent back behind bars within three years,...
CalPERS sues city of Compton over unpaid pension payments - The Sacramento BeeSacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the ...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 26, 2012
Report: Caltrans workers misused rented state trucks, bought booze

This report from CBS2 in Los Angeles includes surveillance of Caltrans employees using department rental trucks for commuting and personal business during work hours, including one worker who made trips to buy liquor. Watch for a heated confrontation between Gov. Jerry Brown and CBS reporter David Goldstein.

Editor's note, 5:02 p.m.: Brown said that Goldstein confronted him after a funeral for former Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally. Read more about Brown's reaction to the CBS 2 story on Capitol Alert.

October 26, 2012
The Roundup: Charles Munger contributes $13 million; CalPERS v. San Bernardino; California to take back prison healthcare

The Roundup: Charles Munger contributes $13 million; CalPERS v. San Bernardino; California to take back prison...

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Oct 26 2012 09:24:49

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.

Capitol Alert: Charles Munger drops another $13 million into ballot measure fights - sacbee.comWhat You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and...
CalPERS challenges San Bernardino's bankruptcy effort - The Sacramento BeeRingo Chiu / ZUMA24.com July 26, 2012 - San Bernardino, California, U.S. - San Bernardino must cut government spending by a third as the ...

Click the link below open PAGE 2

October 24, 2012
The Roundup: Mystery AZ money; judge rejects police chief's double pension bid; OK considers performance-based raises

The Roundup: Mystery AZ money; judge rejects police chief's double pension bid; OK considers performance-based raises

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Oct 24 2012 07:16:42

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.

Dan Morain: Can California unmask mystery donors? - The Sacramento BeeCalifornia Common Cause filed a complaint with the FPPC demanding that a hitherto obscure Arizona nonprofit corporation disclose the dono...
Judge rejects former Bell police chief's bid to double pensionA judge has rejected an effort by Bell's former police chief to more than double his pension to $510,000 a year, saying that the City Cou...
Jerry Brown pivots to link Proposition 30 to voters' top issue -- jobs - The Sacramento BeeFRESNO - His tax initiative in trouble just two weeks before Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown is re-tuning his campaign message, casting hi...
Stateline - A Unique Program in Oklahoma Provides Help to Ex-offenders with Mental IllnessesMcCLOUD, Oklahoma - Shawna Gordon isn't alone in worrying what will happen on that day in the future when she ventures beyond the familia...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 21, 2012
The Roundup: CA legislative staffers' side jobs; CalPERS' computer system; unions focus on candidate campaigns

The Roundup: CA legislative staffers' side jobs; CalPERS' computer system

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Sun, Oct 21 2012 10:16:48

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
California legislative staffers moonlight in campaign jobs - The Sacramento BeeWith Election Day approaching, campaigns across the state have stocked up on scores of aides and advisers to walk precincts, staff phone ...
The political fallout continues from last week's news that an out-of-state nonprofit dumped $11 billion into California politics ...
Jerry Brown accuses anti-tax group of illegal money-laundering - The Sacramento BeeSAN FRANCISCO - Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday accused opponents of his Nov. 6 ballot measure of illegal money laundering, saying the commi...
A union survey finds that organizing has helped correctional officers and teachers the most ...
AFT Survey Finds State Employees With Union Representation Have Significant Wage AdvantageThe American Federation of Teachers public employees division recently issued its annual "State Employee Compensation Survey," which dete...
Take a look at this New York Times item that looks at the impact in Missouri of a 2008 law that allows unlimited giving to political candidates:
Missouri Political Donor Thrives With 'No-Limits' GivingAn additional $250,000 arrived in August, after Mr. Schoeller had nearly run out of money and faced a tough general election campaign aga...
And pair that with this item from The Bee's Dan Morain about how unions are mobilizing as Election Day approaches:
Dan Morain: Campaigns take it to the street - The Sacramento BeeUnion workers on leave from jobs in Los Angeles and San Francisco showed up ready for duty at a messy office near the Reno airport, and s...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 18, 2012
The Roundup: California proposition tactics; CalPERS boosts long-term care rates; state pay costs rise

The Roundup: California proposition tactics; CalPERS boosts long-term care rates; state pay costs rise

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Oct 18 2012 08:05:53

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Public unions face choices in two-front ballot war - The Sacramento BeeIf he had just one vote on Nov. 6, the president of the California Federation of Teachers wouldn't use it on Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hike ...
Campaign watchdogs say Arizona group's $11 million donation exploits loophole in California law - The Sacramento BeeIn California's ever-expensive ballot wars, voters typically know who funds advertisements that hold great sway with the electorate. But ...
CalPERS board adopts long-term care hike - The Sacramento BeeCalPERS has given final approval to an 85 percent rate hike for policyholders in its long-term care insurance program. The vote Wednesday...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 16, 2012
The Roundup: Yes versus No on Prop. 30; LA workers can't display political signs; OR 'Furlough Fridays'

The Roundup: Yes versus No on Prop. 30; LA workers can't display political signs; OR 'Furlough Fridays'

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Tue, Oct 16 2012 07:12:47

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
State Workers Warned against Political Participation | KATC.com | Acadiana-Lafayette, LouisianaPosted: Oct 16, 2012 8:23 AM by AP BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Civil Service Director Shannon Templet is reminding rank-and-file Louisiana st...
Viewpoints: Will Prop. 30 boost public education? Yes - The Sacramento BeeWhen I am asked why I support Proposition 30 I think about Manual Arts High School, where I taught for more than 20 years. Manual Arts is...
Viewpoints: Will Prop. 30 boost public education? No - The Sacramento BeeGov. Jerry Brown is trying to make voters an offer they can't refuse. He knows that Californians value education, so he is traveling up a...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 15, 2012
The Roundup: Cellphone smuggling; the Koch brothers; CalPERS versus Rupert Murdoch

The Roundup: Cellphone smuggling; the Koch brothers; CalPERS versus Rupert Murdoch;

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Sun, Oct 14 2012 19:18:02

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Phone smuggling case costs 20 California prison workers their jobsTwenty California prison employees suspected of smuggling cellphones to inmates have resigned or were fired in recent months, according t...
The Kochs' quest to save America - The Sacramento BeeThe Koch brothers' political spending and the network of conservative political organizations and think tanks they fund have sparked prot...
Capitol Alert: Jerry Brown to start 'full-on' tax campaign Tuesday - sacbee.comOAKLAND - Gov. Jerry Brown, who has done little public campaigning for his Nov. 6 ballot initiative to raise taxes, said tonight that he ...
Capitol Alert: Molly Munger believed brother wasn't spending against Brown - sacbee.comWhat You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and...
Click here to open PAGE 2.

October 12, 2012
The Roundup: California proposition wars; CalPERS' new investment; why public unions rarely strike

The Roundup: Molly Munger vs. Jerry Brown; CalPERS' new investment; why public unions rarely strike

At look at California and national news about state workers.

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Oct 12 2012 07:12:04

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plans threatened by a determined Molly Munger - The Sacramento BeeGov. Jerry Brown hoped a mix of politicking and good fortune would deter negative ads against his tax initiative in the campaign's final ...
Why Public-Sector Strikes Are So RareLast month's teacher strike in Chicago -- the city's first since 1987 -- was yet another of the year's attention-getters for public emplo...
CalPERS reportedly near $500 million deal on Illinois shopping center - The Sacramento BeeCalPERS is spending big money on a real estate deal again - but don't call it a risky bet. The pension fund is in discussions to buy Wood...
Peter Schrag: State government: The more we fix it, the worse it gets - The Sacramento BeeFor anyone who hadn't noticed, there's a boomlet in political reform in California - and a fair chance we haven't yet seen the end of it....

October 11, 2012
The Roundup: Unions adjust to 'paycheck' laws; Jerry Sandusky's pension

The Roundup: Unions adjust to 'paycheck' laws; Oregon state pay study; Sandusky's pension;

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Oct 11 2012 08:23:23

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
When unions lose, it's not always 'game over' - The Sacramento BeeCalifornia unions are fighting for their life to defeat a Nov. 6 ballot measure that would choke off their political cash, but in other s...
The State Worker: What happens when benefits come with a bigger pricetag? - The Sacramento BeeA system out of whack. A new program that promises lower benefits. Higher payments from government workers. Arguments for pension reform ...
Ironwood prison riot numbers increaseCalifornia prison officials on Tuesday said a weekend riot at a Blythe prison was much larger than previously reported, involving more th...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 10, 2012
Prop. 32 debate pits GOP strategist vs. journalist; campaigns weigh in

Twitter debate pits Republican strategist vs. journalist, campaigns weigh in

Political arguments break out on Twitter all the time. On Tuesday, Proposition 32 was a hot topic. Here are some bits of the debate.

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Oct 10 2012 12:00:59

It all started with this story by Bay Area News Group reporter Steve Harmon:
Who's who of rich and powerful behind Proposition 32SACRAMENTO -- The main premise of Proposition 32 is that it would stamp out the influence of special interest groups, equally condemning ...

October 8, 2012
The Roundup: WI measure protects unions; Chicago teachers OK pact; NV backs away from restoring state pay

The Roundup: WI measure protects unions; Chicago teachers OK pact; NV backs away from restoring state pay

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Oct 08 2012 08:45:22

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Gov. Christie: I am not 'an anti-union person'PERTH AMBOY - Standing in a wood-paneled union hall, Gov. Chris Christie wanted the audience to know one thing. "I am not, by any stretch...
Stateline - Michigan Unions Seek Constitutional ProtectionLabor unions in Michigan have escaped the broad-based attacks their neighbors in Wisconsin and Ohio have experienced in the past couple o...
Wis. judge says decision in union case delayedColas says in the order that this will delay him acting on the state's request that he put his original decision on hold while it is ...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

October 1, 2012
The Roundup: Mich. judge overturns pension law; two takes on state workers' pay; Arnold Schwarzenegger's return

The Roundup: Mich. judge overturns pension law; two takes on state workers' pay; Arnold Schwarzenegger's return;

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Oct 01 2012 08:18:46

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
State employee dues unconstitutional, judge rulesLANSING -- An Ingham County judge has ruled unconstitutional a new requirement that state workers contribute 4 percent of their salary tow...
Arnold Schwarzenegger pitches himself one more time - The Sacramento BeeNearly two years after he left office, sullied by his commutation of a prison sentence and by an extramarital affair, former Gov. Arnold ...
Mandating state workers pay 4 percent for pensions unconstitutional, judge rulesLansing - An Ingham County judge ruled unconstitutional Friday a law forcing 19,000 veteran state workers to pay 4 percent of their annua...
State Workers: Overpaid, Underpaid, Or Just Right?Public and private workers in New Hampshire are among the most evenly compensated, finds a new report from the right-leaning Citizens Aga...

September 26, 2012
The Roundup: Another pay study; CA's retirement plan-for-all; government jobs not part of recovery

The Roundup: Another pay study; CA's retirement plan-for-all; government jobs not part of recovery

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Sep 26 2012 08:06:31

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.

Starting salaries for state workers lower than for other public employeesState workers nearly always have lower starting salaries than their counterparts in city and county governments, according to a study rel...
After scandal, Jerry Brown signs bill to keep parks open - The Sacramento BeeGov. Jerry Brown gave California's 278 state parks a two-year reprieve from closures Tuesday after embarrassing revelations that parks of...
Utah Gov. issues health challenge to state workers - Salt Lake Tribune10 hours ago ... "Too many of us are couch potatoes. We can do more and watch less," he said. " True health reform boils ...

September 24, 2012
The Roundup: Proposition 32; states' pension cuts survey; Texas man threatens state workers

The Roundup: Proposition 32; CalPERS cuts bonuses; Texas man threatens state workers

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Sep 24 2012 08:20:43

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Ad Watch: Prop. 32 spot's shadowy images befit its sponsors - The Sacramento BeeSupporters of Proposition 32, a Nov. 6 ballot measure to change campaign finance law, have launched a 33-second television and radio ad c...
Endorsement: Proposition 32 power play deserves a 'no' vote - The Sacramento BeeOnce again, Californians are being asked to diminish unions' power by restricting their ability to raise campaign money. Once more, initi...
Payroll deductions targeted21 hours ago ... By: By Jon Ortiz ... Proposition 32 has drawn fire for a provision to ban ... Gloria Romero of Los Angeles, who suppor...
CalPERS cuts bonuses to retirement system's investment prosNo salary increases were given to senior leadership. Joe Dear, chief investment officer, received an $87,750 bonus for the fiscal year en...
Number of the Week: Government Workers Stay Put Longer7.8: Median number of years that public workers have been employed by the government as of January 2012. Americans in general are remaini...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

September 19, 2012
The Roundup: The 'stealth attack' on unions; AZ workers trade protections for pay raise; LA sheds state jobs

The Roundup: The 'stealth attack' on unions; AZ workers trade protections for pay raise, LA sheds state jobs

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Sep 19 2012 08:10:36

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Dan Morain: A stealth attack seeks to drain labor money - The Sacramento BeeA campaign ad airing statewide portrays crooked politicians and shady lobbyists meeting in garages and stairwells, seemingly at the Calif...
Pension changes: The impact on educationHow the pension reform bill affects public education varies with the different operational laws covering the parts of the system. A notab...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2.

September 17, 2012
The Roundup: How Prop. 32 impacts unions; Chicago teachers picket; CA pension reform's long tail

The Roundup: Why Proposition 32 impacts unions; Chicago teachers strike; CA pension reform's long tail

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Sep 17 2012 08:10:00

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Millions in union political money at stake in Proposition 32 fight - The Sacramento BeeLabor unions argue that a campaign-finance measure on California's November ballot would unfairly hobble their political pull, but behind...
Quick appeal expected in collective bargaining caseMadison - A Dane County judge's ruling striking down many limits on collective bargaining for public workers will likely be appealed quic...
Chicago teachers picket for 6th school day - The Sacramento BeeChicago teachers are picketing at schools citywide for the sixth school day as they read over the latest contract offer from the district...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2.

September 13, 2012
The Roundup: Labor's fights with Democrats; CalPERS axes investment firm; reactions to CA pension reform

The Roundup: Labor's fights with Democrats; CalPERS axes investment firm; reactions to CA pension reform

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Sep 13 2012 06:16:51

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Watch Chicago for signs of public-worker union strength - The Sacramento BeeWatch Chicago. A strike by teachers there demonstrates public sector unions' struggle to find their footing in an era when even their fri...
AFSCME under siegeWhat would drive a crowd of unionized state employees to boo the very governor they helped elect? The answer is about $83 billion of pens...
CalPERS drops investment firm that accused fund of bias - The Sacramento BeeCalPERS has fired a firm entrusted with managing $1 billion of the pension fund's money - five months after the firm accused CalPERS of r...

September 10, 2012
The Roundup: Bankruptcy law versus pension law; OR hires more temps; NY retiree health costs

The Roundup: Bankruptcy law versus pension law; OR hires more temps; NY retiree health costs

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Sep 10 2012 10:18:27

Stockton bankruptcy case could test security of public pensions - The Sacramento BeeGoing to work for the government has always come with an ironclad promise: Your pension benefits will be there when you retire. It's a le...
California state parks budget officials for years unable to explain surpluses - The Sacramento BeeOver and again, budget officials at the California Department of Parks and Recreation struggled to understand why every fiscal year ended...
Editorial: CalSTRS still doesn't realize it has a pension spiking problem - The Sacramento BeeTo guard against pension spiking, the California State Teachers' Retirement System has a system that electronically identifies suspicious...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

September 7, 2012
The Roundup: CA local governments and pension reform; travel bans; TX study defends pensions

The Roundup: CA local governments and pension reform; travel bans; TX study defends pensions

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Sep 07 2012 01:04:36

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Local officials still penciling out when California pension reform will help - The Sacramento BeeSweeping public pension legislation approved last week will change the relationship between thousands of California governments and their...
Florida High Court to Weigh $1 Billion State Pension CaseThe Florida Supreme Court is to hear arguments on whether Republican-backed changes to the state's public-employee pension system, touted...
Editorial: Governor has one choice: Veto AB 2451 - The Sacramento BeeTo win over voters who are undecided about his tax increase measure, Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown must first convince them that the s...

September 5, 2012
The Roundup: CA union clout; AZ workers' pay raise deadline; MI 'bureaucracy busters'

The Roundup: CA union clout; AZ workers' pay raise deadline; MI 'bureaucracy busters'

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Sep 05 2012 09:01:40

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Thousands of state employees face deadlinePHOENIX -- Arizona state employees have two weeks to decide. On Sept. 14, state workers who are covered by the state merit system can get...
Dan Walters Daily, Sept. 3, 2012thebeecapitolalert
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 31, 2012
The Roundup: California pension bill's loophole; death row inmate assaults officers; pensions and taxes

The Roundup: California pension bill's loophole; death row inmate assaults officers; pensions and taxes

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Aug 31 2012 05:34:01

Daniel Borenstein: Pension reform bill loophole would expand spiking ...Daniel Borenstein: Pension reform bill loophole would expand spiking opportunities. By Dan Borenstein. Staff columnistmercurynews.com. Po...
Editorial: Pension bill not perfect, but a start toward reform - The Sacramento BeeGiven the political realities under California's Capitol dome, the pension measure awaiting final action in the Legislature today is prob...
Death row inmate accused of attacking guardsSAN QUENTIN STATE PRISON, Calif. (AP) - Two prison guards at San Quentin State Prison are recovering from injuries after authorities say ...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 30, 2012
The Roundup: California pension reform

The Roundup: California pension reform

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Aug 30 2012 06:50:37

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our news reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Will pension changes prompt pay raises?Government wages and retirement benefits are a lot like a balloon: Squeezing one end puts pressure on the other. Pension reform legislati...

Dan Walters Daily: Does pension plan provide real savings?

Dan Walters Daily, Aug. 30, 2012thebeecapitolalert
Pension changes would cover less than half of liability, CalPERS estimates - The Sacramento BeeA public pension reform proposal favored by Gov. Jerry Brown would save struggling state and local governments between $40 billion and $6...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 26, 2012
The Roundup: Inside the CA parks reporting; FL could change leave cash outs; MI to lay off unemployment workers

The Roundup: Inside The Bee's CA parks reporting; FL could change leave cash outs; MI to lay off unemployment workers

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Sun, Aug 26 2012 09:51:26

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
From the Executive Editor: How Bee reporter broke state parks investigation - The Sacramento BeeTo understand how reporter Matt Weiser was able to break The Bee's state parks investigation, you need to go back a couple of years. In J...
State near landmark pension reform - San Jose Mercury NewsBrown
Statewide pension reform efforts stall as Legislature begins final weekNews: Statewide pension reform efforts stall as Legislature begins final week | public, pension, retirement, reform, legislature, governo...
Scott R. Seaman: Pension reform can't come at expense of the public's safety - San Jose Mercury NewsIf you asked Californians, "Is pension reform needed?" most would say yes. The steady drumbeat of news about public employee pensions and...

August 23, 2012
The Roundup: Pension fight goes to courts; LA agents caught shaving work time; benefits fights in AZ and IL

The Roundup: Pension fight goes to courts; LA agents caught shaving work time; benefits fights in AZ and IL

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Aug 23 2012 07:13:37

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Are public pensions at risk in bankruptcy? - The Sacramento BeeIf you thought politics would settle the raging debate over public pensions, think again. The real action has shifted to the courts. City...
Jonathan Kraut: Proposition 32 clears politics of distractionsI thought I better air out the pros and cons of Proposition 32 now so that there is still time for thought and discussion.
Spending missteps make Brown tax plan a hard sellKTVU And AP Wires SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Jerry Brown has made austerity a hallmark of his administration, telling state workers they m...
Brent Bohlen: Addressing myths about public workersFind whatever you're looking forwith Totally Local Yellow Pages State workers and retirees in Illinois are the Rodney Dangerfields of the...

August 21, 2012
The Roundup: More about CA parks scandal; Prop 32 a 'fraud'; attack alters Napa alarm policy

The Roundup: More about CA parks scandal; Prop 32 a 'fraud'; attack alters Napa alarm policy

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Tue, Aug 21 2012 06:49:40

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Accumulated state worker leave prompted California's park scandal - The Sacramento BeeWhat started as a quiet scheme to draw down excessive leave hours built up by state parks managers quickly spread, first to hardship case...
California parks officials were looking to spend while shortchanging parks, documents show - The Sacramento BeeThe state Department of Parks and Recreation routinely searched for ways to spend extra money each June despite facing the threat of park...
Napa State employees may now wear alarms on beltsNapa State Hospital employees will not be forced to carry their personal alarm system around their necks as previously ordered by their s...
Testimony: Chief told of parks surplus - The Sacramento BeeEditor's Note: The second paragraph in this story was changed on Aug. 18 to correctly identify the name of the person in the investigativ...
Proposition 32: A fraud to end all fraudsIt was Lyndon Johnson who best understood that the key to political empowerment for the disenfranchised was to give them access to the el...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 17, 2012
The Roundup: CA lawmaker gift bill dies; pension funds shift strategy; MN workers lose benefits

The Roundup: Lawmaker gift bill dies; pension funds shift strategy; MN workers lose benefits

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Aug 17 2012 06:47:48

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Bill to limit gifts to California lawmakers dies a quiet death - The Sacramento BeeLegislation to restrict free tickets and other gifts to lawmakers died quietly Thursday without a public vote in an election year. The me...
DMV will issue licenses to some here illegallyCalifornia's Department of Motor Vehicles will start issuing driver's licenses to those here illegally who qualify for President Obama's ...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 16, 2012
The Roundup: Jerry Brown and unions; VA workers get bonus; state workers boo IL governor off stage

The Roundup: Jerry Brown and unions; VA workers get bonus; state workers boo IL governor off stage

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Thu, Aug 16 2012 06:49:54

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
The State Worker: Are engineers and scientists going soft on Jerry Brown? - The Sacramento BeeAre two unions known for fearlessly fighting state worker furloughs going soft? Exhibit A: Gov. Jerry Brown last week appealed a court or...
Jerry Brown won't challenge teachers unionBad as our budget problems may be, there will never be a showdown between the unions and lawmakers in California like there is in Wiscons...
California parks aides used 'Katrina codes' to pay managers overtime - The Sacramento BeeCalifornia parks officials apparently used obscure payroll codes intended for wildfires and disasters such as Hurricane Katrina to turn v...
Brown moves tax campaign to the classroom, downplays parks scandal - The Sacramento BeeGov. Jerry Brown, starting to campaign in earnest for his Nov. 6 ballot initiative to raise taxes, labored Wednesday to put the state par...

August 13, 2012
Study: Changing state and local pension benefits 'extremely difficult' but possible

Many states, including California, may have more legal wiggle room to alter retirement promises for current employees than commonly thought, according to a new survey of state and local pensions by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Researchers Alicia H. Munnell and Laura Quinby conclude that "the protection accorded pension benefits is less embedded in state constitutions and more open to interpretation than commonly perceived." If state courts and legislatures narrow "the current definition of the employer-employee contract to establish that the contract is created when the employee performs the service," then it would become possible to reduce retirement benefits for current workers prospectively, the authors conclude.

Munnell and Quinby say only three states - Alaska, Illnois and New York - have constitutions that clearly protect public pensions for current workers both retrospectively and prospectively. Arizona's constitution protects pensions "past and maybe future," while those in Hawaii, Louisiana and Mississippi protect only benefits that have been accrued.

California and most states consider pensions legal contracts protected from any laws that impair them. When the contract is considered to take effect is key. Conventional wisdom says that pension contracts in California and other states take effect from the first day of employment.

Munnell said in a recent interview with Pensions & Investments that she expects more states will attempt to redefine their pension obligations once courts rule on recent laws that did so in Rhode Island and New Jersey.

For the vast majority of states, however, changing future benefits for current employees is extremely difficult ...

In the end, however, the ability to modify pensions in these states hinges on when the contract is deemed to exist. States where the contract is found to exist at the time a worker is hired have little freedom to change benefits. States where the contract is found to exist at retirement have considerably more flexibility.

Each state would have to define that for itself, the authors conclude, through both the courts and their legislatures.

Pensions & Investments reports that Munnell thinks more states will move to alter pension benefits for current workers if the courts uphold changes to current employees' pensions enacted in New Jersey and Rhode Island.
Legal Constraints on Changes in State and Local Pensions

August 13, 2012
The Roundup: Business interests and Proposition 32; keeping pension promises; CA inmate population decline slows

The Roundup: Business interests and Proposition 32; keeping pension promises; CA inmate population decline slows

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Mon, Aug 13 2012 01:33:44

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Business interests wary of tangling with labor over California's Proposition 32 - The Sacramento BeeSacramento boasts a cottage industry of political message massagers, but when a chance to become the spokesman for a controversial initia...
California unlikely to meet prison crowding reduction requirementSACRAMENTO - California's progress in relieving its teeming prisons has slowed so much that it probably won't comply with a court-ordered...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 12, 2012
The Roundup: Parks official's troubled past; OT in Texas; Madoff-style pension investment promises

The Roundup: Parks official's troubled past; OT in Texas; Madoff-style pension investment promises

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Sun, Aug 12 2012 07:04:39

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Ex-parks official had criminal past - The Sacramento BeeThe former deputy director of state parks at the vortex of a financial scandal has a string of criminal convictions, including a felony D...
State official to Corbett: Trainers telling workers how to circumvent system - SunGazette.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun GazetteHARRISBURG (AP) - Trainers are telling state workers learning a new phone system that they can use an instant-messaging feature to avoid ...
California Legislature's 'select committees' cost a lot with little accountability - The Sacramento BeeCalifornia's Senate Select Committee on International Business Trade is staffed with three employees whose combined salaries cost taxpaye...

Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 10, 2012
The Roundup: CA lawmakers blast parks officials; pension funds + Wall Street fees = waste

The Roundup: CA lawmakers blast parks officials; pension funds + Wall Street fees = waste

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Fri, Aug 10 2012 06:33:55

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
'Betrayed' lawmakers question California state budget accounting - The Sacramento BeeIn their first examination of state accounting problems, California lawmakers condemned parks officials Thursday for hiding nearly $54 mi...
Critics blast state retirement for private workers - The Sacramento BeeOpponents of a bill that would create the nation's first state-run retirement program for private-sector workers testified Wednesday that...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 8, 2012
The Roundup: CalPERS pushes back; prefunding benefits; IL police investigate prison information leaks

The Roundup: CalPERS pushes back; prefunding benefits; IL police investigate prison information leaks

Storified by Jon Ortiz · Wed, Aug 08 2012 06:38:28

Follow @TheStateWorker on Twitter and check out The State Worker community page on Facebook for links, comments and insights into our reports, blog posts and columns. Sign up in the box at the top of this page to receive State Worker news alerts.
Viewpoints: Media is wrongly hyping pensions as a cause of city bankruptcies - The Sacramento BeeIf there is one thing I have learned in my time on the CalPERS board it's this - a little perspective goes a long way. This is especially...
aiCIO - CalPERS to Critics: Get Your Facts StraightTuesday, August 07, 2012 5:53:42 PM Again, the California Public Employees' Retirement System has pushed back against media critics that ...
Capitol Alert: California municipal bankruptcy bill shelved by Senate leader - sacbee.comSacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the ...
Click the link below to open PAGE 2

August 7, 2012
The Roundup: Steinberg says labor won't like CA pension reforms; OR capital downtown depends on state workers; raises restored for IL workers
August 6, 2012
The Roundup: More Caltrans' project tests questioned; fed employees rebuked for workplace cyber porn
August 2, 2012
Catch up on the public pension debate

With pensions in the news, we turn to Storify to sum things up.

July 30, 2012
Talking about Proposition 32
July 27, 2012
The Roundup: More CA Parks departures; Stockton fire chief quitting to preserve pension; IA union worried about prison officers' safety
July 26, 2012
The Roundup: Former CA deputy director at center of Parks' pay scandal speaks; IL could soon vote on pension cuts; WA workers get health care cost break
July 25, 2012
The Roundup: CalPERS strategy shift produces results; WA workers want $17.7 million refund; NJ judges avoid pension contribution hike
July 23, 2012
The Roundup: CA student jobs getting axed; cities pay CalPERS bill; federal wrongdoers shielded
July 21, 2012
The Roundup: CA parks scandal widens; CalPERS tells cities to watch pension costs; IL issues layoff notices
July 20, 2012
The Roundup: CA legislative staff raises; OR keeps waist-size question; IL prison officers warn Pat Quinn on prison closures
July 18, 2012
The Roundup: CA lawmaker calls for Parks hearing; CalPERS' 1 percent return; NJ patients treated like 'lab rats'
July 16, 2012
The Roundup: CalPERS reports 1 percent return; CA Parks' secret leave buy outs; PA looks at pension reform; NH considers privatizing prisons
July 12, 2012
AM Reading: Jerry Brown blazes new furlough trail; PA workers fight drastic pay cuts; inside San Quentin
July 10, 2012
AM Reading: Poll shows voters divided on pension benefits; OR pension-for-pay deal; CO seasonal fire fighters seek health benefits
July 9, 2012
AM Reading: CA parks catch a temporary break; government jobs shrink; IA picks up state exec's condo closing costs
July 8, 2012
AM Reading: Good / Bad Jerry Brown; private prisons take a hit; end of CA public funding for state parks?
July 4, 2012
AM Reading: CA union concessions; CA lawmakers haggle over pension reform; NM payroll glitch; WI pension fund fine as is, study says
June 24, 2012
AM Reading: Jerry Brown's state workweek plan dies; CA a model for mismanagement, IN set for pension bump
June 22, 2012
AM Reading; Supreme Court's SEIU decision; Ore. workers may be asked waist size; ex-inmate sues NV for shackling during childbirth
June 21, 2012
AM Reading: Cutting California's retired annuitants; Kutcher's company sues DMV; embezzler keeps CalPERS pension
June 19, 2012
AM Reading: California's 'bad bet' dwarfs JPMorgan's; NM bans private email for public business; workers moving to 'Plywood Palace'
June 18, 2012
AM Reading: Knives out for Jerry Brown's tax measure; Napa State patient captured; public pension tension
June 14, 2012
AM Reading: Gut check for CA Democrats; state workers in and out of trouble; workers forced to buy newspapers
June 13, 2012
AM Reading: California's retired annuitants; CalPERS to raise health premiums, losses value; WI union mutiny fails; pepper spray for New Zealand fishery officers
June 10, 2012
AM Reading: Pension pressure on Jerry Brown; VT court: no leave accrual while on leave; interpreting Tuesday's votes
June 7, 2012
AM Reading: Key moment for CA public pensions; interpreting the WI recall
June 6, 2012
AM Reading: CA cities OK pension reforms; WI governor survives recall, woman slaps loser
June 5, 2012
Election Day Reading: The San Diego city pension measure
June 5, 2012
Election Day Reading: The San Jose city pension measure
June 3, 2012
AM Reading: Ex-Vernon official: Pension cut is 'elder abuse'; salary and symbolism; FL cracks down on double dipping
June 1, 2012
AM Reading: CA officeholders' pay cut; Jerry Brown's psychic income; impact when government stops collecting union dues
May 31, 2012
AM Reading: CA 'pensions-for-all' bill moves ahead; AL female inmate allege sexual abuse; NJ judge: State can withhold retiree COLAs
May 27, 2012
AM Reading: More Bay Bridge questions; KY workers fired for sex with inmate; WI recall a 'test run'
May 24, 2012
AM Reading: CA furloughs' hidden costs; government video games; pension funds' riskier bets