Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Terminated: 9% of California employees’ pay. Evidence that if you vote for a Republican, you'll get a ton of collateral damage. Guaranteed.

Broke as a shoeless drunk on skid row, California has begun furloughing its civil service employees two days a month. This amounts to roughly a nine percent wage cut.

The “furlough” became official after the state’s employee unions challenged this "governator"-mandated slap in the face in court and lost. The Los Angeles Times reported:

"This state is in a huge mess . . . the scope of which is unprecedented," Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette said in a courtroom packed with government workers. His ruling called the governor's order "reasonable and necessary under the circumstances."

He acknowledged that his decision could have "devastating" financial consequences for some workers, but said state law and union contracts provide the governor with the authority to cut the payroll during an emergency.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the screwing of public servants applies to:
“Engineers, scientists, nurses, Department of Motor Vehicles clerks, pharmacists, Caltrans maintenance workers, dietitians, psychologists, social workers, computer programmers, unemployment caseworkers, full-time state commissioners and attorneys not working for the state attorney general...”
Ironically, the pay-cut-by-furlough does not apply to the state’s legislators, who could solve the problem by increasing the taxes on upper income earners. You know, bankers, movie producers, and other fat cats who contributed to legislative and gubernatorial campaigns.

Fat chance you’ll see that tax increase happen! Better to whack a struggling $40,000 a year civil servant with a nine percent pay cut than to make a billionaire cut back on his personal use of private jets.

Governor “Ahhnold” Schwarzenegger might have stood up to the big money interests and defended the little guys who work for him. But it turns out that when you get down to where the rubber hits the road, he’s just another girly-man.

California taxpayers are getting a raw deal, too. They voted for Republicans to get their taxes lowered. Now they’re not even getting their tax refunds back. Instead, taxpayers who are due refunds are getting “IOUsfrom the state. Live long enough, you might even see the money.

A source in California informs me that he has the solution to this mess: “Put a proposition on the ballot that says when civil service workers get their pay cut, the legislators and governor’s staff get the same percentage cut. That’ll fix the problem fast.”

I agree. But I fear you’ll wait until Judgment Day to see that happen. The proposition will meet a wall of opposition from rich Republicans, who are perfectly happy to hear the change in their pockets jingle all the way, while California collapses around them.

Thanks to failed Republican gubernatorial administration and leadership, and to bad legislative judgment, California’s macho mood has stopped pumping iron and started sucking air.

Vote for a Republican and End of Days is what you get.


Nina said...

I know a librarian who works at the AG office in San Francisco. He's been told to come in on those Fridays when many government offices are closed but, he's not getting paid to show up for work. We are in serious trouble in this state....

AngeloR said...

I couldn't believe that the people of California could be so stupid as to elect that idiot - a Republican one at that - as their Governor.

And now they deserve what they get. I feel bad for the people who voted against him - those who voted for him deserve whatever they get.

Anonymous said...

The state should hire independent contractors rather than stuffing their payrolls with workers who must continue to receive pay, healthcare benefits, holidays, vacation time, overtime, sick days off and all the other perks that go along with being on the government payroll....even when work is slow and the economy is bad.

With independent contractors, when you don't need them or can't afford them, you don't call them. And if an independent contractor isn't working up to snuff...you just don't use him again. Compare that to a state worker who cannot be fired no matter how incompetent.

Plus independent contractors work much more efficiently than state workers because they get no overtime, weekends or holidays. They work however long is needed to get the job done.

And they are far less expensive. No overtime, no paid holidays and no vacations. And once the project is done, you can stop paying them.

One of the main reasons the state is always in the economic poorhouse is the hundreds of thousands of state workers and retired state workers who continue to receive a monthly check and healthcare benefits till the day they die.

Private companies got rid of defined benefits long ago. Only government workers continue to hang on to the gravy train.

New York Crank said...

So, umm, let me get this straight, Norris: You're advocating a national race to the bottom, in an attempt to transform the United States of America into a Third World country, right?

We hire workers on a per diem or hourly basis. Pay them no benefits. No pensions. No medical care. Give them no vacation. Make them compete downward with each other for wages. Cheapest peon who can do the job wins.

Yeah, sure, eventually we could get them to work for 40 cents an hour. Maybe even less.

With economic ideas like yours, we don't need Al Queda to destroy us. You'll do it for us.

Great thinking, Norris. Osama bin Laden needs more Americans like you.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Joe Noory said...

The state bit off a lot more than they could chew in the way of committments, and unfortunately it either has to be paid for with tax revenue or paired back.