Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unions Sue Schwarzenegger Over Furloughs

Government employee unions in California have filed suit over the state's plan to require all govnerment workers take two furlough days per month beginning in February.
Last week, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to require that all state employees take two unpaid days off each month starting in February. The governor said the measure is needed to conserve cash, with the state budget gap estimated to reach $42 billion a year and a half from now.

The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, asserts that only the Legislature can alter the pay of workers who have labor contracts with the state. It asks the courts to issue a temporary stay to stop Schwarzenegger's efforts, which could affect 230,000 workers.

"We don't think he has the authority," said Bruce Blanning, executive director of Professional Engineers in California Government.

The union, which represents 13,000 engineers, surveyors and others working for the state, filed the lawsuit along with the California Assn. of Professional Scientists.
California's Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been working with the legislature to get a deal to close a $42 billion budget shortfall. Apparently, California will be broke in two months.

Given the California legislature's penchant for spending and the voters inability to just say no to all sorts of mandated spending via referenda, it seems to me that this is a problem of their own making. The problem of course is that the California economy drives a great deal of the national economy. I don't want to say, as California goes, so does the U.S., but clearly there will be an impact.

I would expect a plea for federal bailout in a couple of weeks.

As far as the state employees unions, this is not the time to be complaining about a couple of days off per month, it could be worse, you could be without a job period, which quite frankly is how I would have acted--start firing people. But then, I am not the governor either.

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