Here’s state employment for you: After working less than a month for the California Department of Aging, executive Monica Rea left her job – and then Aging was required to pay tens of thousands of dollars to cash out her backed-up leave time.

Members of California’s state legal corps has approved a labor contract with Gov. Jerry Brown, their union has told members in an email.

Hundreds of thousands of unemployed Californians have been forced to wait for their unemployment checks because the state wrongly denied claims only to have the decisions reversed on appeal.

Editors note, 3:18 p.m.: This story has been changed to include a quote from Mike Lopez, president of California Department of Forestry Firefighters Local 2881.

Editor’s note, 3:40 p.m.: This post has been updated with a quote from Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton.

After going more than a year without contracts, unions representing state attorneys, scientists and building equipment operators will soon announce how their members voted on new offers from Gov. Jerry Brown. A few observations about the deals:

Our story in today’s Sacramento Bee highlights a new state audit about errors in state leave accounting that credited some employees with more paid time off than they’ve actually earned. This link opens a summary of the report or those who want to dive more deepling into the audit can read it here.

State agencies gave their employees nearly 200,000 hours of unearned leave credits worth almost $6.4 million over five years, and the self-inflicted taxpayer expense will only grow until the government fixes the errors, according to a new state audit.

Legislation to move the state Board of Equalization’s operations from its troubled high-rise headquarters – at an estimated cost of $500 million – has been remodeled to conform to Gov. Jerry Brown’s more modest plan to assess how the state uses and maintains its buildings.

After months of withering criticism, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has ended a policy blamed for chilling state-employee discrimination claims.

Some state computers are blocking emailed contract ratification ballots to state attorneys, their union said Thursday.

After months of contentious talks, one rejected contract offer and a strike threat, negotiators representing 850 state operating engineers reached another tentative labor agreement with Gov. Jerry Brown late Thursday.

California’s largest state employee union is spending $180,000 on radio and online ads to support CalPERS board candidate Theresa Taylor, according to a state filing Thursday. The Franchise Tax Board employee is one of three candidates running for the state member seat on the 13-member board.

It’s test time for California’s 3,000 state government scientists.

A divided CalPERS board approved a regulation Wednesday that will allow nearly 100 different types of supplemental pay to count toward pension calculations for state and local government employees.

The Brown administration issued orders on Wednesday to give a total $56.4 million in raises to some 4,100 state managers and supervisors to comply with a lawsuit the state lost over pay parity for those employees.

Three state workers are suing the Board of Equalization, aiming to build a $75 million class action case that the agency violated its duty to provide a safe workplace and for years concealed serious work site health hazards from employees.

Our lead story in today’s fiber/cyber Bee looks at a CalPERS proposal that would allow about 100 categories of state- and local-government employees’ supplemental pay to be included in their pension calculations, including temporary promotions that receive upgraded pay. Gov. Jerry Brown opposes including “temporary upgrade pay” in the list of salary enhancements that would factor into pension-benefit calculations.

A key CalPERS committee on Tuesday approved counting nearly 100 types of government-salary supplements toward employees’ pension benefits, including extra money workers earn for temporarily filling higher-paying jobs.

More than a year after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law he said would tamp down pension spiking, the state’s biggest public pension fund is on the verge of adopting rules critics say would undermine its intent.

The Brown administration has reached tentative labor agreements with unions representing state attorneys and scientists, potentially settling – at least temporarily – two longstanding disputes about pay.

States spent nearly $31 billion to provide health coverage to 2.7 million employee households in 2013, a small increase from the previous two years, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis released Tuesday by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation.

Reader responses are rolling in to this week’s The State Worker column, which looks at how a legal technicality kept long-time state psychiatric technician assistant Melissa Paul from renewing her license. The feedback we’re hearing is summarized in this poll. Vote and see what other readers think.

Nearly two years ago, Melissa Paul suffered unimaginable loss when her 13-year-old daughter committed suicide in their Porterville home.

An exterior scaffolding switch planned for the Board of Equalization’s downtown Sacramento headquarters is on hold until at least the middle of this month.

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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Note: The State Worker blog switched blog platforms in October 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.


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