Work crews this weekend will replace leased scaffolding outside the defective Board of Equalization headquarters with scaffolding purchased by the state, prompting board Chairman Jerome Horton to blast the Brown administration for failing to find a new facility for the agency.

Our Sunday story about the Board of Equalization headquarter’s sorry, soggy history inspired this visual commentary by Bee cartoonist Jack Ohman. The Bee’s editorial board also weighed in with its opinion, “State’s tower of horror in downtown Sacramento is nice for bats, not humans.” Read it here.

This column starts where last week’s left off, with a simple question, the government’s nonresponsive response and what it all says about public transparency.

California state doctors and dentists earned far more than other unionized state employees last year, with base pay averaging $204,764 – and half of them earned more than $234,000.

Crews will start work Friday at the vexed Board of Equalization headquarters, but it won’t be to fix the crumbling waste-water plumbing or to replace faulty exterior glass panels that were among the long list of tower defects chronicled by The Sacramento Bee on Sunday.

Scott Carney, who sometimes endured withering criticism from lawmakers for his department’s perceived inefficiencies, is leaving his administrative post at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to become a deputy city manager for Stockton. He begins his new job on Sept. 2.

Four years after a Sacramento jury found a Board of Chiropractic Examiners supervisor liable in retaliating against an employee and more than a decade after the case first went to court, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Friday he has signed legislation authorizing payment of a $2.7 million judgment in the matter.

A state system that uses inmate labor to provide goods and services will see its revenues jump 15.6 percent in fiscal 2014-15, according to a plan recently approved by the board of the California Prison Industry Authority.

The State Worker column this week delves into alleged shenanigans at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing detailed in a new investigative report by the State Personnel Board.

The State Personnel Board’s more aggressive pursuit of hiring shenanigans and promotion miscues in state government may be bearing fruit.

An Emmy Award-winning documentary airing in Sacramento this weekend features California state employees and their work on alternative energy.

The California State Fair is hosting two workshops on Thursday to give veterans information about how to apply for state government jobs.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has filed its rebuttal to a lawsuit aimed at forcing the government to reimburse state scientists for work-related travel and meal costs at the same rate as other state workers.

The State Worker caught up with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed on Wednesday as he made the rounds in Sacramento to talk about his plan to give governments the power to reduce their pension debts.

The I-word – “impasse” – has butted in on contract talks between Gov. Jerry Brown and a state employees’ union that has been without a labor agreement for more than a year.

The State Worker column this week focuses on the promise and peril of impasse for the bogged-down contract talks between Gov. Jerry Brown and 850 state operating engineers in Bargaining Unit 13. It offers a path to mediation, but it also opens the door to management imposing terms and for the rank and file to strike.

Sacbee.com’s searchable database of state salaries is newly updated and now includes 2013 University of California pay. Also see 2013 civil service pay, 2013 CSU pay and 2012 state legislative pay. Search salaries and view up to seven years of salary history, courtesy of The Bee’s database guru, Phillip Reese. Click here to open the state salary search page.

Both state bargaining units affiliated with the International Union of Operating Engineers started contract talks aiming for substantial raises for their members. One got what it wanted.

After years of complaining to governors on both sides of the political aisle about pay, this summer the California Association of Professional Scientists rejected a contract offered by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown that would have given them a modest raise.

California’s state parks system has a new acting director.

Three state employee unions end this holiday week without new contracts. Lawyers, building equipment operators and scientists won’t receive the modest raise that kicked in Tuesday for just about everyone else in state government.

Bee Capitol Bureau colleague Christopher Cadelago reports today on ethical questions raised by Covered California board members using their personal email accounts to communicate about public matters. Since private emails aren’t subject to public disclosure, the agency says, it can’t divulge their contents. Separately, a San Jose case is testing whether government employees must disclose texts, emails and other private correspondence when they concern public business.

Lawmakers will probe equal opportunity and diversity in California’s state civil service during a hearing today at 10 a.m.

California’s state scientists have overwhelmingly rejected a labor contract offered by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The U.S. Supreme Court chipped away at government-employee union power on Monday by ruling that Illinois home-support workers paid with public money can reject union membership.

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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