The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 18, 2009
SEIU sues for State Fund furlough exemption

This from Service Employees International Union Local 1000:

Local 1000 has filed a lawsuit asking the court to exempt Local 1000 SCIF members from the governor's furlough order.

Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker demanded, in a letter to SCIF President Janet Frank, that SCIF apply the judge's ruling to all SCIF employees. Walker wrote: "There is no rational basis on which State Fund can claim that the provisions of the California Insurance Code, which the court found prohibited 'staff cutbacks' or furloughs, applies to some employees of State Fund, but not others."

Local 1000 had hoped to piggyback on San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch's ruling that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger illegally furloughed the 500 State Fund members of the state legal professionals union.

CASE attorney Patrick Whalen told us this week that even though Local 1000 wasn't a party in the State Fund furlough case, CASE submitted language for the judge to consider for his final judgment that was broad enough to include all the fund's employees. Busch rewrote that section of the judgment before issuing it earlier this month.

Without that inclusive language, it was clear that Local 1000 would have to go to court to get a CASE-type exemption, despite the letter from Walker to Frank that threatened legal action unless the fund unilaterally applied the court ruling to SEIU workers.

You can read the Local 1000 newsletter post about the lawsuit by clicking here. And you can view the union's petition by clicking this link.

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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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