The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 12, 2009
It's Columbus Day: What are you seeing, state workers?

So, what's going on where you work? Or if you didn't go to work, what's your next move?

SEIU Local 1000 has told employees it represents that they're within their legal and contractual rights to treat today like Columbus Days past -- as a paid holiday. Local President Yvonne Walker has said she hopes folks will stay home.

The controversy escalated last week when the two sides fired off dueling e-mails. DPA said the union was encouraging an illegal job action. The union accused DPA of using intimidation tactics to scare workers into working what is still a paid day off under the evergreen provisions of Local 1000's expired contract and the Dill's Act.

(Other unions have said have told their members to work and then file grievances. SEIU has said it will also help file grievances for the folks it represents who work today.)

The state, specifically the governor's Department of Personnel Administration, has said that legislation passed earlier this year changed the state's holiday calendar, including the elimination of Columbus Day as a paid day off for state workers. Take the day off without calling in or arranging leave, the administration has said, and face the consequences of being AWOL.

We asked DPA and several departments whether we could get some statistical sense of no-shows for today. All said the same thing: The numbers won't be known until timesheet adjustments go in to the Controller's Office in about 10 days.

Local 1000 told The State Worker it is monitoring events today but it's not taking any sort of formal count.

So that leaves us with anecdotes from around the state. We're eager to hear your reports.

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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


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