The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

October 6, 2009
SEIU to DPA: Law and contract say Monday is a paid day off

Here's another shot in the Columbus Day feud, this time from SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker.

In a sharply worded letter to DPA's Chief Deputy Director of Policy Julie Chapman, Walker restated Local 1000's position that next Monday remains a paid day off for state workers. "There is no question that Columbus Day is a holiday for state workers under the law," she wrote.

Walker was responding to a letter Chapman sent to the union this morning that called for union leaders to stop encouraging members to stay off work Monday.

DPA also wants Local 1000 and to retract its statements that the day remains a holiday, despite legislation the administration says erased Columbus Day and Lincoln's Birthday as paid days off for state workers.

You can read Chapman's letter via this blog post.

More from Walker's response:

Rather than threatening honest, hard working state workers with further pay loss and discipline for exercising their statutory and contractual rights by observing a recognized holiday, the governor and DPA should focus on consulting their legal advisors concerning compliance with California's labor laws. ...

Contrary to DPA's claims, nothing in the law or contract requires state workers to obtain advance approval to observe a state holiday. ...

Click here to read the rest of the letter to DPAThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 081208 Yvonne Walker.JPg.

Walker also sent a letter to the 95,000 employees that Local 1000 represents. Here's a key paragraph:

I realize that the Department of Personnel Administration and your department are trying to intimidate employees into coming to work on Columbus Day. We have been threatened with adverse actions, AWOLs and everything else they can think of to scare us into working on a day that is legally and rightfully our paid holiday. If we do not stand strong now, where does it end?

Click here to read the entire letter to state workers.

IMAGE: Yvonne Walker / Sacramento Bee, 2008

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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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