As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pushback: SEIU Potential Walk-Out, Corporate Tax Cut Repeal, Court Overturns Medi-Cal Cuts

Rumors ran rampant yesterday that state employees, pushed too far by yet another salary cut (totaling 20% over the course of the year), would potentially strike.

Doug Crooks, Director of Communications with the Service Employees International Union’s local 1000, which represents more than 95,000 state employees, declined to confirm the rumor but said any decision would be made by the employees through an authorization vote.

“In the first place, that decision hasn’t been made yet,” said Crooks about the plan to strike. “That decision hasn’t been made yet. We are definitely going to strongly oppose and do everything we can to prevent the governor from imposing a fourth furlough day. But check back with me Monday.”

“The bottom line is we negotiated with this governor in good faith and we agreed on a contract that would save $340 million dollars immediately, and if applied to all state employees it would save the state a billion dollars. That’s billion with a ‘B.’ And for the governor to undermine that contract now is beyond irresponsible. He’s made the state employee a pawn” in the state budget negotiations.

“Well actually, it’s a five percent cut on top of those three furlough days,” explained Alicia Trost, a spokesperson for Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. “It’s simply a scare tactic by the governor, yet another, and we feel the state workforce has already paid their fair share. What’s worse is that it would have a horrible effect on the economy if state workers were to lose up to 20 percent of their buying power.”

By the way, Mr. Stogie just lost a furlough case, with a judge tentatively ruling that he cannot furlough the legal staff of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, which has emboldened the larger pool of workers in SEIU. But more to the point, in the world of Arnold Antionette and the Yacht Party, workers making a median income getting 20% salary cuts while the largest corporations doing business in the state get a massive corporate tax break is considered "everyone paying their fair share."

Speaking of which, Lenny Goldberg offers the text of an initiative to repeal the negotiated-in-secret corporate tax cuts and save the state $2.5 billion dollars a year. Opponents typically respond with race-to-the-bottom rhetoric about businesses leaving the state, which isn't true, by the way.

Finally, a federal appeals court ruled that California cannot cut Medi-Cal reimbursements, in an opinion written by a George W. Bush appointee. The familiar pattern of breaking the law to cut the budget often runs up against judicial review, and so the criminals in Sacramento - considering what they're attempting, I don't consider that hyperbole - will have to try something else to achieve their long-sought destruction of the social safety net.

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