UnionMaine

Trust me, I work for the Government

California Dreamin"

How does our Union work? In the last two weeks I have been called on to represent two employees and I needed help. I called one steward and got advice. I called a second steward and I got history, I called a third and she told me I was on the right track. The members I was representing had been picked on by management with no expectation or a fight. When the employees came to me, I knew why I became a steward, why I believe in Unions. Look at what our brothers and sisters are fighting in California.

Another special budget session looms

Governor wants to “loosen” worker OT protections

Governor Schwarzenegger declared a fiscal emergency Monday for the state of California, allowing him to call a “Proposition 58” legislative special session to both address the state’s $11.2 billion current year revenue shortfall and enact an economic stimulus package.

The governor has proposed closing the budget shortfall through a mix of billions of dollars in program cuts, increased sales taxes and a 5 percent cut in state worker pay through unpaid furloughs, reduced holidays and changes in overtime calculations. So far no budget compromise has been able to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the legislature because a minority of legislators has refused to approve any tax increases along with budget cuts.

“We support efforts to fix California’s broken financial system. Unfortunately the governor’s plan doesn’t address the state’s underlying revenue problems,” said Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker. “Republicans are taking potential solutions off the table because they don’t want to raise taxes. But this is unfair to all Californians. The governor and these legislators need to take responsibility, make some tough decisions and find a balanced compromise that does not jeopardize crucial services.”

The governor’s stimulus plan is also flawed because his proposals would reduce a worker’s ability to obtain overtime and weaken protections for meal breaks.

“The governor thinks that picking on workers – by loosening overtime requirements and cutting lunch breaks – will help stimulate the economy,” Walker added. “But we know that’s ridiculous. Wall Street didn’t collapse because working people want to eat lunch every day. The governor and the legislature need to get real and work on serious solutions.”
Walker also said that Local 1000 stands ready to fight any attempt to circumvent the collective bargaining process by enacting legislation to force state workers to take furloughs and change overtimes rules.

The governor’s declaration, announced at a Monday news conference, follows a special legislative session that ended Nov. 25 with no action on the budget or the economy. Democrats proposed $8.2 billion in spending cuts and $8.2 billion in tax increases during the special session Schwarzenegger called last month, but Republicans rejected the package because of the taxes. Instead, they seek an economic stimulus program to boost the economy.

Schwarzenegger asked for both, offering essentially the same plan legislative leaders rejected last month. The governor specifically asked the two dozen newly sworn-in legislators to help end the gridlock.

Under Proposition 58, the legislature has 45 days to pass and send a bill or bills to the governor’s desk addressing the state’s budget crisis. If the 45 days pass and legislators have not passed bills to address the problem, they cannot adjourn or act on other bills until the state’s fiscal emergency is addressed.

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December 15th, 2008 Posted by narsbars | Uncategorized | no comments

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