Republican Governance Norm Home
Email me
SiteMap

Republican Notions

Republican ideas of running the state do not follow the law or reason. To avoid raising California state taxes to meet its obligations. As a state employee in a sensitive job, I have been paid for 19 days of work for working 22 days in the month with staffing shortages, effectively adding 15% tax to a state employee. This does not include "flex time" which is also illegally demanded. This is not the first illegal action against state employees by Republican governors, and attempts to make political advantage out of villainizing state employees.

With the Republican minority, Arnold Schwarzenegger has achieved MINORITY rule. While Republicans have no problem paying millions of taxpayer dollars to CEO's who have failed, and created the current economic problems, they say they need to pay that much to "get the best" [CEO failures]. They want to run the state with below par pay, which will guarantee corruption, and get the unqualified, bottom of the barrel dregs. Once known as a stable well paying employer, the State of California is now a flaky, sub par employer to be avoided by anyone that can really do the job needed.

If you thought the State of California is a desirable or fair employer, try again. State employees have been the whipping boy for Republican governors and legislators for the last half century. There was a time when the governor sought the best and insisted on high standards of conduct. Paying well attracted the best, and the prospect of many seeking the position meant corruption could be met with prompt termination and replacement. Knight ('53-58) was the last Republican to see the wisdom of this approach.

Reagan ('67-74) cut employment, pay, and especially hurt mental health. George Deukmejian ('83-90) denied the report the state had a $5 billion deficit, and "returned a $2 billion surplus" only to find he was wrong, and had put the state $7 billion in the red, a shortage inflicted on state employees. Indeed, when the State Personnel Board, notorious for under rating inflation, said a 22.5% raise would be needed for one bargaining unit's pay to compensate for inflation, it was given 15%, leaving it down 7.5%.

Pete Wilson ('91-98) signed contracts with only bargaining units for CHP and Prison Guards, and cut others. He paid employees for months with IOU's, illegally, and this "Law and Order" proponent was not prosecuted for this, or taking money from the retirement fund. Gray Davis ('99-02) was unwilling to make up for the decade of inflation, and tried to cut the vehicle tax, which the Republicans prevented, and instead ordered the collection of 1/3 of the tax, while paying municipalities and counties their portions. When the economy weakened, Gray ordered the tax to be collected in full, and was accused by Schwarzenegger of raising the tax. He rode this with a recall to be governor 32, and further harm the state.

Arnold Schwarzenegger {'03-...) has lied about taxes, raised many fees, taken money from education inspire of California being the last state in the U.S. in education, and has cut State of California employees 15% (36 days pay in the year, except CHP) and wants to cut them even more to run the state with below par pay. Staffing has been kept at no more than minimum. Jobs that must be done 24/7 do not get to take the Fridays (or others) off, and holidays have been taken away in spite of contracts requiring otherwise.

The classic complaint has been the "CalTrans worker" leaning on a shovel at the side of the road, while in truth the work has been outsourced to private company employing that person, demonstrating the lie of private business being more efficient. The Republican notion that the state can be run cheaper with outsourcing is wrong, and some attempts to do so proved expensive failures.

Why am I concerned? After forty years, I am making less, doing more, paid less than CHP and Prison Guards (previous law and order failures have prevented them from the cuts) but, in mental health, I am more likely to be killed or maimed than CHP. With staffing at legal minimum, and a hiring freeze, no holidays or furlough days can be taken. If it were not for others desperate to cover rent with any overtime whenever someone gets sick or injured, I would be forced to do more mandatory overtime shifts, so no days are possible for furlough days. The best of the younger employees in my job are fleeing state employment for safer and better paid private employment, leaving it more dangerous for those still doing the work.



Copyright 2010 Norman Montgomery; All rights reserved.