Arnold Finds Closed Door Makes For Good Opportunity to Open Window

Well, after losing major furlough litigation, you kind of had to figure this was coming.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose ending furloughs for state workers at the end of June but seek permanent pay cuts and higher employee retirement contributions in their place, administration officials said Thursday.

Those two measures, which require legislative approval, would equal a 10 percent cut in gross pay, compared with a 14 percent reduction that state workers now face with three monthly furlough days. State employees would resume a full workweek in July. (SacBee)

OF course, considering that the state has to deal with collective bargaining agreements, it won’t just be that simple.  However, with the furlough wins in the bag of tricks for the labor unions involved here, you habve to figure that this is some sort of ploy to get some concessions at the bargaining table. Of course, because the governor hasn’t really focused on negotiating contracts, some of the state’s workers are working under some very old contracts.

But the bigger problem here is the Governor’s previous negotiations have been rather deceptive. Look no further than SEIU 1000’s deal last summer. In good faith, they made a deal with the Governor in which they made substantial concessions to the state that would have saved real money, only for that deal to be dropped when it became inconvenient during the budget process.

It turns out that governing without consistent principles is harder than you would think it would be. It requires great skill in playing one group that you don’t really care about off another group that you don’t really care about. It requires quite the deft navigator and a soft touch, and neither Arnold nor “Democratic” Chief of staff Susan Kennedy has been really all that great with either.

One thought on “Arnold Finds Closed Door Makes For Good Opportunity to Open Window”

  1. It really is maddening to have to file unfair labor practice charges or take an employer to court to establish that the rules actually do apply to everyone, and that the way to change a bad status quo is to bargain.

    If you’re not smart enough to grasp that on your own, you’re hardly up to Machiavellian manuevers.

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