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California Governor Schwarzenegger Seeks Government Worker Pay Cuts to Replace Furloughs

1 min readBy: Joseph Bishop-Henchman

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is seeking to save $1.6 billion with a 5% across-the-board cut in pay for the state’s 200,000 government employees, plus increasing pension contributions by 5% of salary. The changes would take effect July 1 and would replace the current furlough program that has resulted in an effective 14% pay cut.

From the Sacramento Bee:

Schwarzenegger will ask the Legislature to approve those changes as part of his budget proposal today, which is a “Furlough Friday” for state workers. His plan seeks to close a $19.9 billion deficit over the next 18 months. The Republican governor plans to propose an $82.9 billion general fund spending plan for 2010-11, according to a Department of Finance chart.

Schwarzenegger’s office has decided to move away from furloughs when the fiscal year ends June 30 because it believes the state cannot justify their use as an emergency measure beyond that point.

Labor unions believe the furloughs already are illegal and have filed two dozen lawsuits since they began last February. Service Employees International Union Local 1000, which represents 95,000 state workers, and two other unions won a decision in Alameda Superior Court last week. Schwarzenegger has won other cases, however, and plans to appeal the Alameda decisions.

More on California here.