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Unions sue Schwarzenegger over mandatory days off

December 23, 2008
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Surveyors try to terminate Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to impose mandatory days off in 2009.


By Jordan Rau
December 23, 2008

Reporting from Sacramento -- Two public employee unions on Monday sued Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to block his effort to furlough state workers in a cost-cutting measure as California's treasury runs out of money.
 
Last week, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order to require that all state employees take two unpaid days off each month starting in February. The governor said the measure is needed to conserve cash, with the state budget gap estimated to reach $42 billion a year and a half from now.
 
The lawsuit, filed in Sacramento County Superior Court, asserts that only the Legislature can alter the pay of workers who have labor contracts with the state. It asks the courts to issue a temporary stay to stop Schwarzenegger's efforts, which could affect 230,000 workers.
 
"We don't think he has the authority," said Bruce Blanning, executive director of Professional Engineers in California Government.
 
The union, which represents 13,000 engineers, surveyors and others working for the state, filed the lawsuit along with the California Assn. of Professional Scientists. ...
 

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