Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger is proposing a 5 percent pay cut for state workers in California, in addition to an average 10 percent reduction already experienced by employees under an unpaid furlough program.  Meanwhile, in New York, most state workers just received a 3 percent wage increase, and it looks increasingly unlikely that Governor Paterson will follow through on his layoff threat.  At least 42 state lawmakers, including Republicans and Democrats in both houses, have written letters to Paterson opposing layoffs–which effectively means they oppose seeking even modest concessions from government employee unions.

Oddly, while Paterson is asking members of the state’s largest unions to roll back this year’s installment of pay raises granted under contracts ratified in 2007 and 2008, the 2009-10 state budget sets aside $400 million to finance pay hikes for the few unions that haven’t settled on new contracts yet, including those representing prison guards and state police investigators.  (See page 110 of the Enacted Budget Report.)

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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