Schwarzenegger Cuts Gov’t Workers Pay to Minimum Wage

Because, he won’t be back!

The Schwarzenegger administration today ordered State Controller John Chiang to reduce state worker pay for July to the federal minimum allowed by law — $7.25 an hour for most state workers.

The instructions from the Department of Personnel Administration exclude roughly 37,000 state workers in six bargaining units that recently came to tentative labor agreements with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The rationale is that the legislature has not passed a budget, therefore there really isn’t any money budgeted to pay these folks, but, you have to pay them something!
As noted, if you worked for one of six collective bargaining units that cut a deal with Arnie, the ax didn’t hit you.

Schwarzenegger has invoked a 2003 state Supreme Court decision as grounds for the move. That ruling, White v. Davis, held that without a budget that appropriates money for state payroll, employee wages can be withheld to the federal minimum. That condition exists today, which is the start of the 2010-11 fiscal year and the state is without a budget. The back pay would be paid once a budget is enacted.

Even if it’s legal, is it the right thing to do? Schwarzenegger is a lame duck, due to term limits, but ticking off 240,000 state workers is bound to have some consequences. People’s expenses tend to expand to their salaries. That’s about a quarter million Californians who will have to cut back on spending (and paying sales tax) just to struggle to make ends meet.

Not a pretty picture!

Cross posted at Proof Positive

Curmudgeonly sesquipedalian.

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