Posted by: jhamon | August 2, 2009

Lurching Towards Self-Destruction: California Public Union

Cropped image of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Pushed, The Governator Might Just Say: "I Let Them Go."

From the LA Times.  Do these folks realize the trouble California’s in?

Members of state workers union grant authorization for strike

Reporting from Sacramento — Members of the largest union representing state workers authorized their leaders on Saturday to launch a strike, although union officials said there were no immediate plans to walk off the job.

“There is no strike planned at this time,” said union spokesman Jim Zamora. “What we will be doing is holding a number of meetings next week to decide what our next step is.”

The membership voted nearly 3 to 1 in favor of the authorization.

No respite from state budget headaches

Another deficit seen in next fiscal year

SACRAMENTO – There wasn’t much celebrating last week as the governor finished work on a $24 billion package of cuts, accounting maneuvers and other measures to end the state’s latest budget crisis.

Rather than a sense of relief, many are bracing for another budget grind next year that some fear could be even worse.

The administration’s top budget experts already have identified a $7 billion to $8 billion deficit in the next budget cycle, and there’s no promise of any federal help to cover the shortfall, as there was this year.

Additional savings will have to come from services, programs and departments still reeling from some of the deepest budget cuts in state history.

Moreover, temporary tax increases enacted in February will begin to expire in the next budget year, and no one is sure when an economic recovery willtake hold.

“Things could break one way or another, and it could get better or worse,” state Finance Director Mike Genest told reporters last week. “Obviously, the economy is a huge unknown. Nobody can predict with certainty what’s going to happen next.”

Genest said the initial deficit projected for the next fiscal year – 2010-11 – depends on the state dodging several billion dollars’worth of known risks in the deal that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders just finalized.

Do they teach history at the union halls?  Does anyone remember Reagan firing 11,000 PATCO members in August, 1981
Just asking.
As the economic challenges multiply and deepen, the increasingly unemployed public (and their elected representatives) will have increasingly little sympathy for those who still have jobs asserting their “rights.” 
For the record, real unemployment appears to be over 16% in California and unemployment benefits are close to exhaustion for increasing numbers of people.
This will be very interesting, as the Governator might just surprise these guys if they decide to play their hole card.  He is showing a new resolve.


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