Governor Brown calls for better deal for prison guards

April 20, 2011

Jerry Brown

California Gov. Jerry Brown negotiated a contract with the politically powerful prison guards’ union that lets guards bank an unlimited amount of vacation time they get paid for when they retire at a substantial cost to taxpayers, a legislative analyst said Tuesday. [BloombergBusinessWeek]

The average correctional officer already has nearly 19 weeks of accumulated leave time, currently valued at $600 million. Adding more time will cost the state in the long run, said fiscal and policy analyst Nick Schroeder to Bloomberg Business Week, though he couldn’t say how soon or how much.

Former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger battled the union, imposing a contract in 2006 that eliminated many of the concessions negotiated by his predecessor Gray Davis.

The 30,000 member union backed Brown’s campaign for governor.

Accumulated leave time is currently limited to 80 days for prison guards and most other state employees.

The pending contract, which is waiting approval of the legislature, gives guards more than eight weeks off work annually, making it more likely they will bank time to be paid out on retirement, according to the legislative analysis.

Last year, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation paid out nearly $100 million in unused leave time. The analysis said a much larger bill could come due soon: more than one-third of the guards are more than 46 years old, and most qualify to retire at age 50.

Davis agreed to the contract shortly before he was recalled from office in 2003. Schwarzenegger used the union as an example of public employee unions with too many perks and too much power.

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Look here (but have your blood pressure meds handy):

A whole bunch of lobbying going on!


Three of the top five lobbyists are unions, accounting for around 2/3 of the money spent lobbying.

They run in good company, the others who made the top five list are Oil Interests, and the State Chamber of Commerce.

Are unions the problem? Of course they are. All private sector non-union tax payers know this. Why do politicians rob the private sector and deliver the dosh to the unions? Because it’s in their personal financial best interest to do so, and because they can.

There are 120 of them, and 37 million of us. Figure it out.

As I stated in my first comment on this thread, the main problem is the ability to “bank” the vacation time (pay) for later use when it should be a “use or loose it” situation. The “cause” is NOT the union; the union is the vehicle that enabled the situation- the “cause” is the money in politics. As I suggested to Jack Hardy when he was on the Dave Congalton show, we need to get the money out of political campaigns and the way to do that is by having publicly financed campaigns. We pay for the elections one way or another; either we pay for them up front and have the politicians answer to the voters, or we keep on doing what we have done, allow big monies to influence our politicians and we pay by having situations like this one come up where one special interest group or another gets their way with our governmental policies.

Its time to for pitchforks and torches…. and that’s no joke. STOP VOTING DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN. Idiociy is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you vote Democrat or Republican, quit complaining, because this is your fault. WAKE UP.

Both sides, Mr. Kaney? Are you sure?

IIRC, Dem Gray Davis bent over for the guards’ union, and now Dem Jerry Brown is bending over. But I don’t recall when Schwarzenegger reached for the soap to aid the guards’ union. Will you help jog my memory?

If it ain’t the democrats, them maybe it’s politicians-named-after-colors …

Yeah, I’m pretty sure what I’m saying is true. Here is CA spending since 2000:

2001 99.4

2002 103.3

2003 98.9

2004 98.9

2005 105.3

2006 117.3

2007 131.4

2008 146.5

2009 144.5

2010 119.2

He may have cut spending the first couple years, but he sure ramped it up after that!!! See, the purpose of the two party system is so that those who currently rule the roost continue to rule the roost via a power-sharing agreement. At any time, at least a plurality accept bad behavior, because it is in support of THEIR issues. And then the pendulum swings. So I’m curious, after looking at these numbers, are you still willing to root for your “team” or are you saying “hmmmmm” yet?

Blindly rooting for my team.

At least you have been direct and honest.

WTF HAPPENED???!!!!!! We (voters) where told by many that Brown was different. He wasn’t like most politicians. That he was a straight shooter. So the first big thing to come across his desk, he throws the Taxpayers of this state under the bus!!! Not only that he backs up the bus when everyone realized that Brown is just another politician paying back his cronies (union of 30,000) as a favor!!

I am so F**KING mad I am frothing at the mouth! I know that Brown isn’t the only one to do this and BOTH sides of the aisle do this. But when are WE as TAXPAYERS finally going to tell ALL the politicians, ENOUGH of your BULLSH*T of selling out us TAXPAYERS!

The state is BROKE! We are BLEEDING PROFUSLY red ink. Most Taxpayers are cutting back and he gives the union the keys to the kingdom!!!!

I’ve HAD IT!!! Let’s throw out ALL of the offices in Ca. from the bottom to top and start over. Can’t be any worse then all the A-holes we have paying back all their cronie alliances. AAAAAAAAAAA

the california correction officers better known as welfare rent a cops are already getting the finest welfare benefits available anywhere in known world. This is worse than Enron or Wall Street or the rest of the bloodsuckers that take our money. Privatize the entire corrections institution and we would save billions every year. There is no value add to any of this. We could ship all the prisoners to other states that have “cottage industries” established (eg Arizona) and we would be on the road to recovery.

I have already paid my “extortion” tax to the State but THIS makes me wish I hadn’t!,0,4285091.story

Sorry! I was so enraged at the article I read to post the above link, I forgot to comment on this article.

I have a relative who is a CO. She works very hard and deserves her pay. She is the first to admit the banking of these hours are “bogus” and feels everyone who works as a CO has a duty to keep fit to meet the job requirements. She of course will happily take any money the State throws her way.

No one should be paid extra to stay fit enough to do the job they are paid to do!

And they wonder why MOST tax payers hate the unions!

“California Gov. Jerry Brown negotiated a contract with the politically powerful prison guards’ union that lets guards bank an unlimited amount of vacation time they get paid for when they retire at a substantial cost to taxpayers,”

“The 30,000 member union backed Brown’s campaign for governor.”

Speaks volumes…

Great post Danika!!

I love how ALL the unions say that we are all picking on them for the states financial problems. Well here is one of MANY reasons all you union parisites, that we the taxpayers are finally getting fed up will all your crap!!!

Thanks, BTDT. The article in the SF Chronicle picked up where the LA Times left off. It says the Ca Franchise Tax Board advanced salaries to the tune of $2.8 MILLION it has not collected. WTF??? I expect every penny to be repaid PLUS penalties and interest!

This is beyond outrageous, IMO.

I LOVE all the beni’s the Gov’t people get. Pay, vac. retirement and they say it doesn’t pay as well as private sector. Then we find out this on top of EVERYTHING else. NONE of the people who work for the Unions or Gov’t have a CLUE on work. I have worked by union people before and hired them before. The average Joe gives 100-110% on the job. The union worker? About 60%. I will not hire somebody that has worked for a union. They are worthless workers in my book.

The main problem here is the ability to bank the vacation time (pay); most other industries, most other contracts, the vacation time is there for you to either use (take the time off and get the pay) or to have the monies (don’t take the time off, but you still get the pay for that time, allowing you to work and receive the vacation pay) but very few contracts allow for the unused vacation time (and pay) to accrue and be able to be banked for use at a later date. The only hope here is that this still needs to be approved by the legislature, which hopefully realizes that an awful lot of California voters are going to be thinking about this issue in the next election. Let’s see if the lawmakers have a spine or not; I am not completely hopeful that they will serve the best interest of the voters, but I am wiling to wait for the vote before I condemn their possible vote.