Politics

Governor May Risk Losing Labor Support Over Proposed State Worker Pay Cuts

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California Governor Jerry Brown. (Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

California Governor Jerry Brown. (Max Whittaker/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Gov. Jerry Brown looks to be stuck between a political rock and a hard place. He wants to trim state workers’ pay – and eliminate some of their jobs, too. But, he also needs state labor unions – the ones arguably most impacted by the proposed cuts – to support his tax hike ballot measure this fall.

“The reality of it is that the governor has got to rely as much on cuts as he can because he cannot depend on the Republicans in the Legislature to go along with any funding increases and he cannot necessarily rely on the Democrats in the Legislature to make all of the cuts in services that he wants to make,” reasoned Sacramento-based political consultant Leo McElroy.

The governor has already axed 15,000 state jobs. Now, he is proposing to double that number and institute a four-day work week, which would translate into a 5% pay cut for state workers.

Labor unions, as you might imagine, aren’t crazy about the idea.

“That’s a group that the governor was counting on very strongly for support on his tax measure in November and the likelihood of them feeling like they’re getting trampled on, on the one hand, and then ponying up money and political muscle to help the tax measure in November, seems a little far fetched,” said McElroy.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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