Worker holidays targeted

November 16, 2008


— California's generous offering of holidays for state workers - the equivalent of nearly three work weeks - is among the items Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is looking to trim to help counter a mounting budget deficit.

Lincoln's Birthday and Columbus Day would get the ax under a proposal the governor's administration estimates will save $114 million during this fiscal year and the next one starting in July.

Union leaders are resisting the move, but California isn't the only state looking to save money by cutting back on paid days off.

New Jersey passed a benefit-cutting bill in September that included eliminating Lincoln's Birthday as a state paid holiday amid a budget deficit projected to reach $1.2 billion in the current fiscal year. Gov. Jon Corzine also stopped giving employees the day after Thanksgiving as a paid day off.

Utah, which is experimenting with a four-day work week, eliminated Columbus Day as a paid holiday.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of paid holidays for state and local government employees nationwide is 11 days a year. The average private-sector employee receives eight paid holidays.


gccs14r 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm reminded of, "The floggings will continue until morale improves." People will take the time off, whether they're in the office or not. You might as well save on the light bill and have them stay home. Either that, or go whole-hog the other way and have employees each bring a pound of coal to work with them.

TacoBob 9 years, 4 months ago

Time for state and local government to wake up and fall in line with the private sector. And time for unions to act, for self-preservation reasons if nothing else. They play a big factor in the auto industry woes.

KansasPerson 9 years, 4 months ago

It doesn't say that workers aren't going to get those days off. It just says they won't get paid for it.So, take your rejuvenating Thanksgiving or New Year's Day -- and cut the household budget somewhere to make up for the short paycheck that week.I think I got about six paid holidays per year when I worked in the private sector. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.I've always been surprised at how many paid holidays government workers get. Columbus Day, MLK Day, and I don't know what all.

notajayhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

verity (Anonymous) says: "Are people really going to get more work done if holidays are taken away?"Andgccs14r (Anonymous) says: "People will take the time off, whether they're in the office or not. You might as well save on the light bill and have them stay home."That isn't the problem. Even paying for them to stay home isn't the problem. The problem is that many state employees have to work on holidays - state troopers, state hospital staff, etc. - and the cost of paying them double-time or double-time-and-a-half is enormous. When I worked for the state of Missouri, the day after Thanksgiving was not an official holiday, but the governor gave it to us every year anyway - I seem to recall the cost was in the tens of millions for the day. (And at the time, Missouri had the lowest paid state workers in the country, or maybe the second lowest - and California has a heck of a lot more employees.)

AjiDeGallina 9 years, 4 months ago

I think we spend more money on Starbucks daily in this country than we spend on government holidays, but I realize it is an emotional issue, if not a real one.I wouldnt waste my time on this, i would be more worried about the open ended bank bail out, the war and so many other things that are really taking a significant portion of my tax dollars.

mom_of_three 9 years, 4 months ago

KU workers, who are state workers, get new years day, MLK day, memorial day, 4th of july, labor day, veterans day, thanksgiving, day after thanksgiving and christmas day. Sometimes the governor may give the day after christmas or christmas eve as a bonus, but not as a rule. no lincoln's birthday or columbus day. We don't get the bankers holidays.

lawrencechick 9 years, 4 months ago

Interesting must be government workers. The majority of us do not get those days off and if you want to take them off fine, but I don't want my tax money supporting it.

verity 9 years, 4 months ago

Are people really going to get more work done if holidays are taken away?We need holidays to get away, get some rest and spend time with family and friends. We come back with a clearer mind and the ability to get more done.

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