Gov. Proposes to Cut Some State Workers’ Pay to Minimum

Executive order would reduce pay temporarily for more than 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage – Order does not apply to CSU Faculty.

Yesterday, Gov. Schwarzenegger made public an executive order that could temporarily reduce pay for more than 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

According to CFA’s legal staff, the executive order does not apply to CSU faculty nor to other CSU employees.

Observers say the Governor hopes to use the minimum wage ruling to apply pressure on Democrats in the legislature to yield to his budget plan, thereby breaking the state budget logjam.

Unlike many other state agencies, the CSU and other public higher education segments are not under the direct executive authority of the governor. State Controller John Chiang, whose office issues state paychecks, released a statement Thursday that he won’t follow the order unless a court tells him to.

“Again, absent a final court ruling, I will continue to protect the state’s finances and pay full wages earned by state employees,” Chiang said in a statement Thursday evening.

Today, the California Court of Appeal held that Schwarzenegger had the authority to issue a similar executive order in 2008. Like the current order, that order did not apply to CSU faculty or to other CSU employees. Chiang can seek a review of the appellate court decision by the California Supreme Court,

For their part, members of the state legislature have adjourned for summer recess.