According to the SacBee's State Worker column, we're nearly four months into Jerry's state government hiring freeze. So how's it going? From Feb. 15 through May 25, the government hired 1,516 employees, according to state controller's payroll data. Here's another way to view it: If you added up the initial paychecks for those new-to-government hires, you'd have about $3 million.
The blurb is missing some important information which paints a much clearer picture and was included in the original article from the Sacramento Bee but was omitted from the CRP email. I don't like many of Brown's policies but let's call it the way it is and not the way we want it to appear.
Pretty loose hiring clamp, you say? Not really.
Hiring is down about 40 percent per month, on average, from seven months prior to the hiring freeze.
Schwarzenegger didn't order a hiring freeze during those last months. He didn't trust the bureaucracy. He also wanted the immediate payroll savings from his 2008, 2009 and 2010 furlough orders, believing that the state's fiscal crises justified the controversial policy.
Brown, no lover of furloughs, is letting the slower process of attrition take hold. So while the state was welcoming those 1,500 employees aboard – many of them part-time or at entry-level pay – it said bon voyage to 2,349 retirees, according to CalPERS data. Those employees tend to be at the high end of the pay scale.
Senior staff in Brown's office added a hiring chill factor by personally reviewing all state employment proposals after they've gone through a financial analysis.
Schwarzenegger would never have done that, said Daniel J.B. Mitchell, a state labor expert at UCLA's Anderson School of Management: "He wasn't into micromanaging. Grand themes were more his area."
With the state still trying to close a $10 billion budget gap, Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford puts it another way: "We're keeping a close eye on the shop. We have to."
So what about all those hires in corrections, the tax board and mental health?
Brown's freeze order exempts some jobs such as frontline hospital staff, public safety employees, and tax and fee collectors.
It's the kind of nuanced policymaking that sometimes eluded Schwarzenegger. He ordered furloughs for everyone but firefighters and CHP officers in 2008, then added tax collectors to the exemption list nearly two years later after seeing evidence that the state lost $7 in revenue for every $1 the furloughs saved.
Since February, just six departments account for 80 percent of the new hiring. The jobs they're filling fall into those exempt categories: licensed and vocational nurses, correctional officers, tax board seasonal clerks and the like.
It's getting harder to hire on with the state, and Jerry Brown likes it that way.
Once you read the article and see the data in its entirety, you see the hiring freeze (or hiring slow-down) is becoming effective.
My suggestion to the CRP is to choose data and articles a little better. The Republican Party needs to take the high road and not promulgate misleading information. Regaining credibility needs to become a priority for the Party.