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State of California Is Thinking About Stopping The Telework Stipend for The State Employees to Recover Shortfall

An unusual proposal to overcome shortcomings

A shortfall in the financial budget of the state government announced probable bad news for all the state employees working under the Californian State Government.

According to the reports submitted by Gavin Newsom and his financial department, the state employees have to bid goodbye to their monthly telework stipend. The strategy of managing the shortfall of the government was by cutting the cost of paying these monthly stipends would save them almost a projected amount of $38 billion.

The reports submitted by Newsom’s financial department does not indicate any furlough where the employees are laid off from their work temporarily to execute cost cutting in a more effective way.

But they had apparently suggested that cutting down the teleworking stipend might save the government a large amount of money to overcome the current situation. Joe Stephenshaw, the director of the department confirmed that the strategy was only proposed and the finality of the decision is still pending. He planned to present this idea and said his team would bargain with the unions. 

Gavin Newsom

How much the telework stipend

The cost cutting that was proposed on Wednesday will take place at the end of the current financial year, during July of 2024. Currently all the state employees who are designated as “remote-workers” are paid 50 dollar per month as teleworking stipend whereas the in-office employees are paid 25 dollars per month.

According to the available data in the Department of General Service, more than 47% state employees worked as teleworkers during October 2023. Almost every member of all but four out of 21 state unions used to receive this monthly stipend regularly. The bargaining units that do not include this stipend in the paycheck are Highway Patrol officers, correctional officers, firefighters and protective services employees.

Financial department became stricter 

The financial department had already tightened the purse to recover from the present financial condition. They had already enforced an “expenditure freeze” in this fiscal year of 2023-2024.

This freezing had almost stopped the leave buy-back program that had been polarized in the state. The cost cutting had also been represented when the upgradation of new office supplies, replacement of office essentials and upgradation of office telephones came to a halt. 

Employees responded to the probable rule 

The strategy was criticized by many political leaders. Some think that this is a wrong decision to take right now and the strategy is only a brainchild of Gavin’s poor judgment. The state employees had complained that this way of cost cutting had never been effective, rather it impacts the employees very negatively.

Some still remembered the furloughs under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger which resulted in a dragged on and tiring multi-year court battle between the government and the employees. The state employees added that such kinds of rash decisions always put their social and economical security in question.

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