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Re: California State Employees' Initiative

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I enjoyed your passionate statement.  It gave me some food for thought.
Personally, I oppose the proposition and I am a State employee.  My
opposition comes from PECG's desire to become a strong union within
California and thereby increase their influence in State politics.  I am a
firm beliver in comptetion combined with quality.  The downside of this
proposition is that it takes competition out of the process (also
eliminating quality based selection as well).

There are many government based engineers who are excellent engineers.
Like any place of employment there are also those who are less than
satisfactory.  Government is no different than the private sector in that

Being in emergency services I see another side of this issue.  After a
disaster when the President declares a "major disaster," federal money
pours into the area to assist in recovery.  When dealing with public
facilities and those owned by many private, non-profit organizations
(schools, universities, hosptials, educational based organizations, etc.),
the State puts up a percentage of the recovery funds.  If the proposition
passes, each and every one of these types of facilities will be subjected
to the proposition's rather one-sidded evaluation process.  My concern is
that the Division of the State Architect, the Office of Statewide Health
Planning and Development, Caltrans, and a few other agencies who regularly
employ engineers, will not be able to address all of these repairs in a
timely fashion because they are set-up to respond to this immediate level
of work.

Numbers of new engineers and architects needing to be hired by the State
have been thrown around.  I don't know how accurate they are.  Let's assume
that the 15,600 number used the other day was correct.  That's 15,600 new
members of PECG.  They pay union dues only if they choose to--however, they
still must pay a small amount for what is called "fair share."  The
engineers are represented by a union who negotiates the contracts.  The
point here is that PECG will increase their power in California politics.
How much is anyone's guess.  This increase in power comes at the expense of
the profession and the public.

There will always be a need for engineers in government positions.  There
are many types of public works projects which are done most efficiently by
government.  There are also many types of projects which are done more
efficiently by the private sector.  The system that is in place now for
distributing this work may be flawed.  We should fix the system to work
better, not throw it away so a union can gain more power.