Monday, March 17, 2008

State Worker Pay Database Updates

Last week Local 1000 held their protest in front of the Sacramento Bee's offices. From the Local 1000 report on the event:

"It directly effects the safety of some of our members," said Albert Troyer, a lithographic plate maker from the State Office of Publishing. "Some people have restraining orders and others have been hiding out from their ex's for years—to put this type of database on the web effects their safety and the public safety."


Susan, a CalTrans manager, says she doesn’t remember signing away her privacy when she became a state worker.

"I was sickened when I saw what was on there," she said. "I felt like I can be tracked down by people I worked with and I feel like I’m vulnerable."
The Bee remains cavalier about the danger to workers who had been successfully hiding for their own safety:
Local 1000 president Jim Hard, CSEA President Dave Hart and a contingent of Local 1000 members met with the Bee’s editorial staff during the demonstration. Following the meeting, Hard told demonstrators that the Bee was not receptive to removing names, even when a state workers’ safety is an issue.
This disregard for the safety of private citizens apparently isn't new; the Bee's Sunshine Week editorial implies the Bee publishes crime victim's home addresses even over victims' objections:

But objections to public records often have rested on privacy worries. This goes back to homeowners who didn't want the addresses of burglaries published in the newspaper.

The addresses remain public, as they should, and as state salaries and names must.

The same Sunshine Week piece unconvincingly states the Bee "didn't anticipate the level to which rank-and-file workers would feel targeted or attacked" and "regret[s] that effect."

The Bee has added the ability to search the database by campus and/or classification, without a last name. The classification search seems to match on partial classification names; for example you can do a search for all employees on your campus with the word "administrator" in their classification.


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