Pleasanton's DMV offices back to 5-days a week?

Court orders furlough days that closed DMVs on some Fridays to end

Pleasanton's DMV offices may be back on a five-day schedule following an Alameda County Superior Court judge's ruling yesterday ended so-called "furlough days" for more than 70,000 state workers.

The ruling by Judge Frank Roesch applies to employees of 66 agencies that receive all or most of their funding from sources other than the state general fund, such as from the federal government or from special fees.

Agencies where workers will be back on the job fulltime include the Department of Motor Vehicles, Caltrans, the Public Utilities Commission, the Employment Development Department, the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the Parks and Recreation Department.

The 70,000 workers are about one-third of all of the 200,000 state employees who were ordered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to take unpaid days off in response to the state's budget crisis.

Schwarzenegger originally mandated two furlough days per month and increased the number to three in July, resulting in a 15 percent pay cut for the workers.

Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Rachel Arrezola said the governor will file an appeal with the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco on Monday.

Schwarzenegger said at a news conference in Sacramento Wednesday, "We don't have enough money. I mean, we are in a recession and we just have to go and live within our means."

Felix De La Torre, a lawyer for the Service Employees International Union, said, "It's an important victory, not just for workers but also for members of the public who need the state services."

The SEIU filed the lawsuit in which Roesch ruled. De La Torre said the ruling covers about 60,000 union members and an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 other workers in the 66 agencies.

Roesch's ruling stems from another decision in December in which he said Schwarzenegger violated a state law by not considering the needs of the non-general-fund agencies when he set the furloughs.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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