US - The US$174bn California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has announced it is to close for two days a month as part of a state-wide cost saving scheme.
CalPERS said the investment office would however remain open, although the fund's regional offices in Fresno, Glendale, Orange, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, and Walnut Creek and both its member and employer customer contact centres would be closed.
The furlough order was introduced in December in order to help the state reduce spending in light of its projected $40bn budget shortfall. It is expected savings of around $1.4bn could be made through the state-wide furlough scheme.
In a recent press conference, governor Schwarzenegger said in the furlough scheme "everyone takes a little haircut rather than laying people off".
Responding to complaints about the constitutionality of the plan, Schwarzenegger said as governor he had the authority to so, adding: "You have to understand that I want to work with [labour partners] but everyone has to go and help here in order to solve our budget crisis. This is not an anti-labour thing by any means.
"I love our state employees. They are very dedicated individuals, they are doing incredible work and we owe them a lot because they make the state run. But at the same time, I need to balance the books."
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