Unions had a say in Gov. Jerry Brown's 2012-13 budget revision last month, which proposes axing outside contracting for a range of work, from computer consulting to custodial services.
State employee unions also threw their weight behind recent legislation that, among other things, would have given civil service employees first crack at all state government jobs. The measure failed but is likely to resurface.
Last month, the state attorneys' union successfully contested a multimillion-dollar contract with a private law firm for legal services.
California's public employee unions are making it clear that they won't go down without a fight. If San Diego and San Jose teach us anything, it should be that those are battles worth having.