On Thursday 1/8/16, Governor Brown released his proposed 2016-2017 State Budget. Brown claims that the budget still remains “precariously balanced” for the
long term. Brown stated, “While timing is uncertain, the next recession is getting closer, and the state must begin to plan for it.”
Here are the proposals that affect ACSS and ACSS members:
State Employee Compensation
The Budget includes $220 million ($27 million General Fund) in 2016-17 for employee compensation and health care costs for active state employees. Included
in these costs are collectively bargained salary increases for many of the state’s rank and file employees represented by bargaining unit 9 (engineers),
which the Administration is extending to state managers and supervisors related to these employees. A 5% general raise in July of 2016 is
the only currently programmed pay raise for state employees in the next fiscal year.
In addition, the Budget sets aside an additional $350 million ($300 General Fund) to fund potential employee compensation increases subject to collective
bargaining. This is a new tack for the Administration. Previous budgets have not included a pot of money available for raises in the next budget.
Prefunding Retiree Healthcare
The budget continues the Administration’s “sky is falling” approach when referencing retiree healthcare. Last year, they emphasized a $72 billion unfunded
liability. This year, the budget summary claims that if nothing is done the liability will grow to $300 billion by 2048.
Here are select excerpts from the budget summary on retiree healthcare:
“The state’s pay
go system for retiree health benefits is not working. The costs remain one of the fastest growing areas of the state budget.
The state and its employees must share equally in the prefunding of retiree health benefits, similar to the new pension‑funding standard.
The Administration will be negotiating with its other bargaining units this year to implement this critical, cost
sharing agreement as part of labor contracts. Over the next 50 years, this approach will save $240 billion statewide.”
The budget does include $350 million for potential state employee compensation increases next year. It does not contain any funds to cover the state’s
potential cost of prefunding retiree healthcare.
In the 2015-16 budget, ACSS and other state employee stakeholders were successful in eliminating the Administration’s proposed budget language that
mandated equal prefunding of retiree health care by the state and state employees. Language requiring the development of a high deductible health care plan
was also eliminated. In a good sign, the 2016-17 budget does not resurrect these proposals.
Civil Service Reforms
There is again a lengthy discussion on improving the civil service system.
“The Administration continues to implement reforms which were approved in 2015. These measures included simplifying the state’s hiring processes,
broadening the pool of potential candidates eligible for a civil service appointment, increasing transparency, and eliminating outdated and overly
bureaucratic statutes governing departmental position authority.
The Administration plans to eliminate antiquated and duplicative classifications to allow state departments to hire from a broader applicant pool.
With more than 40 percent of the state workforce entering retirement age by 2018, more work is needed to develop and support the next generation of
State Building Improvements
The Administration actually included money to begin renovating Sacramento’s aging state office buildings. This comes on the heels of a report last year
that documented serious deficiencies with state office buildings that will require their replacement or renovation. The Budget proposes a $1.5 billion
General Fund down payment to begin the work, but does not identify specific structures other than the State Capitol Annex.
Increasing Job Positions
The budget proposes the creation of an additional 2,217 state positions in 2016-17. Here is a rundown on some of the new positions outlined in the budget
Department of Social Services
5 positions – CalFresh Assistance and Training
Department of Developmental Services – Regional Service Centers
14 positions – Audit functions, create a new fiscal and research unit
Department of Toxic Substances Control
8 positions – Hazardous Waste Control
95 positions – increase staffing in Emergency Command Centers
14 positions – to install and support Automated Vehicle Location and Mobile Data Computer devices in emergency response equipment
14 positions – Professional Standards Program, adverse actions and personnel investigations
Department of Parks and Recreation
3 positions – Los Angeles and Bay Area implementation of a community liaison project
Department of Conservation (DOGGR)
2 positions – Oil and Gas Training Program
Department of Technology
11 positions – Information Security
12 positions – Project Oversight
5 positions – Reducing Backlogs
Department of Fair Employment and Housing
21 positions – Enforcement Resources
Department of Industrial Relations
9 positions – Private Attorney General Act Resources
19.5 positions – Retaliation Compliant Investigation Caseload
9 positions – Wage Claim Adjudication Hearings
Medical Marijuana Regulation Positions
Department of Consumer Affairs
25 positions – create the Beaureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation
Department of Public Health
14 positions – Licensing and Regulation of product
Department of Pesticide Regulation
3 positions – develop guidelines for the use of pesticides in cultivation
Department of Fish and Wildlife
31 positions – address environmental impacts of medical marijuana cultivation
State Water Control Board
35 positions – develop and implement a regulatory program to address environmental impacts of cultivation
The Governor’s complete budget summary can be found here: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov.
We will continue to work through the budget documents and let you know if there are any other proposals that impact ACSS and its members. Please let us
know if you have any questions.
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Here is a follow-up email sent to subscribers of the ACSS e-News in regards to State Employee Compensation: