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All State Employees Begin Prefunding Retiree Health Care

Posted: 8/24/2018 Tags: budget legislation policy salary Tags Views: 3493

Your August paystub will likely reflect a deduction for something called CERBT. That stands for the California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust. Along with the General Salary Increases received by supervisors, managers and confidential employees on July 1, the budget includes provisions to begin prefunding retiree health care. While some excluded employees have already seen this contribution take effect, all state employees are now prefunding retiree healthcare.

Your contribution as a percentage of salary is matched with a state employer contribution. The purpose is to reduce the “unfunded liability” for retiree health care which has received substantial negative public and media attention and to ensure that your valuable earned health benefits will be available when you retire.

In July, CalHR announced that excluded and exempt employees not directly associated with a bargaining unit, e.g., E48, E97, E98, and E99, will begin prefunding 0.8% of their pensionable compensation to Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) effective with the August 2018 pay period.

ACSS compiled the following chart showing the legislatively approved contribution rates for OPEB and information provided by CalHR for exempt and excluded employees not related to a specific bargaining unit. OPEB Contribution rates:

OPEB Rates for EXCLUDED EMPLOYEES
AFFILIATED WITH BARGAINING UNIT
Effective August 2018:
 CERBT
 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15,
17, 20, 21 (SEIU Units)
 1.2%
 2  1.3%
 6  4% 
 7  2.7%
 8  3%
 9  1%
 10  1.4%
 12  2.5%
 13  2.6%
 16  1.4%
 17  1.2%
 18  2.6%
 19  2%
 Exempt and excluded employees
not directly tied to a BU
 0.8%

Details of the OPEB provisions are available here: http://hrmanual.calhr.ca.gov/Home/ManualItem/1/1422

Click here to read OBEB FAQ's from CalHR.


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General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2018

Posted: 6/26/2018 Tags: budget legislation policy salary Tags Views: 4467

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has informed ACSS of General Salary Increases (GSI) for state excluded employees effective July 1, 2018. As detailed below, excluded employees will receive the same percentage raises as the bargaining unit they are associated with.

Earlier this month ACSS President Frank Ruffino, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster, and ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn met with CalHR Director Richard Gillihan to discuss issues affecting state excluded employees – including pay raises and retiree health benefits. Following the meeting and the announcement of salary increases, Director Gillihan shared the following with ACSS, “Managers and supervisors are the backbone of California state government. Their dedication ensures we are serving the public and safeguarding the state. I am pleased that the state is able to increase their salaries in recognition of the work they do.” Ruffino thanked the Director for his continued support of excluded employees.

Along with the General Salary Increases, the state budget includes provisions regarding state employee contributions for prefunding retiree healthcare. While some excluded employees already participate, all will soon see an employee contribution as a percentage of salary which is matched with a state employer contribution. The purpose is to reduce the “unfunded liability” for retiree health care which has received substantial negative public and media attention and to ensure that your valuable earned health benefits will be available when you retire. The deduction, expected to appear or adjust with your August pay warrant (received at the end of August/beginning of September), will show as CERBT – which stands for the California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust.

 EXCLUDED EMPLOYEES AFFILIATED
 WITH BARGAINING UNIT:
 GSI
 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21  4%
 6, 18  3%
 7, 13, 16  2% 
 10  5%
 12  3.5%
 19  2.5%

Exempt and Excluded Employees not directly tied to a bargaining unit (such as many employees who have an “E” Collective Bargaining Identifier) will receive a 4% GSI.

The official “Pay Letters” implementing the salary increases are expected to be released shortly after the Governor signs the State Budget later this week.


UPDATED 7/5/2018

Click here to view Pay Letter1815 for details on the General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees.


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May Revision of the Budget: Continue Saving for the Future as Surplus Grows

Posted: 5/16/2018 Tags: benefits budget legislation pension policy retirement salary Tags Views: 1328

Governor Jerry Brown released his May Revise of the Budget on May 11th, 2018. ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin provides relevant analysis and insight of the May Revise that may be of interest to managers, supervisors and other excluded state employees:

“The state continues to generate revenue at unprecedented levels and now it is coming in faster. In January, the surplus was predicted to be $6 billion. The surplus now is expected to be $9 billion.

The May Revise proposes saving for the future. In January, the Governor proposed to put an additional $4.4 billion into the state rainy day fund, topping it out at $13.8 billion – the constitutional limit. In the May Revise, he socks another $3.3 billion into a different reserve account.

Budget negotiations between the Administration and the Legislature will now heat up. The Governor will urge restraint. Legislators of both parties will push for billions of dollars in additional spending. Ultimately, you can expect the Governor to agree to modest increased spending while keeping his rainy day reserves. Regardless, the Legislature will pass a budget by June 15 and the Governor will sign it by June 30.

Here’s what the May Revise says about issues important to ACSS members:

State Employee Compensation

The January budget proposal included $1.2 billion ($589.5 million General Fund) for:

  • increased employee compensation
  • health care costs for active state employees
  • retiree health care prefunding for active employees

The May Revise decreases this amount by $8.1 million to reflect:

  • corrections to 2019 health rates
  • natural changes to enrollment in health and dental plan
  • updated employment information for salary increases
  • updated employment information for salary increases
  • revised pay increases for judges
  • updated costs related to the salary survey estimates for the California Highway Patrol (Bargaining Unit 5)

State CalPERS Contribution

The state’s contribution – $6.2 billion – to CalPERS is down slightly ($18 million) from the January estimate. The decline in the revise is mainly driven by:

  • CalPERS’ higher than expected investment return in 2016-17
  • the benefit of the state’s additional $6 billion pension payment in 2017-18
  • higher than projected enrollment of members under the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013, who have lower benefit formulas

Overall, pension reforms are beginning to reduce costs. The May Revise proposes no additional pension reforms.

State Health Care/Retiree Health Care

The May Revise makes no changes to the expected costs of providing state employees and state retirees health care.

State Employee Position Increases

The May Revise also reports that there is expected to be an additional 3,878 position in state government next year for a total of 210,767 in FY 2018-19.”

The Governor’s complete budget summary and draft budget can be found here: www.ebudget.ca.gov.


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Another Successful ACSS Lobby Day!



Click here to view larger.

On March 21, 2018, ACSS members marched into the Capitol and met with legislators to discuss important issues affecting managers, supervisors and confidential state employees. Lobby Day was a resounding success with 54 members in attendance. Thanks to the dedicated members who attended, our presence at the Capitol was visible and our voices were clearly heard! For 18 consecutive years, ACSS members have participated in Lobby Day to deliver the ACSS message in person to Assemblymembers and Senators. 

>> Read more...


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State Personnel Board Passes IT Consolidation Plan

Posted: 2/2/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 2718

Effective January 31, 2018, the State Personnel Board approved a plan to consolidate and re-classify a wide range of IT job descriptions as part of the ongoing Civil Service Improvement Project. An estimated 1,694 excluded employees are impacted by this consolidation effort.

Also on January 31, 2018, CalHR released Pay Letter 18-04 which outlines details of the Consolidation plan and how it affects specific job classifications. 36 service-wide classifications consolidated into 9 new classifications as outlined in this SPB Specification sheet. The IT Consolidation Career Path document charts how these new classifications relate to each other and the ranges within each.

If you have individual concerns about how your job is affected by the IT Consolidation plan, please contact your local ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


Updated 2/9/2018

>> Minutes from the January 11, 2018 SPB meeting

>> SPB webpage with other Board Meetings, Agendas and Live Streaming videos


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CalHR Releases Pay Letter with CDTFA Raises and AOD Pay Differential for OIG

Posted: 1/25/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 1522

On January 18, 2018, CalHR released Pay Letter 18-03 which outlines Special Salary Adjustments (SSA) for some Managers and Supervisors of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and Employment Development Department (EDD). We reported on this issue earlier this month about how ACSS’ efforts helped alleviate salary compaction for some classifications at CDTFA. The SSA for these classifications are effective as of January 1, 2018.

Pay Letter 18-03 also includes Administrator-of-the-Day (AOD) Pay Differential 422 for excluded employees at the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). This Pay Differential affects the following classifications:

  • Special Assistant Inspector General
  • Senior Assistant Inspector General
  • Chief Assistant Inspector General

ACSS intends to advocate for Pay Differential compensation in a similar approach for excluded classifications at other departments who have AOD responsibilities. We plan on discussing this issue with CalHR in the near future.


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Special Salary Adjustment Resolves Salary Compaction for some CDTFA Excluded Employees

Posted: 1/9/2018 Tags: legislation representation salary Tags Views: 2456

Because of ACSS’ efforts, CalHR has approved the proposed Special Salary Adjustments for excluded employees of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). This SSA alleviates salary compaction for impacted classifications at CDTFA and is effective as of January 1, 2018. These are some of the classifications that ACSS identified that CalHR did not adhere to their own criteria to set and maintain a 5% pay differential. Click here to view a copy of the current and proposed salaries for these impacted classifications.

President Frank Ruffino comments on this latest win, “ACSS has been advocating tirelessly on behalf of CDTFA and we have been patiently waiting for results. This is great news for our members and all affected CDTFA excluded employees.”

An official pay letter from CalHR is coming soon and we will share it as soon as it is released.


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IT Class Consolidation Update

Posted: 1/3/2018 Tags: classification legislation representation salary Tags Views: 2089

After several delays last year the IT Class Consolidation proposal will be considered by the State Personnel Board at its January meeting.

CalHR first provided ACSS a draft of the plan in Spring 2017. Since then, ACSS has been meeting and dialoguing with CalHR regarding the proposed changes to IT Classifications. Large numbers of IT Excluded Employees responded to ACSS’ request for input; that feedback was beneficial to our discussions with CalHR. Many of the respondents expressed frustration that pay parity in the IT industry with both the public and private sectors was not addressed in the class series proposed by CalHR. ACSS addressed this issue with CalHR. CalHR’s position is that the Civil Service Improvement Project classification consolidations must be cost neutral. Therefore, CalHR stated they will use existing pay ranges. The State Personnel Board does not set excluded employee salaries. The authority to set excluded employee salaries is under the jurisdiction of CalHR.

Through the meet and confer process ACSS was able to obtain several changes to the proposed IT Class Consolidation plan.

ACSS submitted a position letter to CalHR to address concerns with regard to proposed salary ranges and reallocation of incumbent Data Processing Managers I, II, and III. The letter is part of the SPB Board item package, which is available on the SPB website.

The State Personnel Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th beginning at 10:00 a.m. ACSS will provide an update to excluded IT employees shortly thereafter. 
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Updates on Salary Compaction and IT Classification

Posted: 12/4/2017 Tags: classification compaction legislation representation salary Tags Views: 2168

ACSS continues to have ongoing discussions with CalHR in regards to salary compaction. ACSS inquired on the status of CalHR’s review and corrective action on the classifications that ACSS identified as not receiving a Special Salary Adjustment on July 1, 2017. We also inquired and discussed the status of CalHR's criteria to establish and maintain a 5% salary differential for impacted excluded classifications. ACSS is waiting for new information and will continue to provide updates.

ACSS also discussed the status of the Civil Service Improvement Class Consolidation issue, especially with regards to the IT Classifications. Unfortunately, submission to the State Personnel Board has again been delayed. However, the IT series of classifications is expected to be reviewed at the January SPB meeting. The Custodian series is expected to be reviewed in the February meeting. The Research Scientist series, the Energy Specialist series, and the Research Manager series are all pending and ACSS is waiting to hear new information on these classification consolidations.

It appears that as the year comes to an end, the momentum has slowed at CalHR. We encourage you to be patient with news of forward progress and to enjoy your time during the holiday season. Momentum will pick back up again with the New Year. Stay tuned as ACSS promises to deliver news to you as we receive it.


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Public Employee Women Can Now Press Claims For Equal Pay

Posted: 10/20/2017 Tags: legislation rights salary Tags Views: 1298

On October 14th, 2017, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 46 which allows female public employees to press claims against wage discrimination. Earlier in October 2017, Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act (SB 358), which allowed private-sector female employees to press wage discrimination claims. Assembly Bill 46 extends these rights to excluded state employees.

Assemblyman Jim Cooper (AD 09) authored the bill and comments, “I authored AB 46 because not only am I the father of four women of color, but also because I believe it is important to lead by example and ensure that our pay equity laws apply to all sectors, both private and public.”

According to the Sacramento Bee, women in the state workforce earn about 79.5 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts, which constitutes a 16 percent gender wage gap. Cooper’s bill is an important piece of legislation that provides for fair pay adjustments for women throughout the state. Excluded employees can process wage discrimination claims through the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.


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