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Family Care Leave in Effect as of July 1, 2019

Posted: 7/1/2019 Tags: benefits legislation policy Tags Views: 756

CalHR has updated its policy to reflect that effective July 1, 2019, excluded employees enrolled in the Annual Leave Program (Section 2102) are eligible for Family Care Leave as part of Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (Section 1411).

The new Family Care Leave Benefit is only for excluded employees enrolled in Annual Leave. Normally, excluded employees must wait 24 months before changing from Vacation/Sick Leave to the Annual Leave program. As a result of the new Family Care Leave benefit, CalHR has also announced a one-time open enrollment period for excluded employees to elect to enroll in Annual Leave. ACSS members who recently elected the Vacation/Sick Leave Program or switched to the Vacation/Sick Leave Program have until August 29, 2019 to elect to enroll in the Annual Leave Program by submitting a form to their Human Resources Office. Employees currently enrolled in Annual Leave are automatically eligible for the Family Care Leave benefit and no action is required.


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General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2019

Posted: 6/25/2019 Tags: legislation policy Tags Views: 2946

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has informed ACSS of General Salary Increases (GSI) for state excluded employees effective July 1, 2019. Excluded employees will receive the same percentage raises as the bargaining unit they are associated with as follows:

Excluded Employees Affiliated with Bargaining Unit  GSI
 1, 3, 4, 11, 12, 14, 15,
17, 20, 21 (SEIU Units)
 3.5%
 6  5%
 9  4% 
 10  5%
 16,19  2%

The budget also provides funds to pay the state’s share of health and dental benefits increases for excluded employees and additional money to prefund retiree healthcare.

Four rank-and-file bargaining units (2, 7, 13 and 18) with contracts expiring on or about July 1, 2019 remain at the table. ACSS has made proposals to CalHR for special salary adjustments for some excluded employees related to those bargaining units. ACSS also proposes that any salary increases negotiated for rank-and-file employees also be provided at the same time to related supervisors and managers.

Most excluded employees will also see an adjustment in the employee deduction for OPEB. The deduction, expected to adjust with your August pay warrant (received at the end of August/beginning of September), shows as CERBT – which stands for the California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust. These employer and employee contributions reduce the “unfunded liability” for retiree health care and will help ensure your valuable earned health benefits will be available when you retire.

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 3.5% GSI.

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

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Update 7/5/19 - CalHR releases Pay Letter 1912 - GSI (Managers and Supervisor classifications begin on page 10.)


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ACSS Secures Significant Victory! How ACSS Helped Make Family Care Leave Benefits for Excluded Employees a Reality.

Posted: 6/21/2019 Tags: benefits legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 788

The legislature passed Senate Bill 83 and it is now on Governor Newsom’s desk. SB 83 will provide supervisors, managers and confidential employees the ability to take up to six weeks of paid time off to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a new child.

ACSS has advocated for paid family leave benefits for years. In the last legislative session, an ACSS sponsored bill (AB 3145) made it to the desk of Governor Brown. Although he vetoed the bill, he noted that the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) was developing a plan to offer paid family benefits to state managers and supervisors. The Newsom Administration has supported the legislative changes required to implement this benefit. ACSS has been working with the Administration diligently to ensure that SB 83 passed through the legislature and that ACSS members receive these important benefits.

The new law, effective July 1, 2019, will expand non-industrial disability insurance (NDI) for excluded employees enrolled in the annual leave program. Under the “Enhanced-NDI” program, supervisors, managers and confidential employees will receive 50 percent of their gross salary for up to six weeks for Family Care Leave. This Enhanced-NDI benefit can be supplemented to 75% or 100% of salary using paid leave credits. This new benefit is unique to excluded employees and is employer paid with no employee contribution required. There is no waiting period for excluded employees switching from vacation/sick leave into the annual leave program.

ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein remarked, “ACSS has long sought paid leave for our members to bond with a new child or care for ill family members.  I am proud that ACSS’ legislative program was able to deliver this benefit to our members.  Achieving this benefit without an employee cost is remarkable.  I thank Governor Newsom for championing paid family leave and the Legislature for swiftly passing this new law which is unique to supervisors and managers.”

If you have any questions about switching from vacation/sick leave to annual leave or questions about the new Family Care Leave benefit, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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ACSS Met with CalHR to Discuss Issues that Affect Excluded Employees

Posted: 5/17/2019 Tags: legislation policy representation Tags Views: 1200

On April 30, 2019, ACSS met with CalHR Director Eraina Ortega to discuss the new administration’s plan for salary and benefits improvement for the State’s excluded employees. Director Ortega was appointed by Governor Newsom in March. Director Ortega met with ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster, ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn and ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin.

ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein comments, “ACSS is pleased to be working with the new Administration and we anticipate a productive relationship moving forward. It was a pleasure talking with Director Ortega and I believe together we can work towards achieving positive results to resolve the issues affecting ACSS Members.” Director Ortega is committed to working with ACSS to ensure excluded employees are part of the process of developing the compensation package for excluded employees. ACSS appreciates the opportunity to work cooperatively with CalHR to ensure future excluded employee salary and benefits improvements address existing salary compaction issues and establish pay differentials for supervisors and managers that attract the best candidates for the State’s management team making the State of California an employer of choice.

ACSS asked Director Ortega about implementation of a Paid Family Leave component to the disability program for excluded employees and conveyed ACSS’ long standing advocacy and support for Paid Family Leave for excluded employees.


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May Revision of the 2019 – 2020 State Budget

Posted: 5/13/2019 Tags: budget legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 956

Governor Newsom released his May Revise of the state budget on May 9, 2019. While forecasting a budget surplus of $21.5 billion for the budget year beginning July 1, the May Revise predicts slower economic growth in the years to come and warns of the possibly detrimental economic impact of even a mild recession.

The Governor’s proposed budget would increase the state’s rainy day fund to $16.5 billion to build resiliency in the event of an unpredicted recession. It also provides for some one-time funding to assist with cost-of living assistance for the middle class, the housing crisis, K-12 schools, and homelessness. The proposal kicks off legislative deliberation over the budget plan with a June 15 deadline for the legislature to send a budget to the governor.

A few highlights of importance to ACSS members:

State Employee Compensation
The January budget proposal included $1.2 billion for increased employee compensation (including proposed salary increases for most supervisors and managers), higher health care costs for active employees, and the state’s contribution to prefund retiree health care costs for active employees. This amount is updated slightly to reflect health benefit enrollments and costs. ACSS will continue to meet with CalHR, advocating for increases in excluded employee salaries for 2019 – 2020.

Pension Contributions
The budget includes $6.8 billion for the state employer’s contribution to CalPERS and a supplemental payment of $3 billion to CalPERS. The supplemental payment is expected to save $7.2 billion in state employer pension costs over 30 years.

Paid Family Leave
The Governor plans to bolster California’s Paid Family Leave program over the next few years and makes budgetary adjustments to plan for the expansion of the program. ACSS’ legislative advocates are busy supporting legislation which would for the first time make Paid Family Leave available to excluded employees, a long-standing goal of ACSS.

Governmental Reorganization
The proposed budget reflects the Administration’s intent to reorganize elements of state government, notably the Division of Juvenile Justice. With a proposed effective date of July 1, 2020, ACSS will work to protect the interests of members moved from CDCR to a new department under the California Health and Human Services Agency.

The Governor’s complete budget summary and draft can be found here:

http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/


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OPEB Increases for Some Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2019

Posted: 4/26/2019 Tags: policy Tags Views: 2386

CalHR announced changes to the Other Post-Employment Benefit (OPEB) program for excluded employees not related to a bargaining unit. All state employees have begun prefunding retiree healthcare. The contribution as a percentage of salary is matched with a state employer contribution. The goal is to reduce the “unfunded liability” for retiree healthcare and ensure your valuable earned health benefits will be available when you retire.

For excluded and exempt employees not directly associated with a bargaining unit (e.g. E48, E97, E98 and E99), prefunding of retiree healthcare will change from 0.8% to 1.6% of salary effective July 1, 2019 with a matching employer contribution. Click here for more information about this announcement on CalHR’s web page.

As the state budget progresses, CalHR is expected to make other announcements increasing excluded employee salaries effective July 1, 2019 and increasing the contributions required to prefund retiree healthcare.

Contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative if you have further questions.


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Supreme Court Pension Ruling Eliminates Ability to Purchase "Air Time" Service Credit – No Impact on California Rule

Posted: 3/4/2019 Tags: legislation policy Tags Views: 1122

The California Supreme Court published a March 4, 2019 opinion in Cal FIRE Local 2881 v. CalPERS. The lawsuit challenged the portion of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) which eliminated the ability of state employees to purchase up to five years of additional CalPERS service credit, known as “air time.”

Although the Court’s decision upholds the portion of PEPRA which took away the opportunity to purchase air time service credit, the ruling is narrow in scope. The Court held the ability to purchase air time was not a constitutionally vested pension benefit protected by the contract clause. It is important to note this decision has no impact on those who purchased additional service credit prior to 2013.

Because the Court concluded the opportunity to purchase additional retirement service credit was not protected from impairment by the contract clause, its elimination does not implicate the State Constitution or the “California Rule.” Since 1955, the courts have held under the California Rule that once pension benefits are granted to a public employee, they are vested and cannot be modified for the duration of an employee’s career.

While this decision has no impact on the California Rule, two significant pension cases which may impact the California Rule remain pending before the State Supreme Court. ACSS previously filed a request that these cases be reviewed because of the lower court departure from precedent concerning vested pension rights. We are also working closely with the law firm handling these cases to ensure your vested pension interests and the California Rule are protected.

ACSS’ legislative efforts to preserve and protect members earned and promised pension benefits continue. ACSS is also part of Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of more than 1.6 million public employees and retirees that seeks to educate the public, lawmakers, and the media regarding public employee pensions.

ACSS will continue to keep you apprised of important pension issues and inform you of actions taken to protect the interests of excluded state employees.


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2019-20 State Budget: Responsible, with Lots of Bold One-Time Investments

Posted: 1/15/2019 Tags: budget legislation policy Tags Views: 1984

On January 10th, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2019-20 State Budget that would fund state government for the 12-month period starting July 1, 2019.

State spending next year would total just over $209 billion, with $144.2 billion in general fund and $59.5 billion special funds spending.  Another $5.4 billion in state bond spending makes up the difference.  This is about a 4% increase over current fiscal year spending.  State general fund revenue is booming.  According to the governor, there is $21 billion in surplus revenue.  In November, the LAO had predicted a $15 billion surplus.  This is in addition to the $16 billion held in the state’s rainy day fund and other reserve accounts.  The Newsom proposed budget will sock an additional $1.8 billion into the rainy day fund alone.

The governor preached responsible budgeting while also touting his many well-publicized new budget initiatives.  

On the fiscal responsibility front he sounded much like Jerry Brown in recent years.  He said his Administration is preparing for the inevitable next recession, plans to build the largest state budget reserve in history, and noted that his new budget initiatives are largely one-time funding proposals.  

The governor spent the rest of his time outlining what he called bold investments in California’s future, including plans to increase access to affordable health care and prescription drugs, address the housing and homelessness crisis, and provide universal preschool for four-year-olds, among other expansions in education funding.  

Click here to read a quick rundown on a few items that will specifically interest ACSS members...
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Retroactive Salary Increases for Supervisors and Managers related to BU9 and Certain Supervisory and Managerial classes related to BU10

Posted: 12/19/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation Tags Views: 1323

On December 12, 2018, the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) released Pay Letter 18-35 which covers supervisory and managerial engineers, along with certain supervisory and managerial scientist classifications.  While other supervisory and managerial employees received increases on July 1, 2018, these employees did not.

Effective retroactively to July 1, 2018, S09 and M09 Excluded Employees and certain S10 and M10  classifications will receive a General Salary Increase of 4.5 percent. According to the latest information from CalHR, it is expected that this salary adjustment will be reflected in the December pay warrants. The retroactive portion is expected to be processed separately by the State Controller’s Office reflecting five months of the retroactive salary increase.

Pay Letter 18-35 also includes new provisions for longevity pay for certain employees with 20 or more years of service and geographic pay for certain employees working in Bay Area counties. These new pay differentials are provided to supervisory and managerial engineers, but not to other excluded employees. ACSS immediately approached CalHR regarding interest in extending Longevity Pay and Geographic Pay to all excluded employees.


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CalHR Policy Update - Holiday Informal Time Off

Posted: 12/10/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 874

CalHR has updated the Human Resources Manual. The policy has been updated to reflect Informal Time Off (ITO) for 2018. For most employees, the paid ITO this year will be either the business day before December 25 or January 1. Click here for more information.


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