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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: 45

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: 342

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: 1028

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: 839

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: 1856

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: 1196

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: 806

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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ACSS and CalHR Discuss Salary and Benefit Improvements

Posted: 10/4/2018 Tags: bargaining benefits legislation meeting policy representation Tags Views: 1633

On October 1, 2018, CalHR Acting Director Adria Jenkins-Jones met with ACSS President Frank Ruffino, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster, ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn and ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin to discuss improvements to the salary and benefits of excluded state employees.

“It was a pleasure to meet with the Association of California State Supervisors, and I look forward to working with ACSS as CalHR’s Acting Director,” Adria Jenkins-Jones said. “I have enormous respect and appreciation for the state’s managers and supervisors and the jobs they do. They drive California state government and ensure that we fulfill our mission to serve the public.”

ACSS acknowledged the progress made under the Brown administration and previous CalHR Director Richard Gillihan. In addition to General Salary Increases in 2017 and 2018, the Administration provided excluded employees a 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) effective on October 1, 2016, as well as various special salary adjustments to address salary compaction. The October 2016 GSI was a departure from previous practice by providing excluded employees a GSI before several rank and file Unions reached collective bargaining agreements. ACSS is committed to continuing to work with CalHR and the next administration to ensure excluded employees receive equitable and appropriate salary and benefit improvements.

ACSS advocated for a minimum 10% pay differential between excluded employees and their staff. We also provided salary data supporting ACSS’ request for special salary adjustments for various excluded classifications to address salary compaction and pay parity for excluded employees.

Additionally, we advocated for salary increases for excluded employees related to bargaining units 06, 09 and 10. Rank and File employees in those units recently reached new labor contracts (called Memorandum of Understanding or MOUs) with salary increases, in which ACSS urged CalHR to pass on those benefits to excluded employees.

In addition, ACSS reiterated a request for disability insurance benefit improvements and paid family leave. CalHR confirmed they will notice and meet with ACSS under the Meet and Confer process on a proposal to provide state managers and supervisors with paid family leave benefits by July 2019. Governor Brown’s veto message on ACSS supported AB 3145 revealed plans to provide paid family leave benefits for excluded state employees.

More information on AB 3145 and paid family leave can be found here.

As always, ACSS will provide updates as information is available about specific salary and benefit improvements for excluded employees.


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Governor’s Veto: Paid Family Leave for Supervisors and Managers on Its Way

Posted: 10/4/2018 Tags: benefits legislation legislature policy Tags Views: 1205

Although Governor Brown has vetoed ACSS backed legislation, the veto message makes clear our collective voice has been heard. AB 3145 would have given individual supervisors and managers the option of selecting enrollment in the State Disability Insurance Program or choosing to remain in the current Non-Industrial Disability Insurance or Enhanced Non-Industrial Disability Insurance programs. This individual choice would have allowed employees to participate in the program that best met their needs. In his veto message, Governor Brown noted the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) “is developing a plan to offer paid family leave benefits to state managers and supervisors by July 1, 2019.”

ACSS supported AB 3145 and the option of allowing individual supervisors and managers the choice to elect to participate in the State Disability Insurance Program (SDI) in large part because of the Paid Family Leave Program. SDI carries with it an employee contribution, but provides greater benefits, the most significant being coverage by the Paid Family Leave Program, which provides up to six weeks of partial pay to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child.

ACSS will be meeting with CalHR as it develops the details of the new paid family leave benefits program for supervisors, managers and confidential employees and will keep you informed about the new program.

Read Governor Brown’s AB 3145 Veto Message here.


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Update: Post and Bid Policy for Supervising Correctional Cooks (CDCR)

Posted: 9/28/2018 Tags: policy representation Tags Views: 537

Earlier this year, ACSS submitted a proposal to CDCR which would allow Supervising Correctional Cooks to secure assignments/positions based on seniority. On September 13, 2018, ACSS met with CDCR to discuss various issues that affect excluded employees.  We are pleased to report CDCR responded favorably to the Post and Bid proposal and is making progress toward a Post and Bid Process Policy for Supervising Correctional Cooks. We will keep you apprised of the progress, including possible implementation dates which could come in the early part of next year.  For further questions regarding this matter, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative


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