Legislative News

Articles for tag benefits


ACSS Met with CalHR to Address the Concerns of Managers and Supervisors

Posted: 1/30/2017 Tags: benefits budget legislation meeting salary Tags Views: 1651

On January 19th, ACSS met with CalHR to discuss the possibility of salary increases for excluded employees in reaction to the recent rank and file agreements that were reached through bargaining in December of 2016. ACSS also intended this meeting to introduce ourselves to CalHR’s new Labor Relations Officer, Kate Van Sickle (who replaced Steven Booth). ACSS helped bring VanSickle up to speed with the history of ACSS’ efforts on advocating for resolving salary compaction and helped familiarize her with the full scope of issues that ACSS advocates for. The meeting was productive and ACSS brought valuable items to the table, yet many specific items were left unanswered by CalHR. CalHR was not specific about which classifications will get additional pay and when it may happen.

ACSS thinks that excluded employees got the better deal regarding the sweeping 3% GSI salary increase for excluded employees in October 2016 versus the $2500 one-time bonus that Rank and file recently received. The 3% GSI increase for excluded employees is a “forever benefit” and it is PERSABLE, so it will count towards your retirement benefits. The $2,500 bonus that Rank and File just received does not.

In our recent January 19th meeting with CalHR, they confirmed that they will NOT be providing excluded employees with a one-time bonus, like that of SEIU Local 1000. During the meeting, ACSS heavily advocated on behalf of members for special salary adjustments to be passed on to excluded employees. CalHR’s response continues to be that final decisions have not yet been made and they will follow the administration’s directive to establish and maintain a 5% pay differential instead of the 10% that ACSS advocates as fair and equitable.

There is good news in the Governor’s proposed 2017 – 2018 budget. The budget adds $1.2 billion for increased employee compensation. It is anticipated that this will provide for General Salary Increases for excluded employees in July 2017, as per PML 2016-023. This is just the beginning of the budget process. Unlike bargaining, where rank and file agrees upon multi-year salary increases, excluded employees are excluded from bargaining, which means that they rely upon the budget each year to determine salary adjustments. The final approved budget bill is still a long way off and a lot can happen between now and the end of the fiscal year. ACSS will continue to monitor the budget process and advocate funding to provide excluded employees fair and equitable pay packages.

ACSS Lobby Day is on March 15th. We strongly encourage you to join us at Lobby Day and meet with legislators and educate them about the issues affecting excluded employees, like pay compaction. As news develops, ACSS will provide any updates in regards to pay increases and further discussion with CalHR.


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CalPERS Lowers Investment Funds Discount Rate

Posted: 12/21/2016 Tags: benefits policy retirement salary Tags Views: 446

On December 21, 2016, the CalPERS Board of Directors Investment Committee approved a reduction in the discount rate from 7.5% to 7.0% over a three-year phase. CalPERS financial consultants have been concerned about the current state of negative cash flow over the next 10 years. Lower returns in early years will diminish the compounding interest of later years. According to Reuters, “State and local governments could see their pension contributions rise by as much as $2 billion in five years. But for employees, the hit could be another percentage point or more in payroll deductions.” CalPERS views this reduction in the discount rate as a necessary way to improve its current situation.

This means that state employees will be paying more towards their retirement benefits in the long run as a direct result of the discounted rate. The state needs to protect the pensions. To cover that, state employees will end up having to pay more from their current paychecks towards their retirement benefits. At this point, we do not know exactly how much will come out of employee paychecks.

"This was a very difficult decision to make, but it is an important step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Fund," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The new discount rate for the state will go into effect on July 1, 2017 at 7.375% and then be phased down incrementally to 7.25% for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 and the again phased down to 7.0% for FY 2019-20.

ACSS will continue to follow this issue closely and provide you with updates that affect excluded state employees.

>>Click here to read the full article from CalPERS.


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Paid Leave Buy-Back Program Enhanced – Options for Savings Plan or Cash Payout

Posted: 12/9/2016 Tags: benefits policy Tags Views: 1136

The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has authorized an enhancement to the Paid Leave Buy-Back Program for fiscal year 2016-17 in PML 2016-032. Employees designated as Exempt, Managerial, Supervisory, Confidential, or otherwise excluded from collective bargaining are able to participate. If an employee has vacation or annual leave balances in excess of 640 hours as of December 1, 2016, the employee has the option to transfer accruals into a Savings Plus 457(b) account, transfer accruals into a 401(k) account, or request a cash payment. This enhancement to the Excluded Employee Leave Buy-Back Program allows employees another option when using the 80 hours of leave buy-back proposed and obtained by ACSS in April 2016.

Eligible employees can elect to participate by completing the Transfer Future Leave Accruals to Savings Plus form and returning it to Human Resources by December 31, 2016. No action is required if you do NOT elect to participate.

For more information, download the FAQ provided by CalHR.


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Pensions in the News

Posted: 11/4/2016 Tags: benefits pension retirement Tags Views: 718

ACSS fights to protect your pension and to provide members with relevant news for excluded state employees in regards to pension protection. Below are some informative and insightful recent publications that report on the current pension protection issue in California:

Jerry Brown touted his pension reforms as a game-changer. But they’ve done little to rein in costs
(October 28, 2016 - LA Times)

Generous pensions: Will the courts give government a way out?
(October 30, 2016 - San Jose Mercury News)

Marin ‘pension spiking’ appeal draws national attention
(October 30, 2016 - Marin Independent Journal)


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Incentives for DDS Excluded Employees Facing Department Closures

Posted: 10/27/2016 Tags: benefits jobs layoff legislation meeting policy salary Tags Views: 610

CalHR will implement substantial retention incentives for managers and supervisors of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) who are facing closures of some DDS facilities. A Meet and Confer meeting between ACSS, DSS and CalHR was held on October 24th, 2016. After serious consideration of ACSS’ input on behalf of excluded employees, DDS will provide impacted employees with a stipend of up to $6,000 for the period worked from July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018 or closure (whichever comes first).

Click on the links below to read more details about each facility closure:

*Please be aware that not all Porterville GTA employees will receive the stipend. Only those positions that are slated for termination with closure will accrue the stipend. ACSS will provide an update when notice is received regarding which GTA positions will not be affected by the closure.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local ACSS Labor Relations Representative. Click here for contact information for the ACSS Representative near you.


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