Legislative News

Kamala Harris issues summaries for Reed/DeMaio pension-reform measures

Posted: 12/11/2015 Tags: pension Tags Views: 561

The status of the two pension-reform measures proposed by Reed and DeMaio moved forward on 12/9/15 when Attorney General Kamala Harris issued official summaries.

One measure (15-0076) puts new hires in a 401(k)-style retirement savings plan and guarantees fixed contributions from employers.

The other measure (15-0077) caps the amount of money government employers would be allowed to contribute for new hires at no more than 11 percent of wages (13 percent for police, firefighters and public safety workers.)

These new summaries are important because they are the only language that voters will see during a signature collection campaign. Harris has carefully crafted these summaries in the most fair and legal way possible, removing any slant or inaccuracies. Reed commented “It’s not the most positive way to describe the initiative, but at least it meets the legal requirement to be accurate.” On the other side of the fence, Union spokesman Steve Maviglio did not criticize the language either.

Now that the summaries have been assigned, Reed will poll voters to see which initiative casts a greater response. He is looking to see if either measure can hold at least 60% support from voters. According to David Low, chair of the Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security, polling is in progress and should be completed by Monday 12/14/15. "Based on previous polling, we anticipate that neither measure will test above 50%," says Low.

Once Reed and DeMaio determines the stronger initiative from the poll, they will push for the $2 to $3 million needed during a 3-month period to get the initiative on the ballot, estimating a total of $25 million to run the campaign statewide. Low also mentions "If our polling projection is accurate it will add fuel to the argument that anyone funding Reed/DeMaio is wasting their money."

ACSS will share the poll results as they are received. Low comments, "There will be a well funded opposition campaign if this measure qualifies. We will take this fight to the streets, organize, mobilize, and turn out voters. The protests against Governor Schwarzenegger will pale compared to what the supporters of these measures can expect." Maviglio agrees and promises that if the measure does manage to reach the ballot, “We’ll throw the kitchen sink at it.”

As always, ACSS will continue to stay on top of this important pension-reform issue and will deliver updates to you as they arise.

Click here to read the full article from the SacBee.

Official summaries obtained from the Office of the Attorney General’s website.

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Where does the money come from that funds pensions?

Posted: 10/30/2015 Tags: pension Tags Views: 640

Have you ever wondered who pays into the pension fund income? CalPERS has released an illustration to help explain the sources of income that fund public employee pensions.  Every dollar spent on public pensions comes from 65 cents of investment earnings, 22 cents from employers and 13 cents from employees. 

Click here to read the full article on the CalPERS website. 

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Changes to Career Executive Assignment (CEA) Qualifications and Reinstatement Rights

Posted: 10/16/2015 Tags: policy Tags Views: 656

Cal HR released a Personnel Management Liasons (PML) that describes changes to the minimum qualifications of the Career Executive Assignment (CEA). Since SB 99 went into effect on September 22, 2015, CEA recruitment is now open to the public and not just for state workers, therefore the potential candidate pool has more competition.

SB 99 also implements some changes in reinstatement rights. Soon CalHR will release an updated CEA booklet that includes these updates.

Click here to read PML 2015-031

Click here to read more about SB 99 - PML 2015-030

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Compaction Issue Gains Momentum as ACSS Meets with CalHR, Presents Proposals

Posted: 10/9/2015 Tags: compaction salary Tags Views: 1016

On October 8, 2015, ACSS met with CalHR’s representative to talk about resolving salary compaction globally for all excluded state employees. Our efforts gained momentum to ensure that all supervisors and managers have at least a 10% minimum differential in salary above the employees they supervise.

In this meeting with CalHR, ACSS presented data to highlight specific classifications that don’t have a 10% differential above their subordinates such as in the CDCR Office of Education whose excluded employees make significantly less than those they supervise. The salary compaction information presented by ACSS focuses on those excluded classifications that ACSS represents. We urged CalHR to adopt ACSS’ proposals to address the pay compaction issues facing excluded state employees and recommended appropriation of funds for excluded employee special salary adjustments in the next budget cycle.

CalHR’s representative stated that CalHR will commit to give ACSS’ proposals careful consideration and pointed out that this administration has shown a willingness to establish a minimum salary differential between supervisors and their subordinates.

ACSS also addressed the issue of parity for increases in pay and benefit negotiated with rank and file state employees. MOU parity would include general salary increases and benefits like the Department of Water Resources Operational Availability Incentive Program provided to bargaining units 9, 11, and 12.

As always, ACSS continues to address the issue of salary compaction and will keep you updated with our diligent efforts to resolve compaction for all excluded employees.

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Two New Pension Reform Proposals Attack New Hires and Cut Pay

Posted: 10/9/2015 Tags: benefits pension retirement Tags Views: 489

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is at it again, this time proposing two new, poorly-crafted measures that attack state employee retirement securities.

The first measure eliminates defined benefit retirement for new public employees hired after January 1, 2015 and does not require employers to provide new employees with any retirement at all. If an employee moves from one department to another, they will lose their pension. This measure is highly detrimental to recruitment, and morale is certain to be damaged in the process.

The second measure caps retirement and cuts pay. It caps retirement contributions at levels which will force new public employees to suffer pay cuts between 7 – 39%. It will also significantly limit employer contributions towards retirement for new employees. New state employees would have their salaries reduced by up to 22%. Every new public employee would experience a drastic pay cut under this initiative.

These new proposals skirt around the pension reform issue by affecting only new hires and future employees. They do not alter costs of retirement benefits for current employees.

Reed said in a conference call to the media, “We are trying to focus on controlling the cost of benefits. The problem is only going to get worse.”

Dave Low, leader of a union-supported group called Californians for Retirement Security, countered by saying in a news statement that the proposals are poorly-drafted, mean-spirited and as unworkable as Reed & DeMaio’s past two pension reform ballot measures. ACSS is also a member of Californians for Retirement Security and supports Low’s statements.

Within the next two months, Kamala Harris will issue titles and summaries to these proposals, and we may see them on the 2016 November ballot if they collect enough signatures in time.

Click here to read the full article in the SacBee.

Click here to read Dave Low’s talking points summary about these measures.

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