Legislative News

IRS Decreases Mileage Reimbursement Rate

Posted: 12/30/2015 Tags: policy Tags Views: 886

Effective January 1, 2016, the personal vehicle mileage reimbursement rate for employees will be 54 cents per mile (CPM). This reflects a 3.5 cent decrease from 2015. The California Department of Human Resources uses the same rates as those published by the Internal Revenue Service. Employee questions about the mileage reimbursement rates should be addressed on the department level.

Click here to read the details of PML 2015-041 from CalHR.

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CalTrans Grants ACSS’ Grievance to Enforce “Call Out” Compensation

Posted: 12/22/2015 Tags: grievance jobs policy representation rights Tags Views: 796

At the end of October, a CalTrans Supervisor alerted ACSS about concerns regarding a decision by the Department of Transportation (CalTrans) to change the method used to compensation supervisory staff for call outs. CalTrans sent an email informing maintenance supervisors that they would no longer receive a minimum of four hours of work time when called back to work after completing a normal work shift and/or during off-duty hours. Supervisors would only be paid for the actual time of work performed and a minimum of 4 hours of pay for a call out was not applicable to supervisors.

ACSS determined this new method of compensation for call outs was a violation of statute, regulations and CalHR policy. ACSS filed a grievance on behalf of the ACSS Member as well as all CalTrans excluded employees. The two primary classifications impacted are CalTrans Maintenance Supervisor (6301) and CalTrans Maintenance Area Superintendent (6282).

On December 16, 2015, ACSS received CalTrans’ response granting the grievance. The response stated “We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention. It was never our intention to unilaterally terminate any benefit which we have the authority to provide to our employees … Therefore, it is our determination after further analysis that the CMS and CMAS classifications are in fact entitled to the 4-hour minimum when called back into work. Therefore, based on my review of the information presented above, your grievance is hereby granted.”

As a result of ACSS’ efforts, these CalTrans excluded employees have retained their rightful benefits. ACSS became their voice, supported them through this complicated workplace issue, and resolved the conflict on behalf of excluded employees.

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Poll Results Show Bleak Future for Pension-Slashing Measures

Posted: 12/18/2015 Tags: pension Tags Views: 594

A group of voters were polled to test the strength of the two pension reform measures proposed by former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio. One measure received 42% support and the other received 40%. Reed said he needed at least one of measures to test at 60% support to justify spending $25 million campaign to get it on the ballot. The future of both measures at this point is dismal.

Opponents of the proposals are confident that support for the measures will diminish. David Low, chair of the Californians for Health Care and Retirement Security, calls them “unviable” and says “Anyone investing is these two losers would be wasting their money.” If these measures continue to move forward, they will endure a challenging and costly uphill battle to appear on the ballot next year.

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 Capital & Main.

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

Posted: 12/11/2015 Tags: pension Tags Views: 580

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: 662

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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