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Legislative News

General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2019

Posted: 6/25/2019 Tags: legislation policy Tags Views: 4917

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: 1241

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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OPEB Increases for Some Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2019

Posted: 4/26/2019 Tags: policy Tags Views: 2884

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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Lobby Day 2019 Was a Huge Success!

Posted: 3/15/2019 Tags: legislation Lobby Day meeting Tags Views: 914


On March 6th, 2019, ACSS members marched into the Capitol and met with legislators to discuss important issues affecting managers, supervisors and confidential state employees. Lobby Day was a resounding success with 44 members in attendance. Thanks to the dedicated members who attended, our presence at the Capitol was visible and our voices were clearly heard! For 19 consecutive years, ACSS members have participated in Lobby Day to deliver the ACSS message in person to Assemblymembers and Senators.

This year, we continued to lobby for the resolution of salary compaction. Salary compaction continues to harm California state government operations and ACSS is committed to fixing unaddressed compaction problems by encouraging legislative support for this issue. Also, we asked for support of Assembly Bill 271 (Pay Equity for All State Employees, written by Jim Cooper, AD 09). AB 271 will ensure that California state employees are paid equally and appropriately for performing substantially similar work functions. And lastly, ACSS continues to protect pensions for excluded employees. We are dedicated to the sustainability of CalPERS, but we urged lawmakers to oppose legislative efforts that encourage the state to abandon pension promises or replace defined benefits with alternative savings plans that do not provide retirement security to public servants. Lawmakers listened to our message and acknowledged our concerns.

ACSS thanks the attendees who helped make ACSS Lobby Day 2019 a huge success. Over the years, ACSS has worked hard and progressed to make our presence known, and is now a well-recognized association that lawmakers pay attention to, thanks in part to the efforts of members who attend Lobby Day.

Click here to view all Lobby Day 2019 photos.


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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: 1527

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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