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Legislative News

Governor Brown's "Push Me Pull Me" May Revision of the Budget

Posted: 5/12/2017 Tags: budget legislation pension policy salary Tags Views: 1177

Governor Jerry Brown released his May Revise of the Budget on May 11th, 2017. Here, ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin provides relevant analysis and insight of the May Revise that may be of interest to managers, supervisors and other excluded state employees:

"With the Governor’s release of his May Budget revision yesterday, it was hard not feel as if you were being pushed and pulled in opposite directions. On the one hand, the Governor again highlighted the largest threats to the budget:

  • Recession. Our economic expansion is the third longest in California history and a “recession at some point is inevitable.”
  • Federal Funding Cuts. The federal government is contemplating “actions that could send the state budget into turmoil.”

In his remarks the Governor went so far as to say “make no doubt about it, cuts are coming in the next few years, and they’ll be big.”

On the other hand, the May revise reports revenues are higher than expected in January and proposes new spending:

  • January revenue projections were $5.8 billion short of what was expected. The May revise reports projected revenues have improved by $2.5 billion since then.
  • The May revise proposes new spending on K-12 school ($1.4 billion), county IHSS services ($400 million), and continuing state funded childcare ($500 million).

Reducing CalPERS State Pension Liabilities. Perhaps the most important and interesting May revise proposal for state supervisors and managers (indeed all state employees and retirees) was the Governor’s proposal to make an immediate infusion of an additional $6 billion supplemental payment to CalPERS. The money will come as a loan from the Surplus Money Investment Fund. If it works as expected, it really is a clever and innovative approach to reducing the unfunded CalPERS liability for state employees.

According to the May revise “this action effectively doubles the state’s annual payment and will mitigate the impact of increasing pension contributions due to the state’s large unfunded liabilities and the CalPERS Board’s recent action to lower its assumed investment rate of return from 7.5 percent to 7 percent.” After the transfer, the $6 billion will be expected to earn a 7 percent return from CalPERS, compared to the less than 1 percent currently earned from SMIF. Over the next two decades, this supplemental payment will save the state an estimated $11 billion in payments to CalPERS and lower the annual contribution to the fund by an average of 2.1 percent of payroll. The costs associated with the payment will be repaid with Proposition 2’s (rainy day fund) dedicated revenues for long term liabilities.

This proposal and the others in the May revise will now go through review by state legislative budget subcommittees leading up to the state budget approval deadline – June 15. Here is the Governor’s press release from yesterday with a link to the full May revise."


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CDCR Prop 57 - Input Request

Posted: 5/5/2017 Tags: legislation meeting policy representation Tags Views: 712

The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is implementing California Proposition 57, Credit Earning Program, Non-Violent Parole Process, and Pre-Parole Planning Process.

Proposition 57, was approved by California voters on November 8, 2016. The proposition requires the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to promulgate regulations to implement the new constitutional provision contained in Section 32, Article 1 of the California Constitution including the provision pertaining to Parole Consideration and Credit Earning.

The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved CDCR’s Prop 57 emergency regulations on April 13, 2017. Click here to review the emergency regulations.

Per CDCR “the roll out of the various components related to the regulations will occur on or before October 2017”. Pursuant to Proposition 57, the Department is also developing regulations to permit inmates to earn Milestone Completion Credit, Educational Merit Credit, and Rehabilitative Achievement Credit” if inmates complete approved rehabilitative programs and activities. If you are an excluded employee at CDCR, ACSS is interested to hear from you regarding the additional workload and the resources necessary to meet the additional program requirements.

To preserve the rights of CDCR excluded employees and address the concerns of our members, ACSS has requested a meet and confer with CDCR. Under the Bill of Rights for State Excluded Employees Government Code Section 3533 a “Meet and Confer” means that the state employer shall consider as fully as it deems reasonable, such presentations as are made by ACSS - the verified supervisory employee organization - on behalf of its supervisory members prior to arriving at a determination of policy or course of action.

If you are a CDCR excluded employee, you may be impacted by the implementation of Proposition 57, Credit Earning Program, Non-Violent Parole Process, and Pre-Parole Planning Process. If you are a member of ACSS and have any questions or concerns that you would like ACSS to address, please contact me via email at nlynn@ACSS.org by Friday, May 12th, 2017. Your thoughts and input regarding the implementation of Prop 57 are important to ensure that the concerns of all impacted members are addressed.


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Special Salary Adjustments for excluded employees related to Bargaining Units 7, 13 and 15.

Posted: 4/25/2017 Tags: compaction legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 2657

California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) released Pay Letters 17-08, 17-09 and 17-10 which include Special Salary Adjustments (SSA) for excluded employees related to Bargaining Unit 13 (Stationary Engineers) and Bargaining Unit 15 (Allied Services) as well as changes to pay differentials affecting excluded employees. In addition, there is an update regarding the SSA for excluded employees related to Bargaining Unit 7 who supervise sworn investigators (class code 8610) employed by the Department of Insurance and Department of Consumer Affairs.

In Pay Letter 17-08, Chief Engineer II class (S13, Class code 6695) shall receive an SSA increase of 0.87%effective November 1, 2016. ACSS advocated for the same 2% SSA to be passed to the Chief Engineer II (6695) and Chief Engineer I, Correctional Facility (6699). CalHR’s decision was to provide a 0.87% SSA for the Chief Engineer II (6695) and no SSA for the Chief Engineer I, CF (6699). According to CalHR this is consistent with their criteria and will make the pay differential between this class and the class it supervises 5%. CalHR stated that the Chief Engineer I, CF (6699) is at 5% or greater pay differential. Therefore, the SSA was not passed on.

In Pay Letter 17-09, Supervising Cook I (2180), Supervising Cook II (2181) and Correctional Supervising Cook, Correctional Facility (2183) classes (S15 and U15 Supervisory Ranges) shall receive a $300 increase SSA, effective retroactively as of July 1, 2016.

In Pay Letter 17-10:

  • Pay Differential 067 – S04, S15, S17 eligible classes listed on PD67. Criteria for the IWSP reduced from 173 to 120 hours per pay period.
  • Pay Differential 132 and Pay Differential 135 – eligible prisons and excluded employees related to SEIU BUs recruitment and retention (R&R) incentive increased from $2,400 to $2,600 and the follow prisons are now eligible for the R&F Pelican Bay, California Correctional Center, and High Desert State prisons are added.

In a Side Letter, CalHR and CSLEA reached an agreement for a new pay differential to provide a 7.44% salary increase for the Investigator (8610) class at the Department of Insurance and Department of Consumer Affairs. CalHR confirmed that related managers and supervisors are getting compensation increases. CalHR has not released a Pay Letter for this SSA yet. Specifics regarding the amount of the compensation increase and the affected excluded employee classifications will be available once the Pay Letter is released.

As more news arrives, ACSS will continue to keep ACSS members informed about pay increases and special salary adjustments for these and all other excluded employees in the future. ACSS continues to fight for fair and equitable salary and benefits for excluded employees, which includes advocating for a 10% pay differential between excluded employees and the employees they supervise.


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CalHR Civil Service Improvement Project Starts Phase 2: Class Consolidation

Posted: 4/19/2017 Tags: classification jobs legislation meeting policy representation salary Tags Views: 1338

Over the past year, ACSS spent tremendous effort working with the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) on the Civil Service Improvement (CSI) Project. Phase 1 aimed to identify and abolish unused job classifications and successfully came to completion. Starting now and within the next 12 months, the CSI Project moves into Phase 2 which proposes several classification consolidation changes that may affect many excluded employees.

According to the 2017 Civil Service Improvement report, the goal of the CSI “initiative is to produce a modern human resources system that will allow state departments to find and quickly hire the best candidates through a fair and merit-based process.” The class consolidation will address the state’s current antiquated classifications system. “A modernized and simplified classification system that reduces the number of classifications and uses standard industry language will allow:

  • An understanding of the various career paths.
  • Job seekers and employees to understand the state’s classification structure.
  • The elimination of duplicative exams and hiring processes.
  • Promotional opportunities with appropriate probationary periods between salary ranges.”

ACSS has been notified of classification consolidation proposals affecting excluded employees associated with Bargaining Unit 10 (Professional Scientific) and Bargaining Unit 15 (Allied Services). The classes affected in these proposals include:

These classification consolidation proposals will tentatively be submitted to the State Personnel Board at the June 1 Board Meeting. If you belong to a classification affected in one of these specific proposals and if you have questions or concerns that you would like ACSS to address, please contact Nellie Lynn, ACSS Assistant Director of Representation, at nlynn@acss.org. Your thoughts and input regarding the proposals are important to ensure that the concerns of all impacted excluded employees are addressed.

In this second phase, ACSS is committed to ensuring that the best interests of members are protected when the consolidation of classifications occurs. We have been reaching out to affected members to assess concerns and identify problem areas. In addition, we have reviewed the documentation of the classification consolidations affecting excluded employees and have requested a meeting with CalHR to bring the concerns of members to the table in regards to this topic on May 4th, 2017.

ACSS will continue to keep members informed as we receive important news and updates about the results of this meeting and additional consolidated classes that may affect excluded employees.


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Gas-Tax Increase Bill is “All Good”

Posted: 4/11/2017 Tags: legislature policy politics Tags Views: 612

Despite some resistance from taxpayers and some republicans, Brown expresses his approval in the passing of SB 1 to increase the cost of gas by 12 cents per gallon to fund transportation projects by saying, “What you see in this bill is good. It’s all good.” SB 1, a $52 billion transportation plan, cleared the state Legislature on Thursday April 6th, 2017.

The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) currently employs over 3,400 supervisory and managerial positions. ACSS supports SB 1 because we anticipate it will help CalTrans by adding many more positions and opportunities for excluded employees.

Sen. Jim Beall (D-15) claims, “This bill will provide hundreds of thousands of jobs for poor people who need work and it will stimulate the economy.” Beall also authored SB 216 in 2013 to help remedy salary compaction for state managers and supervisors. The money generated from SB 1 is intended to go towards fixing potholes and repairing damaged roads to larger scale projects like a proposed major rail system between Ceres and Merced in the Central Valley.

>>Read more about SB 1 from the Sacramento Bee – “Gas-tax increase to pay for road repair clears California Legislature.


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