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Open Enrollment for Health, Dental and Vision Begins September 20, 2021

Posted: 9/17/2021 Tags: benefits health policy Tags Views: 218

Open Enrollment for health, dental and vision coverage starts September 20 and ends October 15. This is your opportunity to evaluate your health care selections and make any changes to your health, dental or vision plans and add or drop dependents effective January 1, 2022.

Dental and vision premiums remain unchanged, but health premiums are increasing. Basic Health Maintenance Organization health plans will increase by an average of 4.69% while Basic Preferred Provider Organization plans will see an average increase of 8.67%. The good news is that these increased premiums are accompanied by a significant increase in the state employer contribution for excluded employees.

The 2022 employer contribution through the Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) allowance to be used for health, dental and vision benefits effective January 1, 2022 will increase by approximately 7 percent to $739 (Single)/$1428 (2-Party)/$1845 (Family). The 2022 excluded employee “Family” employer contribution is an increase of $122 per month over the 2021 amount. With the increased employer CoBen contribution, some excluded employees will actually see a decrease in the employee contribution for the 2022 calendar year, depending on their health plan enrollment.

The employer contribution is calculated based on the weighted average premium of the four largest enrolled health plans. The new 2022 CoBen amount for supervisors, managers, and confidential employees is $55 per month higher than the state employer contribution for most rank-and-file employees.

CalHR has updated the “Benefits Calculator” portion of the CalHR website for comparison of plan costs and calculating your exact out of pocket costs, or your CoBen cash back if your selections are lower than the CoBen Allowance. Visit the CalHR Benefits calculator and select “2022” and “Excluded Employee” before entering your options.

If you would like to explore different health plan options, CalPERS has a tool that allows you to search plan availability and premium rates based on your zip code. Visit the CalPERS website.

Be on the lookout for Open Enrollment forms from your department. If you are not making changes, no action is needed.


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Now that we Prevailed in the Recall, Vote in the CalPERS Election!

Posted: 9/16/2021 Tags: benefits election salary Tags Views: 91

Governor Newsom has prevailed against the recall efforts, and by a record margin. While a small number of ballots are still being tabulated, it was clear almost immediately after polls closed that the Californian voters overwhelmingly supported the Governor and soundly rejected the recall effort.

Pleased with the results, ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein said, “I want to thank all ACSS members who participated in the special election and supported Governor Newsom against the recall. Opposing the recall is an important step in keeping Californians safe against the spread of coronavirus and protecting the rights of workers. In continuing with protecting your overall benefits and retirement, don’t forget to participate in the ongoing CalPERS election.”

In the CalPERS Member-at-Large Election, ACSS supports candidates David Miller and Jose Luis Pacheco for Seat A and Seat B, respectively. ACSS believes these candidates will work hard to protect your pension and ensure you receive your rightful retirement benefits with security and dignity. We encourage you to participate in the CalPERS Member-at-Large election by turning in your ballot before September 27, 2021. To learn more about the CalPERS election, click here.


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Don’t Forget to Vote in the Upcoming Special Election!

Posted: 9/10/2021 Tags: election Tags Views: 104

ACSS supports Governor Newsom and we encourage a “NO” vote in the recall election. Take action to ensure that we retain a leader in office that supports resolving salary compaction and protecting your hard-earned pension. Make sure you mail in your ballot (post-marked) before Tuesday September 14th or vote in-person on Tuesday September 14th to make your voice heard!

Yesterday Kamala Harris stood by Governor Newsom in a rally in San Leandro to support the Governor and protest the recall effort. Harris praised Newsom’s COVID-19 policies by saying he “led with courage” during the early days of the pandemic in locking down California ahead of the rest of the country to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

If Newsom is recalled, the long list of replacement candidates could work against the best interests of ACSS members by threatening your hard-earned pension and future compensation. In addition, some candidates may roll back Newsom’s COVID-19 policies, which keep Californians safe. Todd D’Braunstein, President of ACSS, stated, “Not only is it clear that candidates opposing Newsom are anti-pension and anti-labor, it is clear that a NO on the recall is a YES to preserving your pension and ensuring your rightful compensation.”

While recent polls show Newsom is slightly in favor, he still needs your support. Don’t forget to mail in your ballot on or before September 14th! We stand by Governor Newsom and we strongly encourage ACSS members to do the same to ensure your rights, pension, and best interests are protected.

Here are some additional guides and helpful information regarding the Recall Election


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ACSS' 13th Delegate Assembly is coming up!

Posted: 9/9/2021 Tags: events Tags Views: 117

ACSS is a member-driven organization, run by excluded state employees just like you! Every three years, elected Delegates participate in an Assembly to review and implement the bylaws and policies that govern ACSS. Delegate Assembly is also the stage where members of the Board of Directors are elected and sworn into office. Delegate Assembly is an open meeting that members are allowed to attend in the audience. If you are an elected Delegate, Alternate Chapter Officer, or Board Member and have not RSVP'd to the event, please do so immediately!

October 8, 9 & 10, 2021

Sheraton Grand Hotel
1230 J Street, Sacramento CA 95814

Click here for more information about Delegate Assembly


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Vote Now in the CalPERS Board of Administration Member-at-Large Election!

Posted: 8/31/2021 Tags: benefits election pension retirement Tags Views: 252

ACSS endorses David Miller and Jose Luis Pacheco for CalPERS Board Seat A and Seat B, respectively, in the 2021 CalPERS Board of Administration Member-at-Large Election.

David Miller, a leader in the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS –Bargaining Unit 10), promises to protect pensions, maximize investment returns, improve health care benefits, and restore integrity for the voice of all CalPERS members.

Jose Luis Pacheco has a long history of union member involvement and currently serves as Chapter President of CSEA Chapter 363 in San Jose. Pacheco strongly supports the labor movement, and wants to protect defined benefits and healthcare to allow state workers to retire with rightful security and dignity.

Voting is now open! Ballots for the Election were mailed to eligible voters on August 27, 2021, and will arrive in your mailbox in a blue envelope. Inside the blue envelope you will find three items:

  • Your Candidate Statement Voter Pamphlet – which provides information about the candidates and how to vote. The how-to-vote information is especially important if you haven’t tried the latest online and telephone voting options. These options allow you to cast your vote in seconds from anywhere.
  • Your ballot card – that includes a detachable paper ballot and unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you will need if you are voting online or by phone.
  • A return envelope – if you are voting by mail, use the detachable paper ballot in your blue envelope, place your completed ballot in the postage-paid return envelope, sign the perjury statement on the back of the return envelope, and drop it in the U.S. mail. All paper ballots must be received by September 27 to be counted.

The voting period is August 27 through September 27. Your vote must be received by mail, telephone, or online by 11:59 p.m. PST on September 27, or it won't be counted. If you mail your ballot, don’t forget to sign the ballot.

If you do not receive your ballot by September 3 or need a replacement ballot, please call 877-610-8637.

ACSS supports these candidates and we encourage you to cast your vote in the CalPERS Board of Administration Member-at-Large Election.


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Nominate Yourself as an ACSS Board Member

Posted: 8/24/2021 Tags: Board Meeting election events Tags Views: 207

Your leadership and your voice matter!
Board members have the unique experience of being at the center of ACSS and are vital for the future success of ACSS.

A position on the ACSS Board of Directors can be a rewarding experience and will help advance your leadership skills. The time expectation for this three-year term are minimal by attending the ACSS quarterly Board meetings along with your local chapter meetings and other Board meetings or workshops as needed.

No previous experience necessary! The ACSS staff and fellow experienced Board members will provide history and guidance along the way.

The election of the new ACSS Board Members will take place by the Delegates at the upcoming Delegate Assembly on Saturday October 9th with the new Board’s first meeting on Sunday October 10th.

Nominate yourself by completing the online form and plan on attending Delegate Assembly. Once you submit the form, you will receive additional Delegate Assembly information along with hotel and travel info.

Nominate yourself TODAY!
Open Nominations Close on Monday September 13th, 2021, @ 5pm!

 

Not sure which Chapter you belong to? Click here to find your Chapter

Want to know more?

Questions? Contact communication@ACSS.org.


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Support Governor Newsom in the fight against the recall

Posted: 8/13/2021 Tags: benefits compaction election pension politics Tags Views: 368

ACSS supports Governor Newsom in the fight against the recall and we encourage a vote against it in the upcoming recall election. It is important for ACSS Members to take action this September to ensure that we retain a leader in office that will protect you and your best interests.

Governor Newsom supports ACSS in efforts to resolve compaction for excluded employees. He and his administration have consistently worked with ACSS to identify egregious salary disparities between supervisors over those they supervise and minimize pay inequity. Through quarterly meetings with CalHR, ACSS and the Newsom Administration have worked through these compaction issues on a case-by-case basis and attempted to resolve them for the benefit of members. If an exchange of power occurred where the current Administration staff became replaced, the gains we have made to reverse compaction may be lost or minimized.

In addition, Newsom and his administration have worked closely with ACSS to make vital gains in protecting and preserving pensions. If Newsom is recalled, your hard-earned pension may be threatened. Newsom has listened to ACSS on behalf of members and has worked diligently to ensure that State workers retain and receive their rightful pensions.

As the recall election approaches, expect to see more communications from ACSS regarding this issue. We stand by Governor Newsom and we strongly encourage ACSS members to do the same to ensure your rights, pension, and best interests are protected.


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Vaccine Mandates: Ordered for Health Care Facilities; Under Review by Federal Court for CDCR Institutional Settings

Posted: 8/11/2021 Tags: COVID-19 policy representation Tags Views: 621

ACSS has been informed of two recent developments concerning COVID-19 vaccination mandates for employees in “health care facilities” and employees at CDCR institutions.

Emergency Order Requiring Vaccinations in Health Care Settings

On August 5, 2021, the California State Public Health Officer ordered mandatory vaccinations for employees in all “health care facilities” in the state by September 30, 2021. ACSS has requested information from CalHR clarifying the scope of this order as applied to excluded employees. ACSS has also requested information from CalHR regarding the expected employment status of any employee who does not establish proof of vaccination or receive an exception for religious beliefs or a qualified medical exemption by the September 30 deadline.

Court Considers Mandatory Vaccinations for CDCR Employees

On August 9, 2021, a U.S. District Judge ordered briefing over whether COVID-19 vaccinations should be mandatory for CDCR institutional staff. The underlying lawsuit involves medical care in state prisons. The Federal Receiver overseeing medical care in state prisons recommended to the court “that access by workers to CDCR institutions be limited to those workers who establish proof of vaccination (or have established a religious or medical exception to vaccination).” The court has asked the parties whether they agree or disagree with the public health conclusions supporting the Receiver’s recommendation.

There is also some uncertainty over which CDCR employees are covered by the August 5th order of the State Public Health Officer saying that all workers in “health care facilities” must be vaccinated. The court has asked the parties to weigh-in on whether the August 5th order applies to some or all of CDCR’s employees. The matter is tentatively set for a hearing on September 16, 2021.

As additional information is received from CalHR and the courts regarding mandatory vaccination orders, ACSS will continue to evaluate the orders and exception process to ensure the interests of supervisors and managers are protected.

If you have questions about vaccine mandates, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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Update on CalHR Vaccine Verification and COVID-19 Testing Direction to State Agencies

Posted: 8/4/2021 Tags: COVID-19 policy representation Tags Views: 901

On July 26, 2021, the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) announced a policy requiring state departments to have a process for vaccine verification and requiring mandatory COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated employees working on site. On August 3, CalHR Director Eraina Ortega provided a vaccine verification and testing update.

CalHR and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are developing a testing program that will be implemented first in four departments - CHP, CalFire, Caltrans and DMV. CalHR and CDPH will meet with those departments later this week. Following the implementation in those departments, CalHR will create the “playbook” for state departments to expand the testing program to all departments. Based on that schedule, it may take some time for testing to be done in all state departments.

CDPH has developed a draft “Antigen Testing Playbook” which is expected to form the basis for the state employee testing process. As the testing protocols are developed for state departments, ACSS will review the testing process (e.g., self-collecting swabs, test results, next steps related to positive tests, data collection) to protect the interest of members. Testing roles and responsibilities and are likely to differ based on the size of departments or worksites.

State departments will receive instructions for reporting both the percentage of employees who have verified their vaccine status and how many employees working on-site are anticipated to be tested at least weekly. Employees without a vaccine verification who telework full time will not be required to test unless they come into the office.

CalHR has confirmed to ACSS that as testing protocols are developed, departments will provide notice to ACSS and an opportunity to meet and confer over the impact to ensure the interests of supervisors and managers are protected.

If you have questions about vaccine verifications or the testing requirements, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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CalHR Issues COVID-19 Testing Direction to State Agencies

Posted: 7/27/2021 Tags: COVID-19 policy representation Tags Views: 1658

The California Department of Human Resources has provided direction to state departments requiring mandatory COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated state employees working on site. The CalHR direction follows an increase in case rates tied to low vaccination rates in some communities and the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.


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