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Supervisors/Managers will have say in budget cut plans

Posted: 6/8/2012 Tags: budget governor legislature Tags Views: 1559

Your hard work is paying off.

ACSS President Arlene Espinoza met with Acting DPA Director Julie Chapman on June 8th to discuss the 4/38 workweek and the multitude of problems with a "one size fits all" plan that ignores the input of the state's most skilled and dedicated employees.

In order to comply with the Governor's June 15th deadline for a savings plan submission, President Espinoza presented the various alternatives that you have proposed to the 4/38 workweek, as well as the fact that our polls show that to date 65% of you outright oppose the 4/38 plan.

Acting Director Chapman acknowledged that because administration and implementation of any plan to reduce costs will fall squarely on state supervisors and managers, their involvement in the planning stage is instrumental in developing a plan that works. DPA is analyzing the feasibility of your suggested alternatives to the 4/38 workweek, in addition to the wide range of concerns you have expressed with the 4/38 system.

Furthermore, the Director has stated that once a plan to achieve the 5% savings is selected and reviewed by the appropriate entities (such as the Legislative Analyst's Office), your ACSS will be approached to help guide the implementation process. In Acting Director Chapman's words, "Once we know what the plan's going to be, then we'll approach ACSS and the departments to figure out how it's going to work."

President Espinoza closed the meeting by stating, "The employees that have been on the ground for 10, 15, 20 years know where you can and can't cut without negating the savings the budget needs."


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ACSS Primary Election Endorsements

Posted: 6/4/2012 Tags: election legislature Tags Views: 1763

Are you ready for the California primary?

Before heading out to vote on Tuesday, take a moment to look at ACSS' officially endorsed State Senate and Assembly candidates, carefully selected by your ACSSboard of directors after recommendations from our non-partisan political action committee.

The endorsement process included a written survey and in-person interviews to help determine which candidates would best meet the needs of state supervisors, managers, and confidential employees once in office.

See the full list of ACSS-approved candidates after the jump.


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Private pension bill headed to Assembly

Posted: 6/1/2012 Tags: election legislature pension politics Tags Views: 1698

Retirement security may be getting a boost in the private sector.

Senate Bill 1234, dubbed the "California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Act", passed through the Senate with a 23-13 vote. It now heads to the Assembly, where it is expected to face resistance from GOP legislators.

The bill would provide a state-managed modest retirement plan for the nearly 7 million Californians who don't have access to an employer-provided retirment plan.

What do you think? Will this bill help alleviate "pension envy" among non-state employees? Or will it further strain the public pension system?


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5% cuts for all?

Posted: 5/31/2012 Tags: election governor legislature salary Tags Views: 1848

One for all and all for one?

The California Citizens Compensation Commission voted 5-1 in favor of a 5% pay cut for Gov. Brown and dozens of other high ranking state officials, in reaction to the same pay cut that has been proposed for all state employees.

Rumors have swirled that excluded employees may face cuts above 5%.

Acting DPA Director Julie Chapman confirmed in a meeting today with your ACSS that potential cuts above 5% would target "agency secretaries and higher officials", not state supervisors, managers, and confidential employees.

Charles Murray, the "Small Business" seat on the CCCC, lead his colleagues on a vote today on the egalitarian pay cut for higher ups, in order to get the cut on the books before the Commission's June 30th deadline for action.

Murray, appointed by ex-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, said he thinks the state's senior lawmakers should "lead by example". He has said that if the 5% cut does not go into effect for state employees, the cut to higher ups can be reversed.

What do you think? Does knowing that Gov. Brown will make $165,000 per year instead of $174,000 make the cuts easier to swallow?

Head to the Sac Bee to read the full article and weigh in: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/05/panel-cuts-pay-for-jerry-brown-lawmakers-other-california-officials.html


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Reduced workweek will cost citizens now and later

Posted: 5/24/2012 Tags: governor legislature pension Tags Views: 1803

Though Gov. Brown has pitched his reduced workweek as a means to save around $830 million, it is now clear that those savings will not be as great as expected.

If the state implements Brown's plan, which the Legislative Analyst's Office has called "problematic", not only will public services suffer a drop in quality and excluded employees face greater workload issues, but hidden costs will in fact reduce the savings Brown hopes to achieve.

Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer confirmed in an interview with the Sacramento Bee that taxpayers will have to foot the bill for Gov. Brown's cuts in the near future.

The Bee's Jon Ortiz breaks down the savings drain:

"Let's say for the sake of easy math that state worker Hy Pothetical earns $1,000 per month in pensionable income. Like most employees, Hy contributes 8 percent to his pension, or $80 per month.

Then Brown's four-day, 9.5-hour workweek kicks in. Now Hy earns $950 per month and pays $76 in pension contributions, 8 percent of his new lower wage.

Since the retirement benefit will be calculated as though Hy still earned $1,000, the state - i.e., taxpayers - picks up the $4 difference."


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Report: 40-hour workweek doesn't work

Posted: 5/21/2012 Tags: governor legislature Tags Views: 1897

A 2010 report analyzing Utah's 4-day workweek that was implemented in 2008 shows that Gov. Brown's plan may not only jeopardize the level of services Californians will receive should his more drastic plan go into effect, but may in fact lead to greater costs due to productivity losses.

In 2008 then Utah Governor Jon Huntsman instituted a 4-day, 40-hour workweek in order to cut costs. A report by Utah's Legislative Auditor General states that savings from the plan - less severe than Gov. Brown's proposed 4-day, 38-hour workweek - were significantly less than expected.

Furthermore, the report states that "evidence suggests that a single work schedule may not be appropriate for all units of state government."

Your ACSS maintains that a reduced workweek will unfairly impact supervisors, managers, and confidential employees more so than rank and file employees.

As we prepare to bring your case to the Governor, we need to hear from you. Last week we asked how the 38-hour workweek would impact you. Now we need to hear how it will impact the services you provide to California taxpayers.

Tell us how the services you provide will suffer. As much as possible, give us numbers and facts.

Don't just tell us "It will be hard to meet quotas", tell us "My DMV office will process X fewer applications per week", or "My office will be able to hold x less hearings per week and utility costs will rise by x%" or "We will be able to process X fewer tax returns per month" or "It will take x weeks longer for California taxpayers to receive their returns", etc. etc.

Email us with the specific ways services you provide will suffer at budgetcuts@acss.org now!


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Senate OKs analysis for supervisor raises

Posted: 5/3/2012 Tags: compaction legislature salary Tags Views: 1832

A bill supported by your ACSS that would require the state to report the potential costs of raises for excluded employees when analyzing union contracts was passed by the Senate 36-0 and is now headed to the Assembly.

While DPA is required by law to provide a fiscal analysis of union contracts, it is not required to do the same for the supervisors, managers, and confidential employees that are excluded from collective bargaining.

Your ACSS is committed to resolving pay disparity. While SB 1113 will not directly impact the imbalance in salaries between excluded employees and the rank-and-file employees they supervise, requiring a financial breakdown of the potential costs for excluded employee raises is the first step to rectifying the state's mistreatment of its most skilled employees.

Though earlier versions of SB 1113 required the state to directly "address salary compaction and parity concerns for excluded employees," that language has since been stricken from the bill.


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Tax evaders cost state $10+ billion

Posted: 4/17/2012 Tags: benefits budget election governor health legislature Tags Views: 1686

A new report by the Franchise Tax Board reveals that your ACSS' fight to prevent drastic cuts to your earned benefits may not be necessary after all.

State tax officials estimate that California revenues will fall short by some $10 billion this year, due to abuses of the tax system by businesses and individuals.

In one case, a couple that owned seven sandwich shops avoided paying taxes for four years and hid in excess of $800,000 of income. In 2008, another couple that owned two El Dorado painitng companies failed to report nearly $550,000 in income.

Another $2.3 billion in sales and use taxes will go uncollected this year, partially due to citizens skirting sales tax via Internet purchases.

Republican legislators recently submitted a budget calling for a nearly 5% pay cut to all state employees - in addition to millions of dollars in cuts to early childhood education, mental health services, and more - in lieu of supporting Gov. Brown's modest revenue increase proposal.

Though tax evasion will likely continue to be a problem, your ACSS firmly supports the Governor's temporary revenue increases - a 1/4-cent sales tax increase and a modest tax increase on households earning above $500,000 annually - which will appear on the November General Election ballot.

Don't allow legislators to balance the budget on the backs of state employees yet again! Stand up and vote YES on Gov. Brown's revenue increases this fall.


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Tell Steinberg NO! on pension gutting

Posted: 4/14/2012 Tags: benefits budget election governor legislature pension politics Tags Views: 1745

Stand up for your pension now!

On the heels of GOP legislators submitting a budget that would cut pay for all state workers, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has said that drastically changing public employee pensions is the "right thing to do", and should be done in 2012.

Take one minute of your day to send a united message against unfair pension reform by emailing, faxing, or reading by phone the following message to Senate President Pro Tem Steinberg:

State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4006
Fax: (916) 323-2263
Email: Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov

Senator Steinberg;

I am a state excluded employee and member of the Association of California State Supervisors.

Like many of my fellow voters, I support Gov. Brown's temporary revenue increases to balance the budget, but refuse to do so if it means destroying my hard-earned, modest benefits.

I urge you to reconsider extreme pension reform as a means to passing those crucial temporary revenue increases.

I support eliminating the very rare instances of abuse like "spiking", but I cannot support a plan that relies on risky 401(k) investments and drastic retirement age increases.

I have planned carefully for my retirement, and have done my part to keep working for the future of California even as Gov. Brown's predecessor slashed my pay by 14%.

Please don't balance the budget on the backs of public employees yet again.

Your name, Job Title
Contact Info


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GOP wants to slash your pay 4.6%

Posted: 4/6/2012 Tags: budget election furlough governor health legislature salary Tags Views: 2483

In order to fix California's budget defecit, ACSS supports Gov. Brown's temporary, modest revenue increases.

Republican legislators think they've found a better way to balance the budget - by slashing your salary yet again.

No, you didn't suddenly wake up in the middle of the Schwarzenegger administration again; however, if you and your family aren't voting to pass Gov. Brown's modest revenue increases on the General Eleciton ballot you may soon be feeling "Total Recall".

The GOP budget plan - which would unilaterally force at least 4.6% pay cuts on state employees in the form of furloughs or salary reductions - also includes provisions to siphon millions of dollars away from early childhood development programs, affordable housing programs, and mental health services.

Read more about Gov. Brown's solution to the budget deficit after the jump.


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