Articles for tag politics

Supreme Court Upholds Fair-Share Fees for Unions

Posted: 4/1/2016 Tags: legislation politics Tags Views: 2094

On March 29, 2016, the Supreme Court announced a 4 - 4 tie vote in the case of Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Assn., preserving a rule that requires public employees to pay “fair share fees” to support their union. Opponents contend that forcing public employees to pay fair share fees violates their rights to free speech. In this tie vote, the Supreme Court upholds the long-standing rule requiring public employees to help pay for the cost of collective bargaining on the theory that all benefit to some degree.

ACSS supports this decision and supports other labor unions that enact fair share fees. Since ACSS is not a union, this decision does not affect our organization. ACSS does not receive fair share fees. Instead, our members voluntarily join and agree to have ACSS membership dues deducted from their paycheck to receive ACSS’ benefits.

Click here to read more about this topic from the SacBee.

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ACSS is Your Voice in California State Politics

Posted: 3/4/2016 Tags: legislation PAC politics Tags Views: 2741

ACSS Executive Board Members at the 2016 California Democratic Convention on February 26-28.

ACSS maintains an active political program dedicated to improving the careers and compensation of excluded employees. A highlight of ACSS’ involvement in recent state politics is our attendance and sponsorship at the California Democratic Convention on February 26-28, 2016, in San Jose. The ACSS Executive Board took advantage of many opportunities to speak with influential legislators including CA Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and our AB 2735 Bill Sponsor Reggie Jones-Sawyer (AD 59). Throughout the Convention weekend event, ACSS spoke with several of California’s most revered democratic leaders to bring ACSS’ message to the table, on behalf of members.

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Jerry Brown supports Equal Pay Act

Posted: 8/27/2015 Tags: politics Tags Views: 3666

Senate Bill 358, the Equal Pay Act, proposes to require equal pay for "substantially similar work" regardless of gender. It also forbids workers to compare wages.

Gov. Jerry Brown says he will pass this bill if and when it reaches his desk.

Click here to read the full SacBee article on this subject.

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Analysis of Reed/DeMaio Pension Reform Measure Reveals Deception and Breaks 60-Year-Old “California Rule”

Posted: 7/24/2015 Tags: pension politics Tags Views: 2827

Sacramento labor attorney Lance Olson weighs in on the latest pension reform measure proposed by Reed and DeMaio called the “Voter Empowerment Act of 2016”. Further analysis of the language of the measure reveals confusing, detrimental and contradictory verbiage. “I’ve looked at a lot of initiatives, and this one is pretty far out there.” Olson tells Capital & Main. The measure cleverly hides language that attempts to uproot 60 years of statutory law by bypassing the collective bargaining process altogether.

Furthermore, Amy Brown, publisher and editor of the statewide monthly Public Retirement Journal, chimes in and explains “The proposal attempts to eliminate all vested benefits rights for future and current employees.” If the collective bargaining process is bypassed and pension-changing measures are put on the ballot, voters could potentially (and inadvertently) vote for decreased pension contributions, and without bargaining, nothing could stop it from happening.

The 60-year-old “California Rule” established that the retirement plan in effect at the time of a public employee’s hire can’t be changed unilaterally. It is part of the California Constitution’s Contract Clause as a primary vested right, and also makes future pension benefits earned at the job a collateral right. The Voter Empowerment Act clearly violates these fundamental laws.

Reed’s initiative's fate now resides in the hands of Kamala Harris who must give it an official ballot title and summary. Naming the measure will impact Reed/DeMaio’s ability to raise the $3.5 million and 560,000 signatures needed to be on the ballot.

ACSS strongly stands against this measure and will continue to monitor it and provide you with updates.

To read the entire Huffington Post article on this topic, click here.

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Brown Signs Budget - $115.4 Billion for General Fund

Posted: 6/25/2015 Tags: budget politics Tags Views: 2239

On June 25, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the $115.4 billion general fund budget and shortly after, tweeted “Budget signed. Onto the health care & transportation special sessions.”  In a nutshell, the spending plan focuses heavily on increasing funding for state-funded preschools and universities and will also expand Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented children. Hot items like health care and construction/repairing roads were pushed out of the budget process and will be addressed separately.  

Click here to read the full article on the SacBee website.

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ACSS Attends 2015 CA Democratic Convention

Posted: 6/10/2015 Tags: politics Tags Views: 2868


ACSS wrapped up the 2015 CA Democratic Convention on Sunday, May 17, 2015. The convention was held in Anaheim, CA (May 15-17, 2015).  There were three days of speeches, rallies, workshops, and important elections. Speakers at this year’s convention included Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Barney Frank (Ret.), CA Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, CA Senate President pro Tem Kevin De Leon and many other public officials.  ACSS' Political Team met  with many leaders from all levels of state government.

"It was an exciting time to be in Anaheim at the California Democratic Party Convention and to further advance the ACSS plight!” commented Frank Ruffino, ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs.

From left, Todd D'Braunstein (ACSS VP of Membership Development), Elnora Fretwell (ACSS Vice President), Michael Eggman (Congressional Candidate, 10th District), Susan Eggman (AD 13), Frank Ruffino (ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs).

From left Frank Ruffino (ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs), Shirley Weber (AD 79), Elnora Fretwell (ACSS Vice President), Mark Leno (SD 11), Todd D'Braunstein (ACSS VP of Membership Development).

Frank Ruffino (ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs) chats with Alex Padilla (CA Secretary of State).

Elnora Fretwell (ACSS Vice President) gets a signature from Kamala Harris (ACSS Attorney General).

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Budget Proposal Aims to End "Six-Month Vacancy" Illegal Position Shuffling

Posted: 5/20/2015 Tags: budget jobs policy politics salary Tags Views: 2791


Jerry Brown's 2015-16 budget proposes a plan to wipe out an existing law that requires departments to eliminate state positions that go empty for six months. Departments have been deceptively manipulating personnel to inflate salary budgets and use money for other expenses. By shuffling around staff and making it appear that these positions are still being used, the positions are not eliminated and the department retains their funding.  A series of investigations and audits are bringing transparency to this issue and are putting a stop to all the unnecessary shuffling.  Read more on this issue in the full SacBee article.

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ACSS Walks for Senate Candidate Joan Buchanan

Posted: 3/18/2015 Tags: election PAC politics Tags Views: 2933

Posted: 3/18/2015

From left, Nicholas Mraovich, Frank Ruffino, Senate Candidate Joan Buchanan, Reynold Roth, Joaquin Murphy and Michael Bonner.

On March 14th, under the leadership of Frank Ruffino, VP of Governmental Affairs, a team including ACSS PAC Chair Reynold Roth and member activists Joaquin Murphy, Michael Bonner and Nicholas Mraovich attended Joan Buchanan's "Get Out the Vote" Rally in San Ramon and then walked precincts to deliver lawn signs in Livermore. At the end of the day Buchanan thanked ACSS for our work on her behalf. Buchanan has been a long-time supporter of ACSS's issues.

On March 17, 2015, the special election for Senate District 7 took place. Unfortunately after the votes were counted, she placed 3rd (with 22.6%) behind Susan Bonilla (24.9%) and Steve Glazer (32.8%). Bonilla and Glazer advance as the top two candidates and will appear on the ballot in the November General Election. ACSS is proud to have supported Buchanan in her tireless efforts on behalf of our members over the past years.

Frank Ruffino and Reynold Roth delivering lawn signs in support of Buchanan.

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ACSS Attends Republican Convention

Posted: 3/10/2015 Tags: legislature politics Tags Views: 2772

Posted: 3/10/2015

From left ACSS VP of Membership Todd D'Braunstein, ACSS President Arlene Espinoza, Assembly Republican Leader Kristen Olsen, ACSS Vice President Elnora Fretwell, and ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs Frank Ruffino.

On February 27, 28 and March 1, 2015, ACSS leaders greeted Republican Legislators from around the State including Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, the Assembly's new Republican Leader Kristen Olsen (pictured above) and Senate Candidate Sharon Runner (pictured below).

"We enjoyed meeting moderate and diverse candidates who understand ACSS plight," said Frank Ruffino, ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs.

From left ACSS VP of Membership Todd D'Braunstein, Senate Candidate Sharon Runner, ACSS VP of Governmental Affairs Frank Ruffino, and ACSS Vice President Elnora Fretwell.

ACSS Vice President Elnora Fretwell

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ACSS Endorses Joan Buchanan for Senate

Posted: 2/6/2015 Tags: politics Tags Views: 2550

Posted: 2/6/2015

Arlene Espinoza (ACSS President), Joan Buchanan, Frank Ruffino (ACSS VP Governmental Affairs) on 2/5/2015 at the campaign kick-off dinner.

The ACSS Board has unanimously voted to support Joan Buchanan in the California special election of Senate District 7. ACSS urges you to vote for Buchanan in the open primary election on March 17, 2015. Buchanan has been a long-time acquaintance of ACSS and has continually supported our issues over the years. ACSS believes she will stand behind ACSS and fight for the rights of excluded state employees, as a longstanding advocate of education, technology and job creation. Senate District 7 encompasses the cities of Antioch, Walnut Creek and Pleasanton. Buchanan will face off against Susan Bonilla (D), Steve Glazer (D) and Terry Kremin (D). The seat has been vacant following Mark DeSaulnier’s (D) election into Congress. Following the primaries, the top two candidates will advance to the general election on May 19, 2015. Other endorsements for Buchanan include:

Other endorsements for Buchanan include:

  • Brentwood, Danville, Livermore, Walnut Creek and Dublin Mayors
  • Contra Costa Community College District, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, Pleasanton Unified School District and Liberty Union High School District Board Members
  • Zone 7 Water District, East Bay Municipal Utilities and East Bay Regional Parks District Board Members
  • American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) California
  • California Teachers Association
  • California Small Business Association
  • Northern California Council of Carpenters
  • Carpenters Local Union 152

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