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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: 4421

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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Success at ACSS Lobby Day 2017!



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On March 14, 2017, 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 114 members in attendance. Thanks to the dedicated members who attended, our presence at the Capitol was visible and our voices were clearly heard!

For 17 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 and we asked for support of Assembly Bill 52 (Public employees - Orientation and informational programs, written by Jim Cooper, AD 09). Lawmakers listened to our message and acknowledged our concerns.

ACSS thanks the attendees who helped make ACSS Lobby Day 2017 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.


Assm. Freddy Rodriguez (AD 52) meets with the ACSS Executive Committee after delivering a speech at the Lobby Day Training presentation.



A group of ACSS members meets with CA State Senator Dr. Richard Pan (SD 06) on Lobby Day.



From left, ACSS Members Brian Adams, Rolinda Gomez, Abdou Lyagarou, and Brett Blaydes prepare for their meeting with their Legislator.



ACSS President Frank Ruffino and ACSS Vice President Elnora Fretwell socializing with CA State Senator Steven Bradford at the ACSS Ice Cream Social event.


Please check back at the Lobby Day webpage at a later date to view a gallery of all 2017 Lobby Day photos - coming soon!


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ACSS Advocates for Pay Parity for CCHCS Food Administrators

Posted: 3/2/2017 Tags: compaction legislation representation salary Tags Views: 2550

ACSS is working with Food Administrators to address their concerns as part of the ongoing agenda at the Quarterly meetings with the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS). The most recent meeting with CCHCS was on February 10, 2017.

At the meeting, ACSS requested that CCHCS join ACSS’ efforts to advocate for pay parity for Food Administrators. ACSS is advocating for salary increases for Food Administrators with the California Department of Human Resources in light of the recent salary increases provided to rank and file in the new BU 19 MOU.

ACSS raised concerns over Food Administrators being assigned duties and responsibilities outside of the SPB Job Specification for Food Administrator I, specifically clinical duties that are contained in the SPB Job Specification for the Registered Dietitian classification.

If you are being asked to perform duties outside your job specification, please contact your local ACSS Labor Relations Representative for assistance. Here is a list of the ACSS Labor Relations Representatives near you.

You can learn more about your rights when assigned work outside of your classification from the ACSS Quarterly Newsletter Q1 2017.


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ACSS Met with CalHR to Address the Concerns of Managers and Supervisors

Posted: 1/30/2017 Tags: benefits budget legislation meeting salary Tags Views: 4563

On January 19th, ACSS met with CalHR to discuss the possibility of salary increases for excluded employees in reaction to the recent rank and file agreements that were reached through bargaining in December of 2016. ACSS also intended this meeting to introduce ourselves to CalHR’s new Labor Relations Officer, Kate Van Sickle (who replaced Steven Booth). ACSS helped bring VanSickle up to speed with the history of ACSS’ efforts on advocating for resolving salary compaction and helped familiarize her with the full scope of issues that ACSS advocates for. The meeting was productive and ACSS brought valuable items to the table, yet many specific items were left unanswered by CalHR. CalHR was not specific about which classifications will get additional pay and when it may happen.

ACSS thinks that excluded employees got the better deal regarding the sweeping 3% GSI salary increase for excluded employees in October 2016 versus the $2500 one-time bonus that Rank and file recently received. The 3% GSI increase for excluded employees is a “forever benefit” and it is PERSABLE, so it will count towards your retirement benefits. The $2,500 bonus that Rank and File just received does not.

In our recent January 19th meeting with CalHR, they confirmed that they will NOT be providing excluded employees with a one-time bonus, like that of SEIU Local 1000. During the meeting, ACSS heavily advocated on behalf of members for special salary adjustments to be passed on to excluded employees. CalHR’s response continues to be that final decisions have not yet been made and they will follow the administration’s directive to establish and maintain a 5% pay differential instead of the 10% that ACSS advocates as fair and equitable.

There is good news in the Governor’s proposed 2017 – 2018 budget. The budget adds $1.2 billion for increased employee compensation. It is anticipated that this will provide for General Salary Increases for excluded employees in July 2017, as per PML 2016-023. This is just the beginning of the budget process. Unlike bargaining, where rank and file agrees upon multi-year salary increases, excluded employees are excluded from bargaining, which means that they rely upon the budget each year to determine salary adjustments. The final approved budget bill is still a long way off and a lot can happen between now and the end of the fiscal year. ACSS will continue to monitor the budget process and advocate funding to provide excluded employees fair and equitable pay packages.

ACSS Lobby Day is on March 15th. We strongly encourage you to join us at Lobby Day and meet with legislators and educate them about the issues affecting excluded employees, like pay compaction. As news develops, ACSS will provide any updates in regards to pay increases and further discussion with CalHR.


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Notable points from the Governor’s State Budget Report 2017-2018

Posted: 1/23/2017 Tags: budget governor legislation retirement salary Tags Views: 4721

On January 10, 2017, Governor Brown released his proposed 2017-2018 State Budget. Once again Brown emphasized “budget prudence” by reiterating “deficits are always much larger in magnitude than surpluses.” Brown continues to discourage spending money on programs that improve the lives of Californians and restoring programs that were once cut.

In the big picture, the Governor’s budget proposes $122.5 billion in General Fund expenditures, a slight reduction from the 2016-2017 budget. It also assumes an increase of $5.2 billion in General Fund revenues compared to last year. Over the course of the next three fiscal years, the 2017-18 budget assumes a $1.6 billion deficit in the next budget year and $1 to $2 billion deficits in future years, if left unaddressed. In addition, the Administration socked away another $1 billion into the Proposition 2 rainy day fund to pad the nearly $8 billion balance and prepare for future deficits.

>> Click here to read the full article that includes in-depth content on...

  • State Employee Compensation
  • State CalPERS Contribution
  • Civil Service Reform
  • State Employee Position Increases, Funding Proposals

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SEIU Local 1000 Members Approved New Contract

Posted: 1/20/2017 Tags: bargaining legislation salary Tags Views: 4253

The votes are in and according to SEIU Local 1000, approximately 90 percent of the the people voted in favor of the new contract. The 42-month contract promises members a $2,500 bonus and a cumulative raise of 11.5%. The next step is ratification of the Legislature before the 96,000 state workers represented by SEIU Local 1000 receive their bonus checks.  

>> Click here to read the full article from the Sac Bee.


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CalHR Pay Letter Affects Pay Scales for Some Excluded Employees

Posted: 12/29/2016 Tags: policy salary Tags Views: 4018

CalHR released Pay Letter 16-24 on December 22, 2016, which addressed changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act salary threshold. Some excluded employees received an increased pay rate. 

>> Click here to read the details of Pay Letter 16-24 to see if your classification was affected by this change. 


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CalPERS Lowers Investment Funds Discount Rate

Posted: 12/21/2016 Tags: benefits policy retirement salary Tags Views: 2485

On December 21, 2016, the CalPERS Board of Directors Investment Committee approved a reduction in the discount rate from 7.5% to 7.0% over a three-year phase. CalPERS financial consultants have been concerned about the current state of negative cash flow over the next 10 years. Lower returns in early years will diminish the compounding interest of later years. According to Reuters, “State and local governments could see their pension contributions rise by as much as $2 billion in five years. But for employees, the hit could be another percentage point or more in payroll deductions.” CalPERS views this reduction in the discount rate as a necessary way to improve its current situation.

This means that state employees will be paying more towards their retirement benefits in the long run as a direct result of the discounted rate. The state needs to protect the pensions. To cover that, state employees will end up having to pay more from their current paychecks towards their retirement benefits. At this point, we do not know exactly how much will come out of employee paychecks.

"This was a very difficult decision to make, but it is an important step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Fund," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The new discount rate for the state will go into effect on July 1, 2017 at 7.375% and then be phased down incrementally to 7.25% for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 and the again phased down to 7.0% for FY 2019-20.

ACSS will continue to follow this issue closely and provide you with updates that affect excluded state employees.

>>Click here to read the full article from CalPERS.


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Rank and File reach a Tentative Agreement and Pay Raise – How this Affects Excluded Employees

Posted: 12/5/2016 Tags: bargaining policy retirement salary Tags Views: 6191

Over the past month, ACSS has followed the bargaining between California’s largest union of state employees (SEIU Local 1000) and the State of California over a new contract. We have also been following the reports on the possibility of a strike and how the State of California sought to halt the potentially disruptive strike by seeking an injunction against SEIU Local 1000 employees. The Brown administration has been arguing that the potential strike would be illegal because of the no-strike clause. On Friday December 2nd, 2016, SEIU Local 1000 announced that the strike, set for December 5th, had been called off.

Over the weekend, a tentative agreement had been reportedly reached between L1000 and the state. As reported by SEIU Local 1000, the new tentative agreement includes:

  • A $2,500 one-time signing bonus
  • 11.5% GSI total spread over 3 years: 4% effective 7/1/2017, 4% GSI effective 7/1/2018 and 3.5% GSI effective 7/1/2019.
  • Only 2.3% total in prefunding contributions for retirement health benefits over those 3 years
  • Special salary adjustments in over 30 classifications

ACSS will review and analyze the tentative agreement. We plan to reach out to CalHR to discuss the impact of this potential agreement on excluded employees related to SEIU Bargaining Units. ACSS is following this issue closely and will continue to bring updates to managers and supervisors who may be affected by it.


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ACSS Continues Communication with CalHR

Posted: 11/9/2016 Tags: bargaining legislation salary Tags Views: 2786

On Monday November 7th, ACSS met with CalHR Director Richard Gillihan. Gillihan informed ACSS of staffing changes within CalHR for the position responsible for labor relations of excluded state employees. The current labor relations representative, Steven Booth, will be leaving the position and CalHR will be filling the vacancy with a new employee soon.

In addition, Pam Manwiller, Deputy Director of Labor Relations, notified us that an additional pay letter will be released soon in regards to excluded employees related to Bargaining Unit 2. Manwiller says the new pay letter "corrects things that were missed in previous pay letters".

ACSS President Frank Ruffino noted, “Although much works remains to be done, We're grateful to the Governor and CalHR for their effort and time in addressing our issues.”

ACSS and CalHR continue to work together to improve and resolve the issues affecting excluded employees. As always, ACSS will keep you informed on any updates.


*** UPDATE: January 5, 2017 - Pay Letter 16-19A-2 ***

On January 5, 2017, CalHR Released Pay letter 16-19A, which is an update on Special Salary Adjustments for excluded employees related to Bargaining Unit 2. 

>> Click here to download Pay Letter 16-19A-2


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