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ACSS Meets With Caltrans to Discuss Pay and Benefits for Supervisors and Managers

Posted: 7/5/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation Tags Views: 1970

On June 12, 2018, ACSS President Frank Ruffino, ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn, and ACSS Attorney Gerald James met with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Director Laurie Berman and key members of her executive team. Ruffino acknowledged Director Berman was taking the helm of the Department as Caltrans begins to deliver Senate Bill 1 projects around the state. ACSS was an early supporter of SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act, to help California rebuild and maintain our transportation system. In addition to investing in our transportation infrastructure, ACSS encouraged Caltrans to take action supporting appropriate pay and benefits for the supervisory and managerial employees who are helping to deliver these projects.

Director Berman has been with Caltrans for 35 years, holding various supervisory and managerial positions along the way. “Caltrans will continue to invest and provide training for our managers and staff as we deliver twice as many projects as before Senate Bill 1,” said Director Berman. “The department is hiring thousands of people over the next several years to meet the demand.”

ACSS is working collaboratively with Caltrans Labor Relations to identify and address salary concerns for supervisors and managers. We look forward to working with Director Berman on these issues. After the meeting, Ruffino mentioned, “Director Berman understands the important role that supervisors and managers play in project delivery. ACSS continues to appreciate a positive working relationship with Caltrans and to build on the relationship with Director Berman.”


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ACSS Unaffected by Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME ruling on Fair Share Fees

Posted: 6/29/2018 Tags: legislation membership policy Tags Views: 1595

On the last day of the session, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in Janus v. AFSCME. This long anticipated decision ruled that non-members of public sector unions cannot be charged “agency fees”, often referred to as fair share fees. In a 5 to 4 vote, the Court overruled a 41-year old decision that said non-members can be charged a fee to cover the cost of a union’s collective bargaining efforts.

While the decision will have broad implications nationwide, there is no immediate impact on ACSS. For rank-and-file public sector labor unions in California and throughout the country, there will be some big changes as they adapt. Impacted unions anticipated this decision since at least 2016 and have been working to educate employees about the value of membership and collective representation.


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General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2018

Posted: 6/26/2018 Tags: budget legislation policy salary Tags Views: 5274

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has informed ACSS of General Salary Increases (GSI) for state excluded employees effective July 1, 2018. As detailed below, excluded employees will receive the same percentage raises as the bargaining unit they are associated with.

Earlier this month ACSS President Frank Ruffino, ACSS Executive Director Rocco Paternoster, and ACSS Director of Representation Nellie Lynn met with CalHR Director Richard Gillihan to discuss issues affecting state excluded employees – including pay raises and retiree health benefits. Following the meeting and the announcement of salary increases, Director Gillihan shared the following with ACSS, “Managers and supervisors are the backbone of California state government. Their dedication ensures we are serving the public and safeguarding the state. I am pleased that the state is able to increase their salaries in recognition of the work they do.” Ruffino thanked the Director for his continued support of excluded employees.

Along with the General Salary Increases, the state budget includes provisions regarding state employee contributions for prefunding retiree healthcare. While some excluded employees already participate, all will soon see an employee contribution as a percentage of salary which is matched with a state employer contribution. The purpose is to reduce the “unfunded liability” for retiree health care which has received substantial negative public and media attention and to ensure that your valuable earned health benefits will be available when you retire. The deduction, expected to appear or adjust with your August pay warrant (received at the end of August/beginning of September), will show as CERBT – which stands for the California Employers’ Retiree Benefit Trust.

 EXCLUDED EMPLOYEES AFFILIATED
 WITH BARGAINING UNIT:
 GSI
 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21  4%
 6, 18  3%
 7, 13, 16  2% 
 10  5%
 12  3.5%
 19  2.5%

Exempt and Excluded Employees not directly tied to a bargaining unit (such as many employees who have an “E” Collective Bargaining Identifier) will receive a 4% GSI.

The official “Pay Letters” implementing the salary increases are expected to be released shortly after the Governor signs the State Budget later this week.


UPDATED 7/5/2018

Click here to view Pay Letter1815 for details on the General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees.


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May Revision of the Budget: Continue Saving for the Future as Surplus Grows

Posted: 5/16/2018 Tags: benefits budget legislation pension policy retirement salary Tags Views: 1614

Governor Jerry Brown released his May Revise of the Budget on May 11th, 2018. 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:

“The state continues to generate revenue at unprecedented levels and now it is coming in faster. In January, the surplus was predicted to be $6 billion. The surplus now is expected to be $9 billion.

The May Revise proposes saving for the future. In January, the Governor proposed to put an additional $4.4 billion into the state rainy day fund, topping it out at $13.8 billion – the constitutional limit. In the May Revise, he socks another $3.3 billion into a different reserve account.

Budget negotiations between the Administration and the Legislature will now heat up. The Governor will urge restraint. Legislators of both parties will push for billions of dollars in additional spending. Ultimately, you can expect the Governor to agree to modest increased spending while keeping his rainy day reserves. Regardless, the Legislature will pass a budget by June 15 and the Governor will sign it by June 30.

Here’s what the May Revise says about issues important to ACSS members:

State Employee Compensation

The January budget proposal included $1.2 billion ($589.5 million General Fund) for:

  • increased employee compensation
  • health care costs for active state employees
  • retiree health care prefunding for active employees

The May Revise decreases this amount by $8.1 million to reflect:

  • corrections to 2019 health rates
  • natural changes to enrollment in health and dental plan
  • updated employment information for salary increases
  • updated employment information for salary increases
  • revised pay increases for judges
  • updated costs related to the salary survey estimates for the California Highway Patrol (Bargaining Unit 5)

State CalPERS Contribution

The state’s contribution – $6.2 billion – to CalPERS is down slightly ($18 million) from the January estimate. The decline in the revise is mainly driven by:

  • CalPERS’ higher than expected investment return in 2016-17
  • the benefit of the state’s additional $6 billion pension payment in 2017-18
  • higher than projected enrollment of members under the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013, who have lower benefit formulas

Overall, pension reforms are beginning to reduce costs. The May Revise proposes no additional pension reforms.

State Health Care/Retiree Health Care

The May Revise makes no changes to the expected costs of providing state employees and state retirees health care.

State Employee Position Increases

The May Revise also reports that there is expected to be an additional 3,878 position in state government next year for a total of 210,767 in FY 2018-19.”

The Governor’s complete budget summary and draft budget can be found here: www.ebudget.ca.gov.


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California Supreme Court to Review a Trio of Pension Cases

Posted: 4/26/2018 Tags: benefits legislation legislature pension policy retirement Tags Views: 2095

Protecting your pension and retirement benefits is a core principle for ACSS. Three cases pending before the State Supreme Court raise questions regarding the validity of the long standing “California Rule.” Since 1955, the courts have held under the California Rule that once pension benefits are granted to a public employee, they are vested and cannot be modified for the duration of an employee’s career.

>> Read more...


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Another Successful ACSS Lobby Day!



Click here to view larger.

On March 21, 2018, 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 54 members in attendance. Thanks to the dedicated members who attended, our presence at the Capitol was visible and our voices were clearly heard! For 18 consecutive years, ACSS members have participated in Lobby Day to deliver the ACSS message in person to Assemblymembers and Senators. 

>> Read more...


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Leave Buy-Back Program Authorized for Excluded Employees

Posted: 4/4/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 2552

CalHR and the Department of Finance have authorized the Excluded Employee Leave Buy-Back Program for 2017-2018. Employees designated Exempt, Supervisory, Managerial or Confidential may elect to be paid at their regular salary rate in exchange for up to 80 hours of unused leave (vacation or annual leave, personal leave, personal holiday or holiday credit). Payment is out of existing appropriations, so each department’s participation is subject to the availability of departmental funds.

No later than May 1, 2018, your department should notify you whether the department has funds to participate and how much leave, up to 80 hours, that you will be able to cash out. The notification will include a deadline to submit your request to cash out leave. Departments may issue payments as early as May, but no later than June 30, 2018.

The current authorization of up to 80 hours for excluded employees follows ACSS’ lobbying and legislative efforts in 2016 to increase the number of leave buy-back hours for excluded employees.


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Drug Testing Plan for Food & Agriculture Supervisors Withdrawn

Posted: 3/29/2018 Tags: policy representation Tags Views: 1226

The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently announced a plan to drug test employees in the new CalCannabis Licensing Unit. ACSS members were concerned with privacy issues and the testing procedures that would be utilized. While the State maintains a drug free workplace, the random or “reasonable suspicion” drug testing of employees has been limited to those in medical, correctional or peace officer settings or employees operating heavy equipment or machinery. The drug testing rules balance constitutional privacy issues with the State’s interest in protecting employees and the public.

Following a Meet and Confer with CDFA over the proposed new testing, ACSS sent a letter to the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and CDFA requesting that they reconsider the drug testing program at CDFA. Upon receipt of ACSS’ letter, CDFA withdrew the plan to drug test the CalCannabis employees and does not plan to pursue drug testing of employees in other CDFA divisions.


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Bicycle Commuter Benefit Program

Posted: 3/23/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 2079

Effective May 1, 2018, CalHR has expanded bicycle commuter benefits to all eligible state employees through its new Bicycle Commuter Program Policy. The program encourages state employees to use bicycles as their primary means of commuting to and from work with a taxable benefit of $20 per month.

Any state employee who bicycles to work at least 50% of a calendar month is eligible to participate. There is no need for enrollment. Participating employees will need to submit a Bicycle Commuter Benefit Claim through their department’s established process. Documentation of the bicycle commutes and supervisory review/approval is required for claim submission.

In addition to promoting the health and well being of state employees, the program also encourages sustainable commuting practices. The expansion of this benefit program bolsters Caltrans’ “Toward an Active California, State Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan,” which aims to triple the number of bicycle commuters by 2020.

>> Click here find out more about the Bicycle Commuter Program from CalHR. 

If your bicycle commuter claim is denied, contact your local ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


UPDATE 6/29/2018

CalHR has updated the Human Resources Manual Section 1425. This update clarifies this benefit to include employees who combine using transit passes with shared bicycle services for a portion of their commute.


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Don't Forget to Complete Your Leadership Development Training Requirements!

Posted: 3/15/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 1095

As per CalHR, all state managers and CEA's must complete initial training requirements within 12 months of appointment and all employees in leadership positions must complete 20 hours of ongoing leadership training every two years. in 2016 CalHR made amendments to Government Code 19995.4 which prescribes new leadership development training requirements for state leaders. For employees in leadership classifications appointed before July 1, 2016, the new biennial leadership training requirements muse be completed by July 1, 2018. 

The California Leadership Academy offers a Manager Development Program located in Sacramento and in Gardena.  This course satisfies the 40 hour training requirement for new managers and is a great opportunity for leaders to satisfy their biennial training requirement. By the end of this class, you will be able to apply critical skills to lead teams, leverage resources, and use best practices to effectively and efficiently operate your program.


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