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Leave Buy-Back Program Authorized for Excluded Employees

Posted: 4/4/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 2590

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Drug Testing Plan for Food & Agriculture Supervisors Withdrawn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: 1259

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: 2127

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: 1135

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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CalHR Increases Excess Lodging Rate Requests

Posted: 3/12/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 1563

CalHR Announcement - 

Effective March 7, 2018, CalHR delegates authority to departments to make determinations regarding Excess Lodging Rate Requests up to $250 per night. Previously, departments only had delegation to make determinations regarding Excess Lodging Rate Requests up to $150 per night. 

Excess Lodging Rate Requests are required if the requested lodging rate is more than the state rate. CalHR’s Short-Term Lodging Reimbursement Rates page lists the current state rates for all excluded and all represented employees. All Excess Lodging Rate Requests for amounts above the delegated amount of $250 per night will continue to require CalHR approval in advance. Departments should continue to follow their current processes for completing and submitting Excess Lodging Rate Requests to CalHR.

To see this and other recent human resources announcements, please visit the CalHR Announcements web page.


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State Personnel Board Passes IT Consolidation Plan

Posted: 2/2/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 3269

Effective January 31, 2018, the State Personnel Board approved a plan to consolidate and re-classify a wide range of IT job descriptions as part of the ongoing Civil Service Improvement Project. An estimated 1,694 excluded employees are impacted by this consolidation effort.

Also on January 31, 2018, CalHR released Pay Letter 18-04 which outlines details of the Consolidation plan and how it affects specific job classifications. 36 service-wide classifications consolidated into 9 new classifications as outlined in this SPB Specification sheet. The IT Consolidation Career Path document charts how these new classifications relate to each other and the ranges within each.

If you have individual concerns about how your job is affected by the IT Consolidation plan, please contact your local ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


Updated 2/9/2018

>> Minutes from the January 11, 2018 SPB meeting

>> SPB webpage with other Board Meetings, Agendas and Live Streaming videos


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Notable points from the Governor’s State Budget Report 2018-2019

Posted: 1/26/2018 Tags: budget legislation policy Tags Views: 1954

On January 10, 2018, Governor Brown released his proposed 2018-2019 State Budget.  The proposal maintains a balanced budget for the foreseeable future under current projections and will also bring the Rainy Day Fund to $13.5 billion, the maximum level allowed under the State Constitution. Revenues for the current budget year are predicted to be $4.7 billion higher than previously estimated. While next fiscal year’s Budget is projected to have a healthy surplus, Brown noted the state will continue to face uncertain times, including the ramifications of the recently enacted federal tax bill and his reiterated warnings to plan for an inevitable recession. The Governor’s budget proposes $131.7 billion in General Fund expenditures, an increase of 4.1 percent over the 2017-2018 budget.

Click here to read the full story...


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CalHR Releases Pay Letter with CDTFA Raises and AOD Pay Differential for OIG

Posted: 1/25/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 1971

On January 18, 2018, CalHR released Pay Letter 18-03 which outlines Special Salary Adjustments (SSA) for some Managers and Supervisors of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA), Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and Employment Development Department (EDD). We reported on this issue earlier this month about how ACSS’ efforts helped alleviate salary compaction for some classifications at CDTFA. The SSA for these classifications are effective as of January 1, 2018.

Pay Letter 18-03 also includes Administrator-of-the-Day (AOD) Pay Differential 422 for excluded employees at the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). This Pay Differential affects the following classifications:

  • Special Assistant Inspector General
  • Senior Assistant Inspector General
  • Chief Assistant Inspector General

ACSS intends to advocate for Pay Differential compensation in a similar approach for excluded classifications at other departments who have AOD responsibilities. We plan on discussing this issue with CalHR in the near future.


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Updated Savings Plan Documents for Excluded Employees

Posted: 1/18/2018 Tags: policy Tags Views: 2209

CalHR informed ACSS of changes to the 457 Savings Plan and the 401(k) Savings Plan documents for Excluded Employees.  Click below to view the updated documents. 


Updated 2/8/18

ACSS worked with CalHR to identify changes to the plans. While most amendments are technical and routine in nature, there are some plan improvements. Employees returning to state service can now immediately resume participation in the Savings Plus program. The state has also increased options for spouses and other payees to elect Roth rollover conversions. The amendments include technical updates clarifying the state’s ability to collect overpayments. Of concern, the amendments allow the state to terminate the loan program. ACSS knows the loan program is popular with members, particularly in helping with down payments for homes. ACSS expressed concern over this change and were told that the state has no plans to end the loan program at this time. ACSS will advocate against an end to the loan program should one be proposed.

Members with questions about the Savings Plus program can reach out to the Savings Plus Service Center by e-mail, phone, or visiting the walk-in center in Sacramento. Click here for contact information.


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New Policy Requiring Background Checks Could Result in Job Losses for Some Excluded Employees

Posted: 12/15/2017 Tags: legislation policy representation Tags Views: 2583

A new policy may affect the careers of excluded state workers in several departments. CalHR notified ACSS that state workers who handle taxpayer information will undergo mandatory criminal background checks. If excluded employees do not pass the background check, they could be “non-punitively separated” from state service. These background check policies are intended to bring California in compliance with federal guidelines from the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security. At the moment, it is unknown when this policy will be implemented.

ACSS has been receiving notices from individual departments regarding this issue and is reaching out to specific groups of excluded employees asking for feedback and concerns. Below is a list of the California departments that have notified ACSS of this policy change:

  • Department of Social Services
  • Employment Development Department
  • Department of General Services
  • California Department of Fee and Tax Agency
  • CalOES (Federal Suitability Screenings)

If you work for one of these departments and have questions or concerns about the background check policy, please contact your regional ACSS Labor Relations Representative.

ACSS is on your side and is fighting for your career. We are doing everything we can to prevent job loss over this issue. Please make sure your contact info is up to date so that we can provide you with the latest information as we receive it.

Click here to read additional information in the Sac Bee article.


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