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CalPERS Lowers Investment Funds Discount Rate

Posted: 12/21/2016 Tags: benefits policy retirement salary Tags Views: 1648

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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Paid Leave Buy-Back Program Enhanced – Options for Savings Plan or Cash Payout

Posted: 12/9/2016 Tags: benefits policy Tags Views: 2403

The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has authorized an enhancement to the Paid Leave Buy-Back Program for fiscal year 2016-17 in PML 2016-032. Employees designated as Exempt, Managerial, Supervisory, Confidential, or otherwise excluded from collective bargaining are able to participate. If an employee has vacation or annual leave balances in excess of 640 hours as of December 1, 2016, the employee has the option to transfer accruals into a Savings Plus 457(b) account, transfer accruals into a 401(k) account, or request a cash payment. This enhancement to the Excluded Employee Leave Buy-Back Program allows employees another option when using the 80 hours of leave buy-back proposed and obtained by ACSS in April 2016.

Eligible employees can elect to participate by completing the Transfer Future Leave Accruals to Savings Plus form and returning it to Human Resources by December 31, 2016. No action is required if you do NOT elect to participate.

For more information, download the FAQ provided by CalHR.


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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: 5180

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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Incentives for DDS Excluded Employees Facing Department Closures

Posted: 10/27/2016 Tags: benefits jobs layoff legislation meeting policy salary Tags Views: 1972

CalHR will implement substantial retention incentives for managers and supervisors of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) who are facing closures of some DDS facilities. A Meet and Confer meeting between ACSS, DSS and CalHR was held on October 24th, 2016. After serious consideration of ACSS’ input on behalf of excluded employees, DDS will provide impacted employees with a stipend of up to $6,000 for the period worked from July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018 or closure (whichever comes first).

Click on the links below to read more details about each facility closure:

*Please be aware that not all Porterville GTA employees will receive the stipend. Only those positions that are slated for termination with closure will accrue the stipend. ACSS will provide an update when notice is received regarding which GTA positions will not be affected by the closure.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local ACSS Labor Relations Representative. Click here for contact information for the ACSS Representative near you.


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Changes in Leadership Training and Development for Excluded Employees

Posted: 10/14/2016 Tags: legislation policy representation training Tags Views: 1844

On October 7, 2016, CalHR released PML 2016-028 in regards to changes in leadership training for excluded employees. As part of the Civil Service Improvement initiative, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 848 into law on June 27, 2016 which intends to simplify, streamline and improve civil service employment. SB 848 includes amendments to leadership training for managers and supervisors.

SB 848:

  • Amends the strategy for continually advancing employee skills and authorizes CalHR to prescribe policy guidance for administering statewide training.
  • Amends training requirements for Government Leaders by requiring 80 hours of training to be successfully completed within 6 months of initial appointment, but no later than the end of the probationary period. On-The-Job-Training (OJT) will no longer be allowed as a portion of the required supervisory training.
  • Adds new training requirements for management and Career Executive Assignment (CEA) employees:
      o Managers will be provided 40 hours leadership training and development.
      o CEAs will be provided 20 hours leadership training and development.
      o Training must be completed within 12 months of initial appointment.
      o Supervisors, managers and CEAs are required to complete 20 hours of leadership training and development every two years.
  • Requires leadership training and development to be documented.

PML 2016-28 also includes changes to rules on exempt return rights, leave overpayments and Limited Expansion and Appointment Program (LEAP).

>> Click here to read more about the details of PML 2016-28.


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ACSS Quarterly Meeting with CCHCS

Posted: 8/24/2016 Tags: compaction policy representation salary Tags Views: 2474

ACSS met with the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) in Sacramento on August 12, 2016, to discuss a variety of issues affecting ACSS members:

  • Adding Safety Retirement Pay for certain classifications
  • Office Support Supervisor I upgrades
  • Seniority Watch Preference Policy for Supervising Registered Nurses II
  • Food Administrator salary compaction issues

We would like to thank the CCHCS members that provided input to ACSS prior to the meeting. Their input and feedback was important and valuable in order for ACSS to address their specific concerns. In these types of meetings, ACSS represents the voice of members and protects careers on behalf of its members.

Here is a summary of the results of this meeting…


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Follow Up on CDCR Meet And Confer Regarding Directed Reports

Posted: 8/19/2016 Tags: policy representation rights Tags Views: 2144

ACSS met with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in Sacramento on August 11, 2016, to discuss impact on members regarding the implementation of the Office of Internal Affairs (OIA) order of Directed Reports process. Per CDCR “a Directed Report is a written response to a written or verbal order issued by the OIA in which staff are directed to document an incident or action that is the subject of an OIA inquiry or administrative investigation.”

We would like to thank the CDCR members that provided input to ACSS prior to the meeting. Their input and feedback was important and valuable in order for ACSS to address their specific concerns. In these types of Meet and Confer meetings, ACSS represents the voice of members and protects careers on behalf of its members.

Here is a summary of the results of this meeting…


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State Offers Rank-and-File SEIU Employees a 12 Percent Raise Over 4 Years

Posted: 8/1/2016 Tags: legislation policy politics salary Tags Views: 3536

As of July 19, 2016, the Administration was in the midst of contract negotiations with 16 out of the 21 bargaining units throughout California after most state employee contracts expired on or around July 1.

SEIU Local 1000 is currently in the process of negotiating contracts with the state over 6 different bargaining units. In a document dated July 8, the state offered SEIU rank-and-file employees a 12 percent general salary increase spread out over 4 years. However, the offer would also require a 3.5 percent increase in contributions towards prefunding retirement health benefits over that time period.

Some other details of the state’s offer to SEIU-represented employees are:

  • The state would not be able to require furloughs in the first year, but count in subsequent years.
  • An 80-hour annual cash-out would be added to vacation and annual leave benefits.
  • In addition to the general salary increase, two dozen classifications would get additional raises, the largest going to Unit 1 Actuary Series (10 %) and Licensed Vocational Nurses in Unit 20 (11.5%).

On July 30, 2016, SEIU Local 1000 released a newsletter stating that the talks had come to a crossroads and they “feel that the state’s offer does not meet the priorities [the members] shared [with the state] through town halls and bargaining surveys.” SEIU Local officials did not respond for comment.

According to Ted Toppin, Lobbyist and ACSS Legislative Correspondent, “The statutory provisions of the budget extend the 2016 pay raises – and the prefunding retiree health schedules – extend to the state supervisors and managers who are linked with the rank and file employees of each bargaining unit”.

>> Click here to read more in the article from the SacBee.


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Travel Reimbursement Rate Increases for Excluded Employees

Posted: 7/28/2016 Tags: policy Tags Views: 1685

Effective July 1, 2016, the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has increased official state travel lodging and private aircraft reimbursement rates for all Excluded employees. Click here to read the details of PML 2016-020.


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CalHR Releases Pay Letter for BU9 and BU10 Salary Increases

Posted: 7/7/2016 Tags: bargaining legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 1955

CalHR released the official pay letter (PL1613) that details a 5% salary increase for managerial, supervisory and other excluded classes related to Bargaining Units 9 and 10. Effective July 1, 2016, all employees in classes/ranges M09, S09, E48, E59, M10, S10 and E59 shall receive the 5 percent increase.

The pay letter also provides documentation for pay differentials in Bargaining Unit 6.

>> Download PL1613


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