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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: 2735

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: 3427

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!



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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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ACSS Lobby Day 2018 is coming soon!

Posted: 3/15/2018 Tags: events legislation Lobby Day politics Tags Views: 4829

At Lobby Day, the goal is to unite ACSS members with legislators to educate them and get their support on the issues that affect the careers of excluded employees. This is what ACSS is all about! When ACSS members come together with their fellow excluded employees, their voices are heard loud and clear at the Capitol. ACSS fights to protect the rights and compensation for all state supervisors, managers and confidential employees. Together, we are making a difference!

This year, we are hand-selecting a talented and dedicated group of long-time activists to represent ACSS at the Capitol for Lobby Day. Their fine-tuned message will deliver a powerful punch to Legislators and our message will be heard clearly.


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State Personnel Board Passes IT Consolidation Plan

Posted: 2/2/2018 Tags: legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 4525

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: 2917

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: 2929

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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Special Salary Adjustment Resolves Salary Compaction for some CDTFA Excluded Employees

Posted: 1/9/2018 Tags: legislation representation salary Tags Views: 4085

Because of ACSS’ efforts, CalHR has approved the proposed Special Salary Adjustments for excluded employees of the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). This SSA alleviates salary compaction for impacted classifications at CDTFA and is effective as of January 1, 2018. These are some of the classifications that ACSS identified that CalHR did not adhere to their own criteria to set and maintain a 5% pay differential. Click here to view a copy of the current and proposed salaries for these impacted classifications.

President Frank Ruffino comments on this latest win, “ACSS has been advocating tirelessly on behalf of CDTFA and we have been patiently waiting for results. This is great news for our members and all affected CDTFA excluded employees.”

An official pay letter from CalHR is coming soon and we will share it as soon as it is released.


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IT Class Consolidation Update

Posted: 1/3/2018 Tags: classification legislation representation salary Tags Views: 3624

After several delays last year the IT Class Consolidation proposal will be considered by the State Personnel Board at its January meeting.

CalHR first provided ACSS a draft of the plan in Spring 2017. Since then, ACSS has been meeting and dialoguing with CalHR regarding the proposed changes to IT Classifications. Large numbers of IT Excluded Employees responded to ACSS’ request for input; that feedback was beneficial to our discussions with CalHR. Many of the respondents expressed frustration that pay parity in the IT industry with both the public and private sectors was not addressed in the class series proposed by CalHR. ACSS addressed this issue with CalHR. CalHR’s position is that the Civil Service Improvement Project classification consolidations must be cost neutral. Therefore, CalHR stated they will use existing pay ranges. The State Personnel Board does not set excluded employee salaries. The authority to set excluded employee salaries is under the jurisdiction of CalHR.

Through the meet and confer process ACSS was able to obtain several changes to the proposed IT Class Consolidation plan.

ACSS submitted a position letter to CalHR to address concerns with regard to proposed salary ranges and reallocation of incumbent Data Processing Managers I, II, and III. The letter is part of the SPB Board item package, which is available on the SPB website.

The State Personnel Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 11th beginning at 10:00 a.m. ACSS will provide an update to excluded IT employees shortly thereafter. 
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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: 3708

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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