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Leave Buy-Back Program Authorized for Excluded Employees

Posted: 4/27/2022 Tags: benefits leave legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 829

CalHR and the Department of Finance have authorized the Excluded Employee Leave Buy-Back Program for 2021-2022. 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, voluntary personal leave, personal holiday or holiday credit). Excluded employees related to bargaining unit 2 (attorneys and administrative law judges) may cash out up to 160 hours of leave. Note that Personal Leave Program 2020 leave (or prior PLP leave) may not be cashed out. Payment is out of existing appropriations, so each department’s participation is subject to the availability of departmental funds.

No later than May 1, 2022, your department should notify you whether the department has funds to participate and how much leave 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, 2022.

ACSS members are encouraged to evaluate their accrued leave status and consider cashing out leave as part of an overall strategy to remain compliant with leave caps.

Click here to view the CalHR policy manual covering leave buy-back.

If you have questions regarding leave buy-back program issues, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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Special Open Enrollment for the CoBen Cash Option Ends April 30, 2022

Posted: 4/22/2022 Tags: benefits policy Tags Views: 328

If you are an excluded employee tied to an SEIU Local 1000 bargaining unit and you are NOT enrolled in a state-sponsored CalPERS health plan, you need to enroll in the CoBen cash option by April 30, 2022*.

The $260 monthly payment for this small group of employees not enrolled in a CalPERS health plan is ending effective June 30, 2022. These employees need to enroll to begin receiving CoBen cash in lieu of health/dental benefits (up to $155 per month) effective July 1, 2022.

If you are enrolled in a CalPERS health plan and are currently receiving the $260 per month – no action is needed and this monthly payment of $260 will continue through June 30, 2023.

To enroll in the CoBen cash option, please contact your departmental personnel office and complete the STD702 form.

For frequently asked questions and answers, please review the CalHR Special Open Enrollment FAQ.

If you have questions regarding this special open enrollment period, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.

 

*UPDATE 5/3/2022: CalHR is extending the open enrollment period until May 13, 2022 for employees to submit forms to their Human Resource Office.


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Governor Newsom Signs Bill Providing COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for 2022

Posted: 2/10/2022 Tags: benefits COVID-19 Tags Views: 1186

On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 114 into law which provides COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for 2022.

The law will become effective February 19, 2022 and will provide supplemental sick leave retroactive to January 1, 2022. The supplemental paid sick leave will remain in effect through September 30, 2022.

Up to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental sick leave will be available to state excluded employees who are unable to work or telework for the following reasons:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 as defined by an order or guidelines of the State Department of Public Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or a local health officer who has jurisdiction over the workplace; or
  2. The employee is advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to concerns related to COVID-19; or
  3. The employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster; or
  4. The employee is experiencing symptoms related to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or booster that prevent the employee from being able to work or telework; or
  5. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  6. The employee is caring for a family member as defined in the California Labor Code, section 245.5 subdivision (c), who is subject to an order or guidelines under number 1 or 2; or
  7. The employee is caring for a child as defined in the California Labor Code, section 245.5, subdivision (c), whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19.

Up to 40 separate hours are available if the employee is unable to work or telework under for the following reasons:

  • The employee tests positive for COVID-19 or a family member for whom the employee is providing care tests positive (Documentation of a positive COVID-19 test may be required to access the additional 40 hours), or
  • The employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster or caring for a family member having symptoms from a COVCID-19 vaccine or booster.

There are income limits of $511 per day and $5,110 on this supplemental leave.* Employees can request credit for sick leave taken retroactive to January 1, 2022. 

As CalHR and departments implement these provisions, ACSS will act to ensure the interests of excluded employees are protected.

If you have questions or need assistance with supplemental paid sick leave issues, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.

 

Update: CalHR has confirmed to ACSS that the income limits for the 2022 supplemental sick leave will not be applicable to state employees. (2/16/2022)


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ACSS Eliminates Salary Compaction in Three Classes by Urging CalHR to Increase Excluded Employee Salaries at CDPH

Posted: 11/23/2021 Tags: benefits compaction salary Tags Views: 1539

Because of a unique bargaining unit alignment, salaries for excluded employees in the Health Facilities Evaluator series at the California Department of Public Health were not keeping pace with their rank-and-file nursing subordinates. In response, ACSS made a salary proposal to CalHR to resolve the on-going salary compaction issues with the rank-and-file Health Facilities Evaluator Nurse classification.

ACSS met with CalHR several times to discuss the salary proposal and potential realignment from the current “S01” collective bargaining identifier for the excluded classifications in the series to the more appropriate nursing designation of “S17”.

On November 12, 2021, CalHR issued Pay Letter 21-29 which increases salaries retroactive to July 1, 2021 for the Heath Facilities Evaluator II (Supervisor), Health Facilities Evaluator Manager I, and Health Facilities Evaluator Manager II classifications. With these Special Salary Adjustments, the top step salary of each excluded employee classification in the series now has a separation of 5 percent over the subordinate class.

We are pleased CalHR took action to address this salary compaction. There is more work to do to correct other salary inequities for supervisors and managers. ACSS will continue to meet regularly with CalHR in connection with ACSS’ pending salary and benefit proposals to resolve salary compaction for ACSS members.


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CalPERS Member-At-Large Election Results – ACSS-Endorsed Candidates Win!

Posted: 10/1/2021 Tags: benefits election retirement Tags Views: 547

David Miller and Jose Luis Pacheco have been declared the unofficial election winners for the two Member-at-Large seats on the CalPERS Board of Administration. ACSS has continually supported these candidates and thanks ACSS members who voted in the CalPERS election in support of Miller and Pacheco.

Miller received 72.6% of the votes cast for Position A and Pacheco received 61.7% for Position B. The four-year term of office begins January 16, 2022, and concludes on January 15, 2026. The 13-member CalPERS Board sets policy for retirement and health benefits on behalf of California public employers, and their active and retired employees. The board also oversees asset allocation of the pension fund's investments.

We are pleased with these results and we are confident that these candidates will work hard to protect your rightful pension and retirement benefits in the future.


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Open Enrollment for Health, Dental and Vision Begins September 20, 2021

Posted: 9/17/2021 Tags: benefits health policy Tags Views: 1142

Open Enrollment for health, dental and vision coverage starts September 20 and ends October 15. This is your opportunity to evaluate your health care selections and make any changes to your health, dental or vision plans and add or drop dependents effective January 1, 2022.

Dental and vision premiums remain unchanged, but health premiums are increasing. Basic Health Maintenance Organization health plans will increase by an average of 4.69% while Basic Preferred Provider Organization plans will see an average increase of 8.67%. The good news is that these increased premiums are accompanied by a significant increase in the state employer contribution for excluded employees.

The 2022 employer contribution through the Consolidated Benefits (CoBen) allowance to be used for health, dental and vision benefits effective January 1, 2022 will increase by approximately 7 percent to $739 (Single)/$1428 (2-Party)/$1845 (Family). The 2022 excluded employee “Family” employer contribution is an increase of $122 per month over the 2021 amount. With the increased employer CoBen contribution, some excluded employees will actually see a decrease in the employee contribution for the 2022 calendar year, depending on their health plan enrollment.

The employer contribution is calculated based on the weighted average premium of the four largest enrolled health plans. The new 2022 CoBen amount for supervisors, managers, and confidential employees is $55 per month higher than the state employer contribution for most rank-and-file employees.

CalHR has updated the “Benefits Calculator” portion of the CalHR website for comparison of plan costs and calculating your exact out of pocket costs, or your CoBen cash back if your selections are lower than the CoBen Allowance. Visit the CalHR Benefits calculator and select “2022” and “Excluded Employee” before entering your options.

If you would like to explore different health plan options, CalPERS has a tool that allows you to search plan availability and premium rates based on your zip code. Visit the CalPERS website.

Be on the lookout for Open Enrollment forms from your department. If you are not making changes, no action is needed.


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Now that we Prevailed in the Recall, Vote in the CalPERS Election!

Posted: 9/16/2021 Tags: benefits election salary Tags Views: 421

Governor Newsom has prevailed against the recall efforts, and by a record margin. While a small number of ballots are still being tabulated, it was clear almost immediately after polls closed that the Californian voters overwhelmingly supported the Governor and soundly rejected the recall effort.

Pleased with the results, ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein said, “I want to thank all ACSS members who participated in the special election and supported Governor Newsom against the recall. Opposing the recall is an important step in keeping Californians safe against the spread of coronavirus and protecting the rights of workers. In continuing with protecting your overall benefits and retirement, don’t forget to participate in the ongoing CalPERS election.”

In the CalPERS Member-at-Large Election, ACSS supports candidates David Miller and Jose Luis Pacheco for Seat A and Seat B, respectively. ACSS believes these candidates will work hard to protect your pension and ensure you receive your rightful retirement benefits with security and dignity. We encourage you to participate in the CalPERS Member-at-Large election by turning in your ballot before September 27, 2021. To learn more about the CalPERS election, click here.


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Vote Now in the CalPERS Board of Administration Member-at-Large Election!

Posted: 8/31/2021 Tags: benefits election pension retirement Tags Views: 597

ACSS endorses David Miller and Jose Luis Pacheco for CalPERS Board Seat A and Seat B, respectively, in the 2021 CalPERS Board of Administration Member-at-Large Election.

David Miller, a leader in the California Association of Professional Scientists (CAPS –Bargaining Unit 10), promises to protect pensions, maximize investment returns, improve health care benefits, and restore integrity for the voice of all CalPERS members.

Jose Luis Pacheco has a long history of union member involvement and currently serves as Chapter President of CSEA Chapter 363 in San Jose. Pacheco strongly supports the labor movement, and wants to protect defined benefits and healthcare to allow state workers to retire with rightful security and dignity.

Voting is now open! Ballots for the Election were mailed to eligible voters on August 27, 2021, and will arrive in your mailbox in a blue envelope. Inside the blue envelope you will find three items:

  • Your Candidate Statement Voter Pamphlet – which provides information about the candidates and how to vote. The how-to-vote information is especially important if you haven’t tried the latest online and telephone voting options. These options allow you to cast your vote in seconds from anywhere.
  • Your ballot card – that includes a detachable paper ballot and unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you will need if you are voting online or by phone.
  • A return envelope – if you are voting by mail, use the detachable paper ballot in your blue envelope, place your completed ballot in the postage-paid return envelope, sign the perjury statement on the back of the return envelope, and drop it in the U.S. mail. All paper ballots must be received by September 27 to be counted.

The voting period is August 27 through September 27. Your vote must be received by mail, telephone, or online by 11:59 p.m. PST on September 27, or it won't be counted. If you mail your ballot, don’t forget to sign the ballot.

If you do not receive your ballot by September 3 or need a replacement ballot, please call 877-610-8637.

ACSS supports these candidates and we encourage you to cast your vote in the CalPERS Board of Administration Member-at-Large Election.


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Support Governor Newsom in the fight against the recall

Posted: 8/13/2021 Tags: benefits compaction election pension politics Tags Views: 662

ACSS supports Governor Newsom in the fight against the recall and we encourage a vote against it in the upcoming recall election. It is important for ACSS Members to take action this September to ensure that we retain a leader in office that will protect you and your best interests.

Governor Newsom supports ACSS in efforts to resolve compaction for excluded employees. He and his administration have consistently worked with ACSS to identify egregious salary disparities between supervisors over those they supervise and minimize pay inequity. Through quarterly meetings with CalHR, ACSS and the Newsom Administration have worked through these compaction issues on a case-by-case basis and attempted to resolve them for the benefit of members. If an exchange of power occurred where the current Administration staff became replaced, the gains we have made to reverse compaction may be lost or minimized.

In addition, Newsom and his administration have worked closely with ACSS to make vital gains in protecting and preserving pensions. If Newsom is recalled, your hard-earned pension may be threatened. Newsom has listened to ACSS on behalf of members and has worked diligently to ensure that State workers retain and receive their rightful pensions.

As the recall election approaches, expect to see more communications from ACSS regarding this issue. We stand by Governor Newsom and we strongly encourage ACSS members to do the same to ensure your rights, pension, and best interests are protected.


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CalHR Issues Pay Letters Ending the PLP 2020 Reduction and Implementing Salary Increases

Posted: 7/9/2021 Tags: benefits budget legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 2470

This week CalHR issued two pay letters impacting excluded employees. Pay Letter 21-18 ends the pay reductions (generally 9.23%) from the Personal Leave Program 2020. Pay Letter 21-19 increases salaries for most excluded employees through General Salary Increases and includes a number of Special Salary Adjustments. The State Controller’s Office is implementing these changes with the July 2021 pay period warrants.

All excluded employees are receiving the same General Salary Increases as related rank-and-file employees and from ACSS’ initial review, it appears all Special Salary Adjustments have been passed along to related supervisors and managers.

ACSS awaits a pay letter for the July 1, 2021 General Salary Increase (5.06%) and Special Salary Adjustments for S19 and M19 employees. ACSS will keep impacted employees apprised of the expected timing of these salary adjustments.

CalHR has informed ACSS that the resumption of the “OPEB/CERBT” employee contribution is now expected to also take effect with the July pay warrant. This employee contribution to prefund retiree health care benefits was suspended during the PLP 2020 pay reductions with the state picking up the employees’ portion. The employee contributions generally range from 2 percent to 4.6 percent of salary.

With salaries restored, ACSS now looks forward to working in earnest with CalHR and impacted departments to address a number of supervisory and managerial pay and classification issues.

Pay Letter 21-18 ending the PLP 2020 reductions can be read here.

The portions of Pay Letter 21-19 affecting excluded employees can be read here. (page 14 through 45.)

If you have questions about the salary increases or the prefunding of retiree healthcare, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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