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Supplemental Information on Prefunding Retirement and New Health Benefit Plans

Posted: 2/4/2015 Tags: benefits budget health insurance retirement Tags Views: 3445

Posted: 2/4/2015

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown made a speech revealing details of the 2015 budget. In this proposed budget, he mentioned two items that piqued the interest of state supervisors, managers and excluded employees: prefunding retirement and new health benefit plans. These proposals have the potential to impact state workers for decades to come. An article posted recently by the Sacramento Bee describes these plans in greater detail.

The proposed plan, effective Jan 1 2016, would mandate an unspecified cash contribution to offset retiree insurance benefits that employers and employees would split. Taxpayers would have to pitch in millions of dollars each year to prefund retirement benefits.

In addition, the bill would require CalPERS to offer a high-deductible health insurance plan plus a low-cost Medicare-supplement plan for retirees. Current retirees could see their insurance subsidy decline if a considerable amount of state workers opt for the high-deductible plan.

For detailed information on these bills, read the full text of the state budget bill proposals from the State Department of Finance.


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Notable Points From The Governor's State Budget Report

Posted: 1/13/2015 Tags: budget governor health jobs pension policy retirement salary Tags Views: 4082

Posted: 1/13/2015

On Friday 1/9/15, Governor Brown released his proposed 2015-2016 State Budget. Brown claims that the budget still remains “precariously balanced” and urges “financial restraint and prudence” in order to avoid another recession in the future. Here are the proposals that affect ACSS and ACSS members:

>> Read More...


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In Inaugural Speech, Governor Brown Proposes Pension Pre-funding

Posted: 1/6/2015 Tags: budget governor pension politics retirement Tags Views: 3032

Posted: 1/6/2015

As has been much reported, the Governor will propose that state employees begin pre-funding of state retiree healthcare in his budget to be released on Friday at 10 a.m. In his inaugural State of the State speech on January 5, 2015, he makes only a vague reference to the issue. The Governor mentions in his speech, “For the next effort, I intend to ask our state employees to help start pre-funding our retiree health obligations which are rising rapidly.” More details will be available on Friday, but we are told the issue will be subject to collective bargaining. Unfortunately this puts supervisors in a difficult position and potentially affects supervisors by having more money taken from paychecks to fund pensions. ACSS will be intervening on this process on behalf of its members.

ACSS will continue to inform you on progress with this issue and bring to light the news that is important to you as managers, supervisors and confidential state employees.


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Finance auditing vacant positions

Posted: 5/23/2014 Tags: budget Tags Views: 1895

Per a memo from CalHR, the Department of Finance will begin auditing departments to verify that they are in compliance with Government Code 12439, which states that:

"Under Government Code section 12439(a) 'any state position that is vacant for six consecutive monthly pay periods shall be abolished by the Controller.'"

The memo contains a list of resources for personnel and budget chiefs to review with their staff to ensure compliance.


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Gov. Brown calls for review of Rainy Day Fund

Posted: 4/16/2014 Tags: budget election governor legislature Tags Views: 2184

As part of his continuing commitment to pay down California's massive "Wall of Debt," Governor Brown convened a special session of the Legislature to address the state's Rainy Day Fund.

The governor is asking legislators to revise a ballot measure that would divert additional funding to the Rainy Day account and would increase restrictions on how the funding can be used. The measure would require the funds to predominantly be used for natural emergencies, such as wildfires. Brown is urging California's elected officials to consider the use of funds to used to respond to fiscal emergencies as well.


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Slideshow - Lobby Day 2014

Posted: 3/21/2014 Tags: budget governor Lobby Day salary Tags Views: 2787

ACSS' 14th annual Lobby Day was a great success.

With a record turnout, the stage was set to continue our goal of resolving salary compaction once and for all.

Thanks to the efforts of state supervisors, managers, and confidential employees just like you, our elected officials are finally addressing this inexcusable issue - our staff making more than us - that has plagued us for so long.

Thanks to your hard work - and the dillgence of ACSS leaders who have met and discussed the issue with Gov. Brown and his administration for the past few years - there is an historical line item in the governor's revised budget that attempts to resolve salary compaction for the first time.

ACSS' model of improving your career works because we give you the tools to get in front of your elected officials and hold them accountable.

Click the photo above to see a slideshow of the day's events, and mark your calendars for next year's annual lobbying event on March 11, 2015.


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ACSS talks compaction with Governor Brown

Posted: 3/20/2014 Tags: budget governor salary Tags Views: 2239

ACSS Vice President of Governmental Affairs Frank Ruffino sat down with Governor Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Brown to discuss salary compaction and the governor's future plans for California.

For the first time, the governor's budget includes earmarked funds - $98.6 million - to begin rectifying the long standing issue of salary compaction.

Ruffino called the historic funds "a positive first step" and called on Gov. Brown to continue his dedication to end the harmful practice of paying supervisors and managers less than their staff.

"I'm encouraged that you've started changing the culture in the Capitol toward supervisors and managers," said Ruffino.

"There's no rush, Governor," joked Ruffino, "we've only been dealing with this issue for about 14 years."


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LAO calls for greater compaction fix

Posted: 3/7/2014 Tags: budget governor legislature salary Tags Views: 2214

In its report on the Governor's proposed 2014-15 budget, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) calls on the Brown Administration to take additional action to resolve the salary compaction crisis plaguing state supervisors, managers, and confidential employees.

The report notes that there has not been a "consistent or coordinated process" to analyze the extent of the issue.

Furthermore, the LAO notes that though the proposed budget attempts to fix the problem for identified classifications the Administration "would need to review managerial and supervisorial classifications and propose pay increases for affected managerial state workers beyond what is proposed in the 2014-15 budget."

ACSS has been working extensively for the past few years with CalHR and the legislature to end salary compaction.

Senate Bill 216 - sponsored by ACSS - had unanimous support through the Senate in 2013 and is currently pending review by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Our bill would maintain the State's recommended 10% pay differential between supervisors and managers and their staff, and would establish a consistent process to analyze and identify current and emerging compaction issues.


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Sudden change in CalHR leadership

Posted: 2/27/2014 Tags: budget legislature salary Tags Views: 2933


Former CalHR Director Julie Chapman (left) and Acting CalHR Director Richard Gillihan

CalHR Director Julie Chapman will be retiring immediately, effective as of close of business Friday, Feb. 28th, as announced in a press release on Feb. 27th by CalGovOpps Secretary Marybel Batjer. Deputy Director Howard Schwartz will be stepping down as well.

Department of Finance Program Budget Manager Richard Gillihan will step in as acting director of CalHR. CalHR Labor Relations Assistant Deputy Director Pam Manwiller will act as interim deputy director.

As excluded employees rely on the Legislature and CalHR to set their compensation and working conditions, any time there is a shift in leadership we are presented with the potential for new gains and new losses.

ACSS will continue working with our existing and new contacts at CalHR to maintain and improve their response to excluded employee needs throughout this transition.


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Speaker unveils CalSTRS funding plan

Posted: 1/29/2014 Tags: budget governor pension Tags Views: 1828

Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) has unveiled a new plan to reinvigorate California's educator retirement program.

In his proposed budget, Gov. Brown estimated that CalSTRS falls some $80+ billion short of meeting its pension obligations, while Perez calculates the gap at roughly $71 billion.

Perez's plan would address the shortfall by increasing contribution rates to the pension system not only from public employees, but also from the state and school districts.


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