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Department of Finance Implements Cost Savings Measures – Leave Buy Back Cancelled

Posted: 5/1/2020 Tags: COVID-19 legislation policy Tags Views: 891

In response to decreased state revenue and increased costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Finance issued a Budget Letter on April 30, 2020 calling for current fiscal year expenditure reductions. Effective immediately, the Budget Letter requires state agencies and departments to take the following actions:

  • Leave Buy-Back — Cancellation of the annual leave buy back of accumulated vacation or annual leave in 2019-20
  • New Goods and Services Contracts — Bans purchases or service contracts unless they directly support teleworking strategies or respond to COVID-19 (including PPE and hand sanitizer), or meet other time-sensitive critical needs
  • Travel — Continues the non-essential travel ban for in state and out-of-state travel
  • Hiring — Advises departments to use discretion when filling vacancies to maintain flexibility in an environment of severely constrained resources

We know many ACSS members count on leave-cash out to reduce leave balances below the cap and provide additional income. While it is extremely disappointing the program will not be offered this year, especially for those working long hours responding to the pandemic, the Administration has complete discretion in authorizing the program on an annual basis.

In mid-May, the Governor will unveil his “May Revise” to the proposed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020. While the Governor has already indicated the revision to the budget will not match the blueprint he laid out in January, it will be the first glimpse at how the Governor intends to address declining state revenues and unanticipated costs.

With state tax filings and revenues delayed through July 15, significant financial uncertainty will remain. Even though a state budget will be adopted prior to the July 1 start of the fiscal year, the Governor and Legislature are likely to continue state budget deliberations and actions beyond this date.

Through all of these state budget deliberations, ACSS will continue to advocate for equitable salaries and benefits for excluded employees with CalHR and to lobby the Legislature to protect your employment interests.


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CalTrans Provides Reimbursement for Face Masks

Posted: 4/16/2020 Tags: COVID-19 policy Tags Views: 457

The Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has notified the Association of California State Supervisors (ACSS) that it is issuing a new policy, (Face Covering Compensation, TIP 20-05) that will allow excluded employees deemed essential to receive reimbursement for the purchase of a cloth based face-coverings.

This is a one-time reimbursement reimbursable through a Travel Expense Claim (TEC) form FA-0302. Reimbursements for amounts of $5.00 or less do not require a receipt. For claims greater than $5.00 a receipt will be required. A maximum reimbursement amount has been set at $10.00.

If you have any questions or concerns with regards to this policy please reach out to ACSS Member Outreach Coordinator Charlotte Hoar at choar@acss.org.


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CalHR Revises State Policy to Exempt Health Care Providers and Emergency Responders from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Posted: 4/13/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 1631

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has revised the state policy implementing the federal government’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The federal act allows exemptions for broadly defined categories of health care providers and emergency responders.

Although the initial policy issued by CalHR on April 1, 2020 did not exempt any state employees, the revised policy announced on April 11 provides that because health care providers and emergency responders are critical to the operations of state departments, the state will exempt certain classifications of employees from being eligible for the federal act’s additional emergency sick leave and family care leave provisions.

The state will allow exemptions of employees in classifications meeting the federal Department of Labor definitions which include, among others, health care providers and those needed to provide comfort and nutrition of patients, law enforcement, firefighters, correctional institution personnel, emergency management personnel, child welfare workers, and public works personnel.

State departments with employees meeting the federal definitions are to send their exemptions to CalHR. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of State Hospitals, Department of Parks and Recreation and California Highway Patrol have already sent hundreds of classifications to CalHR. More exemption requests from other state departments are expected as this policy is implemented. CalHR will maintain a list of classifications exempted from the additional emergency sick leave and family care leave on the CalHR website.

While it is not surprising that the state has modified the policy to reflect the crucial role of these state employees in providing the state’s pandemic response, this front line role deserves to be recognized equitably through additional compensation or time off when the situation allows. ACSS will request CalHR provide additional compensation or time off.

As the CalHR memo states, although not eligible for the additional Covid-19 related emergency sick leave or family leave, employees may still be eligible for ATO or other leave under CalHR’s previous guidance.

Click here to review the revised CalHR Families First Coronavirus Response Act Policy.

Click here to go directly to the CalHR list of classifications exempted from the FFCRA by Department.


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CalHR Implements the “Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act” Emergency Sick Leave and FMLA Provisions

Posted: 4/1/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 2406

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has issued a policy implementing the federal government’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The policy reflects an employee’s right to up to 80 hours of additional emergency sick leave related to COVID-19 and up to 12 weeks of leave to provide care for a child whose school or daycare is closed because of COVID-19.

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is effective April 1, 2020 and provides up to two weeks of emergency paid sick leave to be used under certain criteria including being subject to a quarantine or isolation order, advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, having symptoms and seeking a COVID-19 diagnosis, caring for another who is quarantined, or caring for a child whose school or daycare is closed. CalHR has confirmed to ACSS that this emergency sick leave is in addition to an employee’s regular sick leave or annual leave balance.

Also effective April 1, 2020, the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act allows up to 12 workweeks of leave to provide care for a child whose school or daycare is closed because of COVID-19. The first two weeks are unpaid (although the sick leave mentioned above may be used for this time). Weeks 3 through 12 are paid at 2/3 of salary, up to $200 per day, which may be supplemented with leave credits.

Agencies and Departments are expected to release this information and specific instructions on requesting and using these new leave provisions.

Click here to download the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (2127) Section on the CalHR website.

Click here to download CalHR’s April 6, 2020 FAQs – Families First Coronavirus Act.


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Governor Newsom Issues Executive Order Extending Certain Deadlines to Mitigate COVID-19

Posted: 3/31/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 733

Late on March 30, 2020, Governor Newsom issued an emergency Executive Order waiving strict compliance with 21 various statutory or regulatory deadlines on the basis that complying with those deadlines would prevent mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included among the actions is a 60 day extension of the training deadlines for state managers, supervisors and CEAs found at Government Code section 19995.4. The order also extends state agency rulemaking deadlines and certain provisions related to state employee discipline and appeals from discipline. The Executive Order allows the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs to temporarily waive many continuing education requirements and regulations.

The Executive Order delays the move of the Division of Juvenile Justice from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the Health and Human Services Agency for one year. The move and establishment of the new Department of Youth and Community Restoration is now scheduled for July 1, 2021.

ACSS will continue to keep you apprised of impacts to your working conditions and will meet with CalHR and departments as necessary to protect your employment interests.

Click here to download Executive Order N-40-20.


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ACSS President's Message on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted: 3/24/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 453

ACSS Members,

As the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to worsen, I wanted to share with you how we at the Association of California State Supervisors (“ACSS”) have initially addressed the situation in an effort to continue to aggressively represent the supervisors and managers of the State of California. You are the vital infrastructure of the State and will play a large roll in the solutions that will help all of us get through this crisis.

ACSS senior Staff and I have taken part in several conference calls with the Governors Office and continue to work with the administration toward effective and safe solutions. ACSS Executive Director, Rocco Paternoster has also had discussions with the Attorney General, Xavier Becerra and The heads of CalHR and other Department heads related to how Covid-19 is impacting the vital services of the state and the hard work of our ACSS members and other State Employees.

We are optimistic that we can maintain member services for all ACSS members and continue to advise and represent ACSS members daily.

While your local HR department is the recommended source for all information related to your job and any changes your department may implement, we want you to know that ACSS remains available for consultation to our members. We are making every effort to keep our membership informed on any updates or changes to policy or directives from the State. ACSS has increased our electronic communications and are keeping our website updated with the latest information on the State’s response to this pandemic. We are also providing links to information issued by the State.

While we know that ACSS Members are the resilient leaders that keep the State going during times of crisis, I wanted to send my personal appreciation for what you are doing during these times. Working together we will all get through this.

Sincerely,
Todd D'Braunstein
ACSS President


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CalHR Issues COVID-19 Guidance to State Departments and Employees

Posted: 3/18/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 935

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, CalHR issued updated guidance and direction regarding state workers on March 18, 2020. While you will also likely hear about these directions in the media, we encourage you to be on the lookout for specific direction from your employer. Please know that ACSS is actively involved in discussions with decision makers and departments to protect your interests as the state’s response to the pandemic evolves.

CalHR has directed that departments establish a staff management plan that allows effective social distancing for those in the office and takes into consideration stay-at-home directives from state and local public health departments.

Departments must determine which critical employees cannot telework and establish a telework schedule for all other employees eligible to telework. If job duties are not critical and not viable for telework, employees may be redirected. As a last resort, if not eligible for telework or redirection, Administrative Time Off will be provided (regardless of leave balances).

ACSS will continue to represent members collectively and individually as needed relative to any COVID-19 related impact on ACSS members’ jobs. If you need assistance after obtaining information or direction from your HR office or manager, please reach out to your ACSS Labor Representative.

As this situation remains fluid, ACSS will continue to provide relevant updates.

Click here to download CalHR Guidance to State Departments.

Click here to download a letter from CalHR Director Eraina Ortega to State Workers in regards to COVID-19.


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CalHR to Announce Additional COVID-19 Guidance on Tuesday, March 17

Posted: 3/16/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 1385

As state government continues to respond to the spread of a respiratory illness cause by the coronavirus (COVID-19), ACSS continues to closely monitor the impacts on members and is working with the administration, CalHR, and departments to ensure you are updated in a timely manner.

On Sunday, March 15, Governor Newsom announced additional measures designed to mitigate the spread of the virus including calling for isolation of seniors and encouraging all “non-essential” business such as bars, nightclubs and wineries to be closed. During this press conference, the Governor announced that on Tuesday, March 17, CalHR will issue further guidance to state workers regarding telework and “essential” versus “non-essential” positions.

Departments are also making announcements with office closures for “deep cleaning” and in response to employees testing positive for COVID-19.

Department HR offices are providing guidance to employees concerning eligibility for leave related to illness or the need to care for others, including in connection with school closures.

As information and guidance impacting state government evolves, ACSS will continue to provide updates.


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Interim Guidance on Coronavirus COVID-19 for All State Employees

Posted: 3/12/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 838

In light of the rapidly evolving information on Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are sharing the Interim Guidance on Coronavirus as provided by CalHR. ACSS is closely monitoring this developing situation and will provide additional updates as needed.  Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter. 

"The State of California is acting quickly to protect public health and safety as we respond to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The state is mobilizing every level of government to prepare for and respond to spread of the virus. Our department will follow all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health departments to ensure the safety of our employees as the situation evolves. We will be sending out additional communications regarding meetings and other operational issues as we receive guidance from the administration. ..."

The document goes on to further explain:

  • What you should do
  • What you should know

Click here to download the full version of the Interim Guidance on Coronavirus Document from CalHR. 


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Every Vote Counts! California's Presidential Primary Election Day is Approaching…

Posted: 2/24/2020 Tags: election Tags Views: 626

California’s Presidential Primary Election is coming up soon. Don’t forget to vote on or before Tuesday March 3rd. Every vote counts!

Vote By Mail
Early voting in the Primary Election has begun. Your ballot should have arrived in your mailbox already. Make sure you fill out your ballot completely and mail it in or drop it off at a designated ballot drop off location on or before March 3rd.

Candidate Endorsements and the PAC
ACSS has done a thorough job researching, interviewing and supporting legislative candidates that are best-suited to benefit Excluded Employees. ACSS-Endorsed candidates can be found on our ACSS Political Program Candidate Endorsement page. If you would like to help candidates in your area, we have provided their contact website to make it easy for you. In addition, donating to the ACSS Political Action Committee (PAC) helps ensure that the right legislators are in office to support the issues that matter to you most, like:

  • Salary compaction
  • Pension protection
  • Fair working conditions for supervisors, managers, and excluded State employees

Your Vote Matters!
As we have seen over the years, elections are won or lost with just a few votes, so every single vote matters in this election. Also, you can take a look at the California Voter Guide for information on the propositions. YOUR VOTE MATTERS!


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