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ACSS President's Message on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted: 3/24/2020 Tags: COVID-19 Tags Views: 511

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: 985

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: 1462

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: 900

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: 713

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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CalHR Increases Commute Reimbursement for ALL Excluded Employees; ACSS Advocacy on Salaries Continues

Posted: 2/20/2020 Tags: benefits legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 1615

CalHR has announced the reimbursement amount for transit passes and vanpools will increase by $35 per month for all supervisors, managers, and confidential employees. Effective February 1, 2020, excluded employees will be eligible for 75% reimbursement for public transit passes, up to $100 per month. Vanpool riders will be reimbursed 75% of the monthly fee, up to $100 per month, and vanpool drivers will receive $135 per month.

When SEIU Local 1000 representing rank-and-file bargaining units negotiated an increase in commute reimbursement amounts, ACSS immediately proposed that CalHR extend the increases to all excluded employees. After several meetings with CalHR where this topic was discussed, we are pleased that CalHR has adopted ACSS’ proposal and extended the increased commute reimbursement amounts to all excluded employees, regardless of bargaining unit affiliation.

What’s Next for the Remainder of the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year?
CalHR is expected to implement adjustments to bilingual pay, recruitment & retention for the Correctional Case Records series, and an increase in the call center differential. ACSS has met with CalHR and requested these same increases for excluded employees. CalHR will soon implement salary adjustments for Bargaining Unit 18. ACSS has requested CalHR provide at least the same salary increases for supervisors, managers and confidential employees, in addition to correcting standing salary inequities and compaction issues.

What About July 1, 2020 Increases?
Sixteen of the state’s 21 bargaining units are scheduled for salary increases July 1, 2020. The other five will be in negotiations this spring to adjust salaries. In addition to continued advocacy with CalHR for salary increases and corrections to salary inequities, ACSS is working to ensure the state budget contains funding for salary and benefit increases for excluded employees. While the state budget remains subject to the May Revise and legislative approval, at this point we are optimistic that the budget will adequately fund general salary increases and many special salary adjustments for excluded employees.


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ACSS Board of Directors Met at Headquarters Building to Review Association Business

Posted: 1/29/2020 Tags: Tags Views: 1195

On January 18, 2020, ACSS held its first Board of Directors meeting for 2020 at the ACSS Headquarters Building in Sacramento. The first order of business was to fill a vacancy for Chapter 503 on the ACSS Board of Directors. ACSS President Jim Teahan nominated Maria Gutierrez to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors for Chapter 503 and the Board unanimously confirmed. In addition, other Chapter vacancies were filled and the new Officers recited the Oath of Office:

  • Doris Correa (Chapter 504 Secretary/Treasurer)
  • Richard Espinoza (Chapter 508 President)
  • Maria Gutierrez (Chapter 503 Board Member)
  • Barbara Krantz (Chapter 504 Board Member) also recited the Oath of Office. She was elected but absent at the previous board meeting.
  • John Pascal (Chapter 504 Vice President)

Pam Robison (former ACSS Secretary/Treasurer) attended as a special guest and ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein recognized her many years of service as a member and leader by presenting her with an honorary pen.

The Board of Directors reviewed and discussed recommendations from the Fiscal Committee, PAC/Legislative Committee, the President’s Forum, as well as other Association business. ACSS Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin discussed the recent release of the Newsom Administration’s 2020-21 State Budget.

ACSS Staff and the Board discussed the numerous wins and progress ACSS made during 2019 to improve salaries and working conditions of excluded employees. Some of those wins include productive and positive meetings with CalHR, amended pay letters and special salary increases for excluded employees. ACSS also achieved the long sought reclassification of Supervising Registered Nurses (Safety) at CCHCS, post and bid scheduling for Supervising Cooks of CDCR, and advanced the effort to obtain Safety Retirement for deserving excluded employees. In 2019, ACSS attorneys and labor relations representatives provided members with Direct Representation in 434 cases statewide. ACSS is next scheduled to meet with CalHR in early February to discuss ongoing outstanding issues related to excluded employee salaries and benefits as the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 State Budget is developed.

Click here to view photos of the Board Meeting.


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2020-21 State Budget: Governor Aims to Eliminate Debts, Pay Down Pension Liabilities and Grow Reserves

Posted: 1/24/2020 Tags: budget legislation policy politics salary Tags Views: 1513

On January 10, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2020-2021 State Budget that will fund the government for the 12-month period starting July 1, 2020.

Under the governor’s plan, state spending next year would total just over $222 billion, with $153 billion in general fund and $63.8 billion in special fund spending. Another $5.4 billion in state bond spending makes up the difference. This is about a 3.5% increase over current fiscal year spending.

In this Budget, as with last year’s, the majority of the surplus is devoted to one-time spending. This approach enables the state to make significant investments in critical areas without making commitments to ongoing spending in future years.

Here is the quick rundown on a few items that will specifically interest ACSS members:

State Employee Compensation
The budget proposal includes $1.5 billion ($654 million general fund) in new funding for increased employee compensation, higher health care costs for active state employees, and the state’s contribution to prefund retiree health care costs for active employees. The budget summary notes the Administration will begin negotiations with 7 of the state’s 21 bargaining units, whose contracts expire in late June or early July 2020.

Building Budget Resiliency and Paying Down Unfunded Retirement Liabilities
In addition to the state’s required contributions, the Budget proposes to accelerate the payment of the remaining $500 million currently scheduled over fiscal years 2020-21 through 2022-23 into a single payment in 2020-21.

State Health Care/Retiree Health Care
Through the collective bargaining process, the state’s 21 employee bargaining units and related supervisors and managers now prefund retiree health benefits. As a result, $2.6 billion is currently set aside in the prefunding trust fund to pay for future retiree health benefits. A small but important step in paying for what is an estimated $85.6 billion in unfunded health care liability.

State Employee Position Increases
The budget projects the hiring of an additional 3,187 state employee positions in 2020-21 for a total of 219,017.

The Governor’s complete budget summary and draft budget can be found here: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov

As the proposed state budget progresses, ACSS will continue to meet with CalHR to advocate for inclusion of funding for supervisory and managerial compensation salary increases. ACSS will also be meeting-and-conferring with the state over realignments impacting ACSS members including the workforce programs moving into the new Department of Better Jobs and Higher Wages and the Juvenile Justice reorganization into the new Department of Youth and Community Restoration.

As we delve into more of the proposed budget details, we will report on any new positions and increased funding proposals for departments outlined in the full budget or if there are other proposals that impact ACSS and its members. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Click here to read the full version of the ACSS State Budget Report as presented by our ACSS Legislative Advocate, Ted Toppin at the January 18th, 2020, ACSS Board Meeting.


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ACSS Lobby Day 2020 is coming up!

Posted: 1/22/2020 Tags: events Lobby Day Tags Views: 1141

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. If you are interested in attending Lobby Day, please email your Chapter President by January 27th, 2020. (Please note that your submission is a request for approval and is not guaranteed.)

Lobby Day will be held on Wednesday March 11th at the State Capitol. Click here to learn more about ACSS Lobby Day.


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Double-Check your Deductions to Make Sure You Are Not Overpaying for Benefits.

Posted: 12/16/2019 Tags: Tags Views: 1474

There have been a number of reports lately from ACSS members that they have been overpaying for benefits - sometimes for a number of years! This can end up costing you thousands of dollars if you don't catch it in time.

Any changes made during open enrollment should show on your December pay warrant (for health coverage changes effective January 1, 2020), so now is the time to check if you made any changes.

Even if you didn’t make any changes for the upcoming year, be sure that your current deductions are correct.

If you have a child who has aged out (over 26), you have gotten divorced, or had another change in status, please check your deductions and/or get confirmation from your personnel department that your deductions are up to date.

While we would hope that these reported changes would be processed in a timely manner, we have had multiple reports of our members who:

  1. fill out new forms declaring the changes and the forms are not processed properly,
  2. assume (properly) that their aged out children will be automatically un-enrolled, or
  3. forget to fill out the forms and/or provide the proper documentation.


How do I know if I am being charged the right amount?

The employer “CoBen” contribution may be used to help you determine your enrollment as either a single party, two party, or family (three or more). The employer contribution shows on your pay warrant under the listing of “*BENEFITAMT”.

For 2019 the employer contributions for excluded employees are 1 Party $668/2 Party $1293/Family $1673.

For 2020 the employer contributions for excluded employees will be 1 Party $695/2 Party $1347/Family $1741.

Once you have double checked your deductions, if you have any discrepancies, please immediately reach out to your ACSS Labor Relations Representative and we can walk you through the process to seek reimbursement.

Even if your department or CalPERS made an error, you are typically only entitled to reimbursement for 6 months of premiums - acting quickly is key or you could be out thousands of dollars.


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