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NEWS

May Revision of the 2021 – 2022 State Budget: End of Pay Reductions and Deferrals

Posted: 5/14/2021 Tags: budget legislation legislature policy salary Tags Views: 3511

Governor Newsom released his May Revise of the state budget on May 14, 2021. The budget includes a projected $75.7 billion surplus. The historic $267.8 billion budget ($196.8 billion general fund) includes $24.4 billion in reserves, with $15.9 billion in the state’s rainy day fund.

In his budget summary, the Governor notes that last year state employees “stepped up at a time of uncertainty” by deferring scheduled pay increases and pay reductions through the Personal Leave Program. Although the Governor notes long-term financial risk remains high, the higher-than-anticipated tax revenue and additional federal funds have drastically improved the near-term picture. With that backdrop, the budget proposal contains a few highlights of importance to ACSS members:

  • Instructs CalHR to discuss the end of the Personal Leave Program 2020 program AND an end to deferring scheduled pay increases
  • Includes a $1.5 billion additional one-time supplemental payment to CalPERS for state plans (to pay down liabilities and save state employer pension costs)
  • Includes a one-time $616 million payment to keep on pace to pre-fund retiree health benefits (which makes up for the employee contribution which was suspended this fiscal year to mitigate the PLP pay reduction )

The updated budget proposal kicks off legislative deliberation over the budget plan with a June 15 deadline for the legislature to send a budget to the Governor. It also kicks off discussions and collective bargaining with CalHR over ending the PLP 2020 program and ending the deferral of salary increases which many ACSS members were slated to receive July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021.

ACSS will continue our discussions over the next few weeks with CalHR over excluded employee pay increases and will use the opportunity created by the budget surplus to address long-standing pay and benefit issues. We will keep you apprised as the excluded pay plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 comes into focus.

The Governor’s complete budget summary can be found here:

Budget Summary (ca.gov)


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Support CalPERS Candidate David Miller for Board of Administration, At Large Seat A

Posted: 5/5/2021 Tags: election Tags Views: 877

CalPERS candidates endorsed by the ACSS Board are running for statewide seats, voted on by state managers and supervisors as well as retired state and public employees. For the CalPERS 2021 Election, ACSS has endorsed David Miller for CalPERS Board of Administration, At Large Seat A. ACSS endorsed David Miller during the previous election for his current position on the CalPERS Board. David continues to protect pensions, improve health benefits and provide transparency on behalf of CalPERS members.

ACSS is asking your help in gathering petition signatures for Candidate Miller. To support David Miller, please follow these steps:

  1. Click here to download the form
  2. Print the form
  3. Fill out the form and sign it
  4. Scan the signed form

Due to the short timeline for to return petition signatures, we recommend that you return the scanned signed petition directly to ACSS in one of two ways:

  • Email the scanned signed petition to ACSS at acss@ACSS.org
  • Fax it to (916) 326-4364

If you choose to use return the signed petition via first class paper mail, the letter needs to be received by CalPERS no later than 5:00PM on May 13th, 2021.

If you have any questions, please contact ACSS at acss@ACSS.org or call (916) 326-4257.


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ACSS Board of Directors Discusses Political Endorsements, Chapter Meetings, and Elections

Posted: 5/4/2021 Tags: chapters election events legislation PAC Tags Views: 744

In the past few weeks, the ACSS Board of Directors has met on two occasions to discuss important Association business. On one occasion, the Board met for a special session to quickly and decisively vote to support Governor Gavin Newsom in his efforts to fight the recall. ACSS’ contributions were noted in Politico’s news article, posted April 29, 2021. Most recently on May 1, the Board held a regular meeting and made further political endorsements:

Legislative

  • Dr. Angelov (Angelo) Farooq (SD 31, 2024) – Dr. Farooq is currently a member of the Board of Education for Riverside Unified School District. He is also the Chairman of the California Workforce Development Board, appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom. In addition, he serves at a high level on several councils that focus on education, economic development, women’s health, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

CalPERS 2021 Election

  • David Miller (Board of Administration, At Large Seat A) – ACSS endorsed David Miller during the previous election for his current position on the CalPERS Board. David Miller continues to protect pensions, improve health benefits and provide transparency on behalf of CalPERS members.
  • Jose Luis Pacheco (Board of Administration, At Large Seat B) – Mr. Pacheco has a strong background in labor and is a current member of the South Bay Labor Council in San Jose. He also serves on councils that support credit unions, breast cancer, and Latino issues. He promises to protect pensions, improve healthcare programs, and act as the voice that represents CalPERS members.

The CalPERS candidates endorsed by the ACSS Board are running for statewide seats voted on by current state employees including state managers and supervisors as well as retired state and public employees.

The ACSS Board of Directors also discussed the return of Chapter meetings via virtual format as well as future in-person meetings. We are in the process of training and preparation for holding Chapter meetings again and we look forward to providing members with a virtual outlet to discuss ACSS activities, updates, and topics that are important to excluded employees.

As you may already be aware, ACSS Elections for Chapter Offices and Delegates are now open until May 21, 2021. Please remember to visit the ACSS Election Portal and cast your vote for local leaders to represent your voice. Delegate Assembly 2021 is slated for October 8-10 at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento.


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Elections are Now OPEN! Cast Your Vote for Your Chapter's Next Leaders.

Posted: 4/23/2021 Tags: chapters election events Tags Views: 728

ACSS Elections opened on April 20, 2021. As a member of ACSS, your vote is important. Your vote matters because you choose the Chapter Officers and Delegates that you feel will best represent excluded employees in your area. Those leaders will attend Delegate Assembly and get involved with ACSS at higher levels to bring news to you, represent you, and to push for change on your behalf.

Get to know your Candidates
Visit the ACSS Elections Portal to see a list of candidates running for leadership positions within your Chapter. Familiarize yourself with the candidates and read their profiles before you cast your vote online.

Securely Cast Your Vote Online
For online voting, ACSS is using secure software called Survey and Ballot Systems (SBS). By this time, you should have received a letter mailed to your home address. The letter contains a link and login information for you to cast your vote electronically. You may only vote once. The system has security measurements in place to ensure fairness and accuracy of all votes cast. You should have also received an email with the same login information. If you do not receive a letter or email with your unique voting information by April 27th, please contact ACSS via email at acss@ACSS.org. Online voting ends on May 21st, 2021.

Get involved and cast your vote for your Chapter’s next leaders!

(Not sure which Chapter you belong to? Click here to find your ACSS Chapter.)


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Leave Buy-Back Program Authorized for Excluded Employees

Posted: 4/20/2021 Tags: benefits legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 2215

CalHR and the Department of Finance have authorized the Excluded Employee Leave Buy-Back Program for 2020-2021. 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). 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, 2021, your department should notify you whether the department has funds to participate and how much leave (up to 80 hours) 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, 2021.

Authorization of the leave buy-back program is welcome news and reflective of the vastly improved state budget situation over last year’s pandemic related budget predictions. 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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ACSS Election Voting Opens on April 20, 2021. View Your Chapter's Candidates!

Posted: 4/12/2021 Tags: chapters election events Tags Views: 595

Visit the ACSS Elections Portal for new and updated content! We have added a section dedicated to each Chapter's individual elections. Within the portal, click on your Chapter to see a list of candidates running for leadership positions. Familiarize yourself with the candidates and read their profiles before online voting opens on April 20, 2021!

Voting will occur online with secure software called Survey and Ballot Systems (SBS). You will receive a letter mailed to your home address on or before April 20, 2021. The letter contains a link and login information for you to cast your vote electronically. You may only vote once. The system has security measurements in place to ensure fairness and accuracy of all votes cast. You will also receive an email with the same login information. If you do not receive a letter or email with your unique voting information by April 27th, please contact ACSS via email at acss@ACSS.org. Online voting ends on May 21st, 2021.

(Not sure which Chapter you belong to? Click here to find your ACSS Chapter.)


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CalHR Issues Telework Update to State Agencies

Posted: 4/7/2021 Tags: COVID-19 legislation policy representation Tags Views: 2295

On April 6, 2021 California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Director Eraina Ortega provided a telework update to state departments. Director Ortgea confirmed the Administration’s direction is to continue keeping eligible employees on telework schedules and that the emergency telework policy remains in effect. Within that framework, each department is directed to assess the appropriate level of telework that it will maintain, based on operational needs and employee safety.

Director Ortega’s message noted the Administration continues to support telework as a long-term strategy to decrease office space, allow flexibility for employees, and provide resiliency in the case of future emergencies. Departments are encouraged to think about work culture for the near future including hybrid workplaces, hoteling strategies, and ways to improve communications and collaboration. Departments are also encouraged to get feedback from employees on their telework experiences to help make decisions going forward.

Telework remains a prominent topic of decisions in ACSS’ meetings with CalHR. Director Ortega has informed ACSS that CalHR plans to introduce more telework training in the near future for supervisors and managers.

The state is continuing their effort to update the statewide Telework Policy. It is anticipated that once the statewide policy is finalized, that individual departments will adopt their own telework policies. ACSS has been involved with CalHR throughout discussions in regards to this topic. ACSS will continue to meet with the state over proposed departmental telework policies to protect the interests of excluded employees.

If you have questions about telework, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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CalHR Implements COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for 2021

Posted: 4/2/2021 Tags: benefits COVID-19 policy Tags Views: 1215

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) has issued a policy implementing Senate Bill 95 which provides up to 80 hours of COVID-19 related supplemental paid sick leave to all employees retroactive to January 1, 2021. This supplemental sick leave (SB 95 SPSL) is available to employees who are unable to work or telework for any of 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
  4. The employee is experiencing symptoms related to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine 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 or otherwise unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

Departments cannot require an employee to use other leave before SB 95 SPSL. If the request is retroactive, an amended timesheet will be required. Substantiation is required for school or child care closures. Departments are expected to issue directions to document SB 95 SPSL as “ATO” on timesheets.

The supplemental leave expires September 30, 2021, except that a covered employee taking SB 95 SPSL at the time of expiration can take the full amount to which they would be entitled.

If you have questions or need assistance with SB 95 SPSL issues, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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Ongoing ACSS Meetings with CalHR Result in Gains, Progress, and Benefits for Members

Posted: 3/26/2021 Tags: benefits compaction COVID-19 legislation policy salary Tags Views: 2816

Throughout the pandemic, ACSS has been meeting regularly with CalHR on a quarterly basis and more frequently, as needed. ACSS has been at the forefront of action, working closely with CalHR and the Newsom Administration by providing proposals on behalf of ACSS Members prior to the rank-and-file bargaining talks leading to the personal leave program and preceding the negotiation of new labor contracts. ACSS has a proven success record and we continue to make progress advocating on behalf of Members during these trying and unprecedented times.

On March 16 and 19, 2021, ACSS met with CalHR Chief of Labor Relations Paul Starkey to continue discussing salary and benefit issues for the State’s excluded employees. These ongoing meetings were agreed to as part of Mr. Starkey and CalHR Director Eraina Ortega’s commitment to ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein to address long-standing salary inequities and other issues affecting supervisory and managerial employees.

Some highlights from the meeting include:

  • CalHR has agreed to adjust salaries for certain supervising Administrative Law Judges retroactive to March 4, 2021. ACSS advocated for these salary adjustments to correct salary compaction with rank-and-file ALJs.
  • CalHR and the California Department of Public Health are reviewing ACSS’ request to realign the excluded employee Health Facilities Evaluator classifications bargaining unit affiliation to reflect the nursing status of all incumbents and to address related salary equity issues.
  • Salaries for the Food Services Supervisor classification will be reviewed to determine whether raises in July 2020 for subordinates created compaction that should be remedied through salary increases for supervisors.
  • CalHR and ACSS reviewed the status of pending ACSS’ proposals for various pay adjustments to correct salary inequities, create a new Peace Officer III classification at the Department of Developmental Services, and to provide state safety retirement for employees in the Nursing Consultant Program Review classification. CalHR’s review of these proposals continues.

ACSS strongly advocated for supervisory and managerial employees to be included among those provided “premium pay” as essential employees in responding to COVID-19. The $1.9 trillion federal American Rescue Plan Act relief package contains funding which may be used to provide “premium pay” to essential employees, not to exceed $13 per hour or $25,000 per worker. The Governor has wide discretion to provide this additional pay to workers he deems eligible. The Administration has indicated it will begin the process of determining eligibility with the “May Revise” to the proposed state budget. ACSS urged CalHR to provide the state supervisors and managers who have maintained the continuity of essential services during the pandemic with this additional pay. ACSS continues to engage in discussions with CalHR on this topic and advocate on behalf of members.

With the state budget situation vastly improved over the projections at the beginning of the pandemic, ACSS and CalHR discussed the likely end of the Personal Leave Program 2020. CalHR will be at the bargaining table with rank-and-file organizations to discuss the possible end of the PLP 2020 program and to negotiate new labor contracts with two bargaining units. Prior to those negotiations, ACSS will provide proposals for related excluded employees, as has been done before each round of bargaining during the Newsom Administration.

ACSS will continue to meet with CalHR on these issues and advocate for excluded employees interests as the state budget process continues.


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CSEA Scholarship Foundation - Application Deadline is April 13!

Posted: 3/4/2021 Tags: benefits Tags Views: 1101

CSEA Scholarship Foundation 

Application Deadline is April 13, 2021!

The California State Employees Association Foundation (CSEAF) is a non-profit, charitable corporation created to fund Scholarships and Disaster Grants to CSEA affiliate members, dependents, spouses and grandchildren (ACSS, CSR, CSUEU, SEIU Local 1000 and UAW Local 2350).

Applications and all supporting materials must be postmarked no later than April 13, 2021.

Click here to learn more and to download the Application!


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