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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: 1539

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: 3144

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: 1345

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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COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for Eligible State Employee Job Classifications

Posted: 3/1/2021 Tags: COVID-19 policy Tags Views: 1893

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and the Government Operations Agency are launching a pilot program of COVID-19 vaccine clinics for eligible state employees to supplement existing vaccine providers across the state. For the pilot, eligible employees are those in Phase 1B, Tier 1 job categories as outlined by the California Department of Public Health, including emergency services, food and agriculture, and education and child care.

Accessing the vaccine through these clinics is completely voluntary. Eligible employees will be given state time (ATO) to participate. Eligible employees will receive an email from their department with the date, time and location of the vaccine clinic in their county. The email will include a link to the enrollment page for the company, Color, which is administering the vaccines at the site.

The first clinic will be held March 4 and 5 in Fresno County. Impacted departments include the California Highway Patrol, CAL FIRE, CalOES, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Military, Department of Justice, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Fish & Wildlife, Caltrans, Department of Rehabilitation, and Department of Education.

Vaccine availability will determine when and where future state employee clinics are made available.


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CalPERS Member Education Webinar - Understanding Your Retirement Benefit Options

Posted: 2/3/2021 Tags: benefits retirement Tags Views: 1516

CalPERS Member Education Webinar
Understanding Your Retirement Benefit Options

The retirement payment option you choose is one of the most important decisions you'll make when you retire. We encourage you to join CalPERS for this informative webinar to learn about the different payment options available to you and your beneficiaries.

Date: February 10, 2021
Place: Online
Time: 11:00-11:30 a.m.
Registration: Free

To register, select the Calendar link on CalPERS Member Education page.


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Nominations are Closing Soon! This may be your last chance to join the leadership of ACSS!

Posted: 1/28/2021 Tags: election Tags Views: 916

Nominating yourself for a Chapter Position or as a Delegate is a great way to collaborate with fellow excluded employees and become a part of positive change.

Thank you to those who have already submitted nominations! We are coming down to the final days of the Open Nomination period. This may be your last opportunity to become an ACSS leader!

There are many opportunities still open for the following Chapter Officer positions:

  • Chapter Vice President – The Vice President has the important task of assuming the responsibilities of the President when the President is unable to do so. The Vice President helps manage the business affairs of the Chapters alongside the President and assists the President with Chapter duties.

  • Chapter Secretary/Treasurer – The Secretary/Treasurer keeps meeting minutes, membership records and other important Chapter documents. The Secretary/Treasurer also maintains correspondence of the Chapter and maintains the Chapter Bylaws.

The time requirement for these positions above and beyond your current employment is minimal and ACSS will train you along the way to ensure success.

There are many opportunities still open in the following California Counties:

  • Chapter 507 – Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz
  • Chapter 509 – Fresno, Kern, King, Madera, Tulare
  • Chapter 512 – San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura

If you reside in one of the counties listed above, we urge you to step up and help represent your area! Nominate yourself as a Chapter officer or Delegate NOW!

Attendance at the Delegate Assembly event in Sacramento is mandatory. Please stay tuned for updated dates of Delegate Assembly in Fall 2021*.

Your vote and your voice matters. Getting involved with ACSS Leadership can help you develop leadership skills, allows a safe place for ideas to be heard and lets you experience valuable networking opportunities. Once you have familiarized yourself with the process of ACSS Leadership, many opportunities for advancement can open up for you!

Nominate yourself TODAY!

Open Nominations Close on February 1st!

 

Not sure which Chapter you belong to? Click here to find your Chapter.
Click here to learn more about the ACSS Elections Process.
Click here to view photos of the most recent Delegate Assembly in 2018
.
Questions? Contact acss@ACSS.org or your Chapter President.

*Due to Covid-19, Delegate Assembly (originally planned for July 16 – 18 of 2021) has been rescheduled to Fall 2021. Actual dates have not been secured yet. ACSS will announce the new dates for Delegate Assembly soon.


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2021-22 Proposed State Budget: Governor Suggests a Possible End to the Personal Leave Program Effective July 1, 2021

Posted: 1/8/2021 Tags: budget legislation policy politics salary Tags Views: 4161

On January 8, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2021-2022 State Budget that will fund the government for the 12-month period starting July 1, 2021. This kicks off the nearly six-month process for the Legislature and Governor to negotiate and adopt a state budget.

The state spending proposal for next fiscal year would total just over $227 billion, with $164.5 billion in general fund expenditures. Regarding state employee compensation, the Governor’s budget proposal summary states:

“Although fiscal risk remains high, the revenue picture has improved. Given the updated revenue projections and the scope of the Budget, employee compensation reductions may not be necessary during the 2021-22 fiscal year.”

Director of Finance Keely Bosler stated the Administration hopes to be able to restore state employee salaries and will look at the budget picture again with the May Revision to the proposed state budget and make a determination at that time. With an improved state budget outlook and the Governor’s proposal, ACSS will advocate for the end of the PLP 2020 program for excluded employees effective July 1, 2021.

If adopted in the final state budget and implemented by CalHR, the end of the PLP 2020 program would mean that beginning July 1, 2021, excluded employees would no longer have a salary reduction of 9.23% and would no longer receive the 16 hours of “PLP 2020” leave credits. The Governor’s budget summary states that CalHR anticipates collective bargaining with rank-and-file organizations to modify the PLP 2020 program for rank-and-file employees.

In addition to the possible end of the PLP 2020, here is a quick rundown on a few items of interest to ACSS members:

  • $42.1 million in new funding for higher health care and dental costs for active state employees
  • An additional $616 million in one-time funding to prefund retiree healthcare (this makes up for the employee contribution being suspended for the current fiscal year and keeps the target date to eliminate retiree health care liabilities at 2046)
  • In addition to the $5.5 billion state employer contribution to CalPERS for state pension costs, an additional $1.5 billion supplemental pay down of retirement liabilities at CalPERS (with an additional $4.1 billion of supplemental payments proposed over the next three years to total an additional $5.6 billion)
  • $15.6 billion in the Rainy Day Fund and $2.9 billion in operating reserves
  • A permanent 5% reduction in state operating efficiencies (including reduced office and lease space)

As the proposed state budget progresses, ACSS will continue to meet with CalHR to advocate for supervisory and managerial employees. 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.

Read the complete ACSS State Budget Report from Legislative Advocate Ted Toppin at Blanning and Baker, Updated 1/15/2021

The Governor’s complete budget summary can be found here: Budget Summary (CA.gov)
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ACSS Needs You! Nominate Yourself as a Delegate or Chapter Officer.

Posted: 1/7/2021 Tags: election Tags Views: 1098

Now is the time to act and become a more important part of ACSS leadership! Nominating yourself for a Chapter Position or as a Delegate is a great way to get involved and become a part of positive change.

ACSS needs nominations to fill the following positions:

  • Chapter President
  • Chapter Vice President
  • Chapter Secretary/Treasurer
  • Delegates
  • If you have never been involved with the leadership of an association, a great place to start is to become a Delegate. Delegates have the unique experience to attend and participate in all the events and opportunities at Delegate Assembly.

    Your vote and your voice matters! Many Delegates go on to become even more involved with the organization and with their own Chapter Leadership. Once you have familiarized yourself with the process of ACSS Leadership, many opportunities for advancement can open up for you!

    Nominate yourself TODAY!
    Open Nominations Close on February 1st!

     

    Not sure which Chapter you belong to? Click here to find your Chapter.
    Click here to learn more about the ACSS Elections Process.
    Click here to view photos of the most recent Delegate Assembly in 2018
    .
    Questions? Contact acss@ACSS.org or your Chapter President.


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    CalHR Issues Guidance to State Agencies in Implementing New CalOSHA COVID-19 Prevention and Response Standards

    Posted: 12/22/2020 Tags: COVID-19 legislation policy Tags Views: 1653

    The Division of Occupational Safety & Health (CalOSHA) recently adopted new emergency temporary standards for COVID-19 prevention and response in workplaces. On December 18, 2020 California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Director Eraina Ortega provided guidance to state departments to ensure the temporary CalOSHA standards are part of each department’s written plan to prevent and respond to COVID-19.

    The CalOSHA emergency regulations require most California employers to adopt COVID-19 prevention programs and policies to ensure safe distancing, require face coverings, and adhere to new testing and reporting requirements.

    State departments have already implemented many of the new standards. CalHR’s direction highlights potential changes as follows:

    • to ensure confidentiality of employees, departments should not identify the specific number of cases if fewer than 11 are reported
    • face coverings are required in open cubicles and can only be removed when alone in a room
    • departments must provide testing to all employees in an “exposed workplace” defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a 14-day period (an exposed workplace is not the whole building or department, but the area where cases were present)
    • testing must be on state work time with no out-of-pocket employee costs with testing continuing until the workplace outbreak is over
    • major outbreaks (20 or more cases in 30-days) require additional testing
    • employee screening processes are required for all departments (self-screening is allowed)
    • employees with a “COVID-19 exposure” (within six feet from an infected person for a total of 15 minutes in 24 hours) are excluded from the workplace and provided telework or ATO

    Director Ortega’s direction to departments contains links to relevant guidance, CalOSHA standards, FAQs, etc. The CalHR direction can be viewed here.

    If you have questions about the guidance or impact of the CalOSHA regulations, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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    CalHR Orders Most State Offices Closed in Response to the New Stay at Home Order

    Posted: 12/4/2020 Tags: benefits COVID-19 legislation policy Tags Views: 2278

    On December 3, 2020 California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) Director Eraina Ortega notified state department leadership that effective Monday, December 7, with some exceptions, state offices will close in response to the California Department of Public Health’s new Stay at Home Order. Offices will remain closed for at least three weeks.

    Departments must immediately review their Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government plans and determine which critical functions require staff to continue to report to the workplace. The CalHR direction provides that “all staff not performing critical functions at the workplace should remain at home teleworking, or if no telework is available, provided Administrative Time Off (ATO).”

    The “critical functions” of essential government services has not changed and includes:

    • Government Leadership
    • Emergency Management
    • Social Services/Education
    • Information Technology/ Communication
    • Public Safety/Regulatory Enforcement
    • Medical/Health
    • Critical Infrastructure
    • Food Supply
    • Environmental Protection
    • Public Information
    • Unemployment Insurance Claims Processing
    • 24/7 Institutions (prisons, state hospitals, veterans homes, etc.)
    • Essential Government Services

    The CalHR instruction includes prioritizing telework for at risk employees (age 65 or older and those with chronic health conditions) and providing telework for all employees eligible for telework. ATO is only provided as a “last resort.” When ATO is approved, it is approved regardless of an employee’s available leave balance.

    If you have questions about the new Stay at Home Order and CalHR direction, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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