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May Revision of the 2022 – 2023 State Budget: Historic Surplus Directed to One-time Projects

Posted: 5/16/2022 Tags: budget legislation legislature policy salary Tags Views: 544

Governor Newsom released his May Revise of the state budget on May 13, 2022. The budget includes a projected record $97.5 billion surplus, including $49.2 billion in discretionary surplus. The Governor’s plan would spend 94 percent of this discretionary surplus on one-time projects. The historic $300.6 billion budget ($227.3 billion general fund) includes $37.1 billion in reserves, with $23.3 billion in the state’s rainy day fund.

The budget proposal contains a few highlights of importance to ACSS members:

  • The May Revision adds another $217.6 million in new employee compensation to reflect updated estimates for salary increases, updated estimates for the state employer’s health and dental costs, telework stipends, and recruitment and retention differentials for the CDCR Division of Juvenile Justice
  • This addition brings the new employee compensation number to nearly $1 billion to fund salary increases, health care costs for active state employees, and retiree health care prefunding for active employees
  • The proposed budget includes a $3.4 billion additional one-time supplemental payment to CalPERS for state plans (to pay down liabilities and save state employer pension costs)
  • The Rainy Day Fund is at the constitutional maximum of 10 percent of General Fund Revenues

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. Six of the state’s 21 rank-and-file bargaining units are negotiating for new labor contracts to be effective in July 2022. ACSS will continue discussions over the next few weeks with CalHR over excluded employee pay increases and will use the opportunity created by the historic budget surplus to urge CalHR to address long-standing pay and benefit issues for supervisory and managerial employees. We will keep you apprised as the excluded pay plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022 comes into focus.

The May Revision summary can be found here: Budget Summary (ca.gov)


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California’s Primary Election is coming up on Tuesday, June 7th 2022

Posted: 5/6/2022 Tags: election PAC politics Tags Views: 129

Voting and Ballot Information
By now, you should have already received your Voter Information Packet in the mail. Your county elections office will begin mailing ballots out on May 9th, 2022. Voting centers open on May 28th 2022. The last day to register to vote in the June 7th Primary Election is May 23rd, 2022. To register to vote, visit the Secretary of State’s Voter Registration page. Make sure to mail in your ballot or vote in-person at a voting center by June 7, 2022. Your vote matters!

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. On April 23, 2022 the ACSS Board of Directors met virtually where they unanimously approved a motion to endorse a thorough list of qualified candidates in the Assembly, Senate and Executive branches. To view the ACSS-Endorsed Candidates, visit 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:

  • Resolving salary compaction
  • Protecting Pensions
  • and ensuring 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. Visit the California Voter Guide for more information on the California Primary Election.


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Leave Buy-Back Program Authorized for Excluded Employees

Posted: 4/27/2022 Tags: benefits leave legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 847

CalHR and the Department of Finance have authorized the Excluded Employee Leave Buy-Back Program for 2021-2022. 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). Excluded employees related to bargaining unit 2 (attorneys and administrative law judges) may cash out up to 160 hours of leave. 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, 2022, your department should notify you whether the department has funds to participate and how much leave 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, 2022.

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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Special Open Enrollment for the CoBen Cash Option Ends April 30, 2022

Posted: 4/22/2022 Tags: benefits policy Tags Views: 342

If you are an excluded employee tied to an SEIU Local 1000 bargaining unit and you are NOT enrolled in a state-sponsored CalPERS health plan, you need to enroll in the CoBen cash option by April 30, 2022*.

The $260 monthly payment for this small group of employees not enrolled in a CalPERS health plan is ending effective June 30, 2022. These employees need to enroll to begin receiving CoBen cash in lieu of health/dental benefits (up to $155 per month) effective July 1, 2022.

If you are enrolled in a CalPERS health plan and are currently receiving the $260 per month – no action is needed and this monthly payment of $260 will continue through June 30, 2023.

To enroll in the CoBen cash option, please contact your departmental personnel office and complete the STD702 form.

For frequently asked questions and answers, please review the CalHR Special Open Enrollment FAQ.

If you have questions regarding this special open enrollment period, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.

 

*UPDATE 5/3/2022: CalHR is extending the open enrollment period until May 13, 2022 for employees to submit forms to their Human Resource Office.


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CalHR Issues Telework Stipend Pay Differential Covering All Excluded Employees

Posted: 3/2/2022 Tags: legislation policy representation Tags Views: 2977

On March 1, 2022, the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) issued Pay Differential 453 – Telework Stipend Differential for all excluded employees and for employees in the six rank-and-file bargaining units with a telework stipend side letter agreement.

Excluded employees with an approved remote-centered telework agreement (50 percent or more at home) shall receive $50 per month. Excluded employees with an approved office-centered telework agreement shall receive $25 per month. Eligibility and the amount of the stipend are generally based on the employee’s approved telework agreement as of the first day of the month. Incidental telework does not qualify. No receipts are required for the stipend.

Employees receiving the stipend are not eligible to submit claims for utilities, phone, cable/internet, or other costs. Claims for approved office supplies such as papers, pens, and printer cartridges can be submitted in accordance with department policies.

The Telework Stipend is retroactive to October 1, 2021 for all eligible excluded employees. The State Controller’s Office is already working with departments on implementing the new stipend. When ACSS obtains an estimate of the expected timing of the Telework Stipend payments, that information will be shared with ACSS Members.

ACSS thanks CalHR and the Administration for agreeing to make this stipend available to all eligible excluded employees, not just those employees related to a bargaining unit with a telework stipend side letter.

The CalHR Pay Differential can be read here.

If you have questions about the Telework Stipend, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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Governor Newsom Signs Bill Providing COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for 2022

Posted: 2/10/2022 Tags: benefits COVID-19 Tags Views: 1195

On February 9, 2022, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 114 into law which provides COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for 2022.

The law will become effective February 19, 2022 and will provide supplemental sick leave retroactive to January 1, 2022. The supplemental paid sick leave will remain in effect through September 30, 2022.

Up to 40 hours of COVID-19 supplemental sick leave will be available to state excluded employees who are unable to work or telework for 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 booster; or
  4. The employee is experiencing symptoms related to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or booster 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 due to COVID-19.

Up to 40 separate hours are available if the employee is unable to work or telework under for the following reasons:

  • The employee tests positive for COVID-19 or a family member for whom the employee is providing care tests positive (Documentation of a positive COVID-19 test may be required to access the additional 40 hours), or
  • The employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is attending an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster or caring for a family member having symptoms from a COVCID-19 vaccine or booster.

There are income limits of $511 per day and $5,110 on this supplemental leave.* Employees can request credit for sick leave taken retroactive to January 1, 2022. 

As CalHR and departments implement these provisions, ACSS will act to ensure the interests of excluded employees are protected.

If you have questions or need assistance with supplemental paid sick leave issues, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.

 

Update: CalHR has confirmed to ACSS that the income limits for the 2022 supplemental sick leave will not be applicable to state employees. (2/16/2022)


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CSEA Scholarship Foundation - Application Deadline is March 14!

Posted: 1/28/2022 Tags: Tags Views: 658

CSEA Scholarship Foundation 

Application Deadline is March 14, 2022!

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

Applications and all supporting materials must be postmarked no later than March 14, 2022.

Click here to learn more and to download the Application!


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2022-23 Proposed State Budget: Focus on One-time Investments

Posted: 1/11/2022 Tags: budget legislation policy politics salary Tags Views: 1068

On January 10, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2022-2023 State Budget that will fund state government for the 12-month period starting July 1, 2022.

State spending next fiscal year would increase by 9.1 percent to just over $286.4 billion, with $213.1 billion in general fund spending. The Governor projects a $45.7 billion surplus, which includes $20.6 billion in the general fund available for discretionary purposes. This $20.6 billion projection is far more conservative than the Legislative Analyst’s Office projection of $31 billion. The proposed budget allocates 86 percent of the discretionary surplus to one-time investments.

Regarding state employee compensation, the Governor’s budget proposal summary states:
The Budget includes $770.5 million ($377.8 million General Fund) for increased employee compensation, health care costs for active state employees, and retiree health care prefunding contributions for active employees.

This employee compensation number is expected to increase as six of the state’s 21 bargaining units will be in bargaining for new labor contracts. As those rank-and-file groups engage in bargaining, ACSS will make proposals to CalHR for related excluded employees.

Other proposed budget items of interest include:

  • In addition to the $8.4 billion state employer contribution to CalPERS for state pension costs, a supplemental $3.5 billion pay down of retirement liabilities at CalPERS
  • An additional $365 million in one-time funding to prefund retiree healthcare
  • $20.9 billion in the Rainy Day Fund and $3.1 billion in operating reserves
  • Funding to modernize the state’s payroll system (expected to be implemented in a few years)
  • With continued use of telework, over the next three years the Department of General Services is projecting a 20-percent overall reduction in the state’s leased office space

In his remarks, the Governor stated he is working with the Legislature on the issue of supplemental paid sick leave for employees. The prior availability of 80-hours of COVID-19 supplemental sick leave expired in September 2021.

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

The Governor’s complete budget summary can be found here: Budget Summary (ca.gov)


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CalHR Announces Holiday Informal Time Off

Posted: 12/15/2021 Tags: policy Tags Views: 1113

In celebration of the 2021 holiday season, Governor Newsom has authorized up to four hours of Informal Time Off (ITO) for all state employees. CalHR has updated the Human Resources Manual to reflect the ITO for 2021. For most employees, the paid ITO will be either the business day before December 25 or January 1. Employees required to work these days should be granted the time off prior to June 30, 2022.

This year both the Christmas Day and New Year’s Day holidays fall on Saturdays. As a reminder, when a holiday falls on a Saturday, employees shall receive holiday credit.

ACSS hopes all state employees have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and best wishes for the New Year.


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ACSS Eliminates Salary Compaction in Three Classes by Urging CalHR to Increase Excluded Employee Salaries at CDPH

Posted: 11/23/2021 Tags: benefits compaction salary Tags Views: 1548

Because of a unique bargaining unit alignment, salaries for excluded employees in the Health Facilities Evaluator series at the California Department of Public Health were not keeping pace with their rank-and-file nursing subordinates. In response, ACSS made a salary proposal to CalHR to resolve the on-going salary compaction issues with the rank-and-file Health Facilities Evaluator Nurse classification.

ACSS met with CalHR several times to discuss the salary proposal and potential realignment from the current “S01” collective bargaining identifier for the excluded classifications in the series to the more appropriate nursing designation of “S17”.

On November 12, 2021, CalHR issued Pay Letter 21-29 which increases salaries retroactive to July 1, 2021 for the Heath Facilities Evaluator II (Supervisor), Health Facilities Evaluator Manager I, and Health Facilities Evaluator Manager II classifications. With these Special Salary Adjustments, the top step salary of each excluded employee classification in the series now has a separation of 5 percent over the subordinate class.

We are pleased CalHR took action to address this salary compaction. There is more work to do to correct other salary inequities for supervisors and managers. ACSS will continue to meet regularly with CalHR in connection with ACSS’ pending salary and benefit proposals to resolve salary compaction for ACSS members.


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