Three of the six rank-and-file organizations that began the fiscal year on July 1, 2023 without labor contracts have now reached tentative agreements for new Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), including the nine bargaining units represented by SEIU Local 1000. The state legislature must approve these new MOUs and also approve funding for excluded employee compensation increases. With the legislature set to recess following session on September 14, 2023, the deadline for taking action on these MOUs and to adjust excluded employee compensation during the 2023 calendar year is fast approaching. ACSS continues to meet with the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) to discuss pay and benefits for the state’s supervisory, managerial, confidential and exempt employees.
The SEIU Local 1000 tentative agreement for a new MOU includes the following for rank-and-file employees:
- General Salary Increases of 3% (July 1, 2023), 3% (July 1, 2024) and 4% (July 1, 2025) with this last increase subject to a Department of Finance trigger which could reduce the increase to 3%
- Special Salary Adjustments (SSA) of generally 5% for 170 classifications effective July 1, 2023
- An SSA labeled as a “Wage Equity Adjustment” of 4% for 150 lower paid classifications
- The recently discontinued health affordability stipend (which was $260) is replaced with the state’s employer health contribution increasing by $165 for those enrolled in a CalPERS health plan effective December 2023
- Health Care Facility Retention Payments up to $1450 for those working during the pandemic on-site in state correctional institutions, state hospitals, veteran’s homes, and developmental centers.
- A decrease of .5% for the employee OPEB contribution (pre-funding retiree health care) from the current 3.5% down to 3% effective the first pay period following ratification of the MOU.
With this tentative agreement and the tentative agreements reached covering bargaining unit 12 and unit 19 (which are subject to approval by the rank-and-file membership and the legislature), ACSS has asked that CalHR provide related excluded employees at least the same increases as related rank-and-file employees, in addition to resolving identified salary compaction and salary parity issues identified in the ACSS salary proposals currently pending at CalHR.
ACSS is reviewing the SSAs in the agreements and following up with the various CalHR Labor Relations Officers to ensure excluded employees receive the appropriate SSAs. We are also following up and meeting with CalHR on ACSS’ other pending requests for salary adjustments. While CalHR has indicated it has agreed to implement a number of ACSS proposals for increases for various excluded employees, we still await the official “Pay Letters” instructing the State Controller’s Office to adjust salaries. The CalHR Pay Letters implementing the tentative agreements and the ACSS’ proposals are expected to be issued in September 2023.
Negotiations between CalHR and the representatives for 4 of the state’s 21 rank-and-file bargaining units continue (Units 6, 7, 10 and 16.) ACSS has consistently reminded CalHR that whether agreements are reached or not, CalHR has an independent statutory duty to set compensation for excluded employees.
ACSS’ legislative advocates are actively working to ensure that trailer bills to the state budget contain all appropriate funding for excluded employee salary and benefit increases. As additional excluded employee compensation items are finalized through CalHR Pay Letters, ACSS will keep members apprised of the status of increases to pay and benefits.