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General Salary Increases for Excluded Employees Effective July 1, 2022

Posted: 7/5/2022 Tags: legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 473

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. Although many issues remain unresolved, CalHR has released the Excluded Employee Pay Plan for 2022-2023.

  • General Salary Increases effective July 1, 2022:
    EXCLUDED EMPLOYEES AFFILIATED WITH BARGAINING UNIT: GSI (General Salary Increase)
    1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21 (SEIU Units) 2.5%
    5 4.3%
    6 2.5%
    7 2.25/3.75(PO/FF)%
    12 2.25%
    13 (Pending MOU Ratification) 2.5% (top step)
    16 2%
    19 2.5%
  • Special Salary Adjustments and Pay Differentials will be extended to exempt and excluded employees where appropriate.
  • All exempt and excluded employees associated with the SEIU bargaining units and enrolled in a CalPERS health plan will continue to receive the $260 taxable cash benefit (health affordability payment) through June 30, 2023.
  • Exempt and excluded employees not directly tied to a bargaining unit (such as many employees who have an “E” Collective Bargaining Identifier) will receive the 2.5% GSI.

CalHR is working on the “Pay Letters” and expects the salary adjustments to be reflected in the July pay warrants. As the pay letters are developed, ACSS will continue advocacy with CalHR to ensure excluded employees receive all appropriate special salary adjustments.

Negotiations between CalHR and the representatives for rank-and-file Bargaining Units 2, 8, 9, 10 and 18 for new labor contracts continue. ACSS has submitted proposals for excluded employees related to these units to CalHR. Excluded employees related to these five units are not currently scheduled to receive a general salary increase on July 1, 2022.

Healthcare Facility Retention Payment/Public Safety Retention Stipend

From the beginning of the pandemic, ACSS proposed and pushed for essential worker pay for excluded employees. The state chose not to use available federal money for that purpose, but in May 2022, Governor Newsom announced a one-time bonus for all health care workers. ACSS proposed that all eligible excluded employees receive that bonus amount.

CalHR has approved $1500 one-time payments for excluded employees tied to Bargaining Unit 6 employed in a correctional facility or correctional health facility. Excluded employees tied to Bargaining Units 5, 7, and 8 will receive a $1500 one-time payment public safety retention payment.

Although CalHR has thus far tied these one-time payments to the related bargaining units reaching agreements, ACSS has taken the position that all eligible excluded employees should receive these payments whether the rank-and-file reaches an agreement or not.

ACSS will continue to meet with CalHR regarding the $1500 one-time payments for excluded employees and to pursue a resolution to various ACSS’ salary equity proposals for supervisors and managers.

If you have questions regarding general salary increases, please contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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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: 1306

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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Leave Buy-Back Program Authorized for Excluded Employees

Posted: 4/27/2022 Tags: benefits leave legislation policy representation salary Tags Views: 1160

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: 499

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: 3497

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

Posted: 1/11/2022 Tags: budget legislation policy politics salary Tags Views: 1140

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: 1224

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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New Telework Stipend Program Policy Effective October 1; Retroactive Payments Likely

Posted: 10/7/2021 Tags: legislation policy representation Tags Views: 5172

The Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and the Department of General Services (DGS) have implemented a new Telework Stipend Program and a new statewide Telework Policy – each effective on October 1, 2021. Although the new statewide DGS Telework Policy is now effective, emergency telework provisions still remain in effect.

CalHR confirmed to ACSS that telework stipends for excluded employees are intended to be effective October 1, 2021, but that the payment of the stipends most likely requires a legislative appropriation. This means payments are not expected to begin until the Legislature passes a measure approving the appropriation of funds after returning to session in January 2022. CalHR confirmed that with a legislative appropriation, the telework stipend payments for excluded employees will be retroactive to October 1.

The major provisions of the new Telework Policy and Telework Stipend Program include:

  • An encouragement of teleworking, with management/departments retaining the discretion to find that positions or job classifications are not appropriate for telework
  • Dependent care and personal responsibilities cannot affect work duties or professionalism
  • For employees who telework, they will be either remote-centered (50% or more at home) or office-centered (more than 50% at the office)
    -  Remote-centered employees will receive a $50 per month stipend
    -  Office-centered employees will receive a $25 per month stipend
    -  As employees need to provide adequate internet coverage to perform the job, this is the main basis for the stipend
  • Other equipment and office supplies may be provided or reimbursed (pens, paper, printer ink, etc.)
  • The state will provide equipment for a single dedicated work station for employees
    -  Remote-centered teleworkers shall have their dedicated work station at their designated alternate work location. Remote-centered teleworkers shall use a shared work station when working in the office
    -  Office-centered teleworkers shall have a dedicated work station in the office and utilize their own equipment or department provided mobile equipment for teleworking at their designated alternate work location
  • Each department will have to adopt its own telework policy by October 1, 2022, but cannot alter the CalHR Standard 200 Telework Form

Departments are encouraged by the Administration to determine the maximum level of telework appropriate based on their operational needs with the goal of maximizing telework. ACSS will meet and confer as appropriate over proposed departmental telework policies to protect the interests of supervisors and managers.

ACSS’ legislative advocates will work to ensure the Legislature approves an appropriation to fund the telework stipends for excluded employees. We will keep you apprised of the progress and expected timing of retroactive telework stipend payments for eligible excluded employees.

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


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Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Urges State Employees to Get Vaccinated; ACSS to Meet with CalHR Over COVID-19 Testing Direction to State Agencies

Posted: 9/30/2021 Tags: COVID-19 health policy representation Tags Views: 863

On September 28, 2021, the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) shared a letter with ACSS drafted by Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. Dr. Ghaly’s letter urges all state employees who have not yet been vaccinated to reconsider and get a COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to read Dr. Ghaly’s letter.

State departments continue to develop protocols and provide notice to ACSS over the weekly mandatory COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated employees working on site. The statewide roll-out of this mandatory testing is slower than expected because of the limited availability of testing kits.

ACSS has consistently taken the position that no excluded employee should be mandated to be a COVID-19 “Test Administrator”, responsible for handling potentially infectious swabs, over their objection. The current policy direction of CalHR to state departments is to “highly recommend” the use of supervisors and above to perform these testing duties. ACSS has requested to meet and confer with CalHR over the COVID-19 Test Administrator selection process. ACSS has made a series of proposals to CalHR to strengthen the testing process and protect the interests of excluded employees. We await the scheduling of a meeting with CalHR to discuss ACSS’ proposals.

While awaiting clarification of statewide policy direction from CalHR, ACSS is requesting that all departments select only volunteers to perform the COVID-19 testing functions and that the volunteer pool not be limited to only excluded employees.

If you have questions about vaccine verifications or mandatory COVID-19 testing, contact your ACSS Labor Relations Representative.


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Vacancies Filled and Issues Discussed at ACSS Board Meeting in Sacramento

Posted: 9/29/2021 Tags: Board Meeting compaction meeting policy salary Tags Views: 681

On September 11, 2021, ACSS held an in-person Board of Directors meeting in at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. The first order of business was to fill two vacancies on the ACSS Board of Directors, and a vacancy for a Chapter President. Amal Kattan-Handal was Nominated by Chapter 503 President Jim Teahan and confirmed as the new Board Member for Chapter 503 (Sacramento area). Bret Blaydes was confirmed as the new Board Member for Chapter 509 (Southern Central Valley area). Nicole Stewart was confirmed as President of Chapter 507 (South Bay Area and Monterey). ACSS President Todd D’Braunstein swore in the new Board Members and Chapter Officer by reciting the Oath of Office.

The Board of Directors reviewed information from the PAC/Legislative Committee, the President’s Forum, and other Association business. They discussed the new roll out of virtual Chapter Zoom meetings as a new method of communication. So far, three virtual Chapter meetings have successfully occurred and ACSS plans to continue scheduling virtual meetings as an effective way to conduct Chapter business.

ACSS Assistant Director of Representation Gerald James discussed the many achievements and efforts of the Representation Program that have helped ACSS Members. Throughout the pandemic, ACSS has continued to meet with CalHR to review many long-standing salary inequity issues, address salary compaction and to provide salary proposals and supporting information to CalHR. In spring of 2021, ACSS fought for Special Salary Adjustments (SSA) for excluded employees related to Bargaining Unit 19 (Health and Social Services/Professionals) while Unit 19 was at the bargaining table. Because of ACSS’ advocacy on behalf of supervisors and managers, some classes will receive an 8% SSA, which is the highest salary adjustment for classes related to Unit 19.

Gerald James also talked about the end of the Personal Leave Program salary reductions, which ACSS heavily advocated for and puts more money back into the pockets of ACSS members. Contrary to previous practices and at ACSS’ request, CalHR confirmed the end of the PLP Program and confirmed salary increases for excluded employees in writing to ACSS in mid-June 2021, before official “Pay Letters” went out. In prior years excluded employees had to wait for the state budget to be signed and the pay letters to issue in mid-July. This is proof that CalHR Director Eraina Ortega and Chief Deputy of Labor Relations Paul Starkey are willing to listen to ACSS and to change the status quo for the benefit of ACSS Members. There is still much work to do, but the relationship between CalHR and ACSS will ensure the long-standing issues are fairly evaluated and resolved for the benefit of ACSS Members.

Salary compaction issues remain in many classifications and ACSS continues to fight for equitable pay on behalf of ACSS Members. Among the ACSS proposals being evaluated by CalHR, the most egregious salary compaction classes in need of resolving are within the CDPH Health Facilities Evaluator Classes, Food Service Supervisors, and the Program Director, Program Assistant and Unit Supervisors classes at the Department of State Hospitals and California Correctional Health Care Services.

ACSS continues to fight for special salary adjustment increases for Right-of-Way Agents, Transportation Planners, and Environmental Planners at Caltrans. In addition, we are advocating for safety retirement for Nursing Consultants and reorganizing classifications for Department of Developmental Services for Peace Officers.

Talks between ACSS and CalHR include the teleworking policies and related stipends and vaccine mandates and testing. ACSS and CalHR meet on a quarterly basis and as needed between those standing meetings to discuss and resolve issues that affect ACSS Members. As always, ACSS will keep you informed on policy changes and important issues that affect our Members and all excluded employees.


Bret Blaydes (Chapter 509 Board Member) with ACSS President Todd D'Braunstein.


Amal Kattan-Handal (Chapter 503 Board Member) with ACSS President Todd D'Braunstein.


Nicole Stewart (Chapter 507 President) with ACSS President Todd D'Braunstein.


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