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​May 6, 2019

State of California Celebrates Public Service Recognition Week

Events to be held May 5 through May 11


SACRAMENTO, CA – Celebrated annually, Public Service Recognition Week honors the important contributions of the nation's public servants. These workers support California's government and are directly responsible for administering its services and programs. These vital efforts include providing California's residents with access to clean drinking water, safe parks, healthcare, and much more. Public servants help to create a better California every day.

This year, Public Service Recognition Week runs May 5-May 11. In California, a multi-department work group focused on improving employee engagement compiled a set of no-cost events departments can host to celebrate California's public servants.  Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement in support of all of our public workers.

"California could not be the land of opportunity and success it is today without its legion of committed public servants who carry out government's long list of important – though sometimes thankless – responsibilities," Newsom's message said. "During Public Service Recognition Week, we celebrate civil and public servants at all levels and the crucial work they do with passion, expertise and dedication in order to improve our lives and help build a California for all."

The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) encourages all state entities to participate in recognition activities across the state. Departments are encouraged to celebrate employees' years of service and their successes from the last year, as well as to give back to their local communities. One event, "Thankful Thursday," encourages departments to donate to local food banks.

California's Public Service Recognition Week is also a time for employees to reflect on the work they do every day.  Quotes from state employees:

"When you think of yourself as a public servant and that you are contributing to safety of the bridges, dams, high-rises, fire stations, and hospitals, definitely motivates me and it's a great feeling." – Vladimir Yanusik, Department of Conservation

"We will help people get through some of the worst times in their lives. I'm just so grateful that I can help people recover from pain and really move to place of healing and knowing that we're part of that healing process." – Anita Ahuja, CA Victim Compensation Board

More than 220,000 state employees do all manner of work to keep California safe, clean and prosperous.  Their commitment to service should be recognized and valued. California's Public Service Recognition Week activities reached more than 78,000 employees last year. Throughout the week, departments can share their celebrations on social media using #PSRWCA.

For more information about California's Public Service Recognition Week, visit http://www.calhr.ca.gov/employees/Pages/Public-Service-Recognition-Week.aspx.

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​May 2, 2019

State of California Honors 14 with Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor Award

Award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants


SACRAMENTO, CA
– The State of California today honored 14 state employees with the Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor Award (Medal of Valor Award) for acts of heroism during a ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento. The Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor the state can give its employees.

Medals were presented to the 14 recipients from four state departments on behalf of Governor Gavin Newsom by Chief of Staff Ann O'Leary. Other state officials participating in the ceremony included Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara; Brian Annis, Secretary of the Transportation Agency; Warren Stanley, Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol (CHP); Thom Porter, Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire); Laurie Berman, Director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans); Eraina Ortega, Director of the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR); and George Mueller, Deputy Commissioner of Enforcement at the Department of Insurance.

In a letter commemorating Public Service Recognition Week, which begins on Sunday, Governor Newsom praised the dedication and courageousness of California's public servants and Medal of Valor winners.

"Our state firefighters, officers and many other state workers who demonstrate incredible bravery and selflessness in responding to devastating wildfires and other emergencies are just some of the heroes serving in a state workforce of 220,000, tasked with everything from maintaining our roads to providing social services to the needy in our communities," Newsom wrote. "California could not be the land of opportunity and success it is today without its legion of committed public servants who carry out government's long list of important – though sometimes thankless – responsibilities."

"Every day, millions of Californians benefit from the hard work performed by the state's public servants," said Eraina Ortega, Director of CalHR. "Not only do state workers do important jobs, but sometimes they risk their own lives in very dangerous situations to save others and protect their fellow citizens. The Medal of Valor honors these heroic acts of bravery that represent the very best of public service."

The award comes in two distinctions, the Special Service Award (Silver) for an act of heroism by a state employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or state property, and the Special Act Award (Gold) for an extraordinary act of heroism by a state employee extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service, performed at great risk to his or her own life in an effort to save human life.

The 2019 Medal of Valor recipients include CHP officers who continuously flew their helicopters in heavy smoke and 70-mph winds to rescue residents from a rapidly spreading fire in the Atlas Peak area of Sonoma County; a fire apparatus engineer with Cal Fire who helped bring two men out of the line of fire at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shootings; and a tree maintenance supervisor with Caltrans who rescued a mother and her three children trapped in their vehicle on Highway 20 in Mendocino County when the Ranch Fire broke out. 

Pecipients of today's awards, the level of their award, and their employing department are as follows:

  • Phil Agdeppa, Gold, CHP
  • Benjamin Anderson, Silver, Caltrans
  • Thomas Britt, Silver, Caltrans
  • Gilbert Caldera, Gold, CHP
  • Broderick Carmichael, Silver, Caltrans
  • Pete Gavitte, Gold, CHP
  • Whitney Lowe, Gold, CHP
  • Paul Melendrez, Silver, Cal Fire
  • Chad Milward, Gold, CHP
  • Michael Gilbert Quinliven, Gold and Silver, Caltrans
  • Jose Serrano, Silver, CHP
  • Lonnie Swartout, Silver, Caltrans
  • Christopher Wetzel, Gold, Cal Fire

The Medal of Valor Award is sponsored by CalHR. Award nominations are made by the employee's department, reviewed by the statewide Merit Award Board, and selected by CalHR's director. The program began in 1959, and since then, 640 state employees have received Medals of Valor.

For more information about the Medal of Valor Award, visit www.medalofvalor.ca.gov. Details of recipients' awards, and what they did to earn them, are posted on the website. 

CalHR is responsible for all issues related to employee salaries and benefits, job classifications, civil rights, training, exams, recruitment and retention. For most employees, many of these matters are determined through the collective bargaining process managed by the department. 

CalHR was established on July 1, 2012, by Governor Jerry Brown's Reorganization Plan Number 1 of 2011, which combined the Department of Personnel Administration with certain programs of the State Personnel Board to create the new department. For more information about CalHR, visit www.calhr.ca.gov.

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July 26, 2018

Savings Plus Earns National Recognition

Retirement plan's innovative public education campaign receives award from national association


SACRAMENTO, CA
 – Savings Plus, which provides supplemental retirement savings programs for state employees, has won national recognition for a public information campaign encouraging workers receiving a pay raise to increase their contributions to their retirement plans.

The campaign involves mailing postcards to state employees shortly after they receive pay raises and informing them of how they can use Savings Plus to increase their retirement savings. The campaign, which began in 2017 and continues today, has reached more than 134,000 employees and resulted in more than 29,000 increasing their contributions.

"I am proud of Savings Plus and everyone who has worked on this campaign for helping state workers prepare for their future," said Richard Gillihan, director of the California Department of Human Resources. "Savings Plus offers state employees and other public servants a great opportunity to voluntarily contribute to, and increase, their retirement savings."

The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators announced Wednesday that the State of California was one of five organizations to win its 2018 Leadership Recognition Award for Participant Education and Effective Communication, thanks to the Savings Plus campaign.

For the campaign, Savings Plus developed a wide variety of postcards highlighting people of different ages and backgrounds – from baby boomers to millennials – all with the same message: "Even small increases can make a difference." The campaign prompted a 22-percent response rate that generated $16.5 million in contributions that amount to an estimated $192 million in annualized increases for retirement.

Learn more about saving for retirement at the Savings Plus website.

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May 17, 2018

State of California Honors 27 with Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Award

Award is the highest honor California bestows on its public servants


SACRAMENTO, CA 
– The State of California today honored 27 state employees with the Governor's State Employee Medal of Valor Award (Medal of Valor Award) for acts of heroism during a ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento. The Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor the state can give its employees.

Medals were presented to the 27 recipients from five state departments on behalf of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. by Keely Bosler, the administration's Cabinet Secretary. Other state officials participating in the ceremony included Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones; Marybel Batjer, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency; Christine Inouye, Undersecretary of the State Transportation Agency; Laurie Berman, Director of Caltrans; Warren Stanley, Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol (CHP); Ralph Diaz, Undersecretary of Operations, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation; and Doug McKeever, Chief Deputy Executive Director of Program, Covered California. 

"On behalf of the Governor and all Californians, we honor the brave men and women who run towards danger instead of away from it," Bosler said. "Through their acts of selfless service these individuals remind each of us that courage and humility are the highest form of citizenship."

"People sometimes forget about the incredible dedication and work done by California's public servants," said Richard Gillihan, Director of the California Department of Human Resources. "The Medal of Valor recipients exemplify the very best of the state's public service spirit. The stories of how these individuals acted without regard to their own safety to help fellow citizens and save lives is awe-inspiring, and I am delighted to honor their acts of bravery and selflessness."

The award comes in two distinctions, the Special Service Award (Silver) for an act of heroism by a state employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or state property, and the Special Act Award (Gold) for an extraordinary act of heroism by a state employee extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service, performed at great risk to his or her own life in an effort to save human life.

The heroic feats honored with the 2018 Medals of Valor include quelling a prison riot, disarming a knife-wielding attacker in a busy parking lot, saving a woman and her son from drowning in the ocean, rescuing the operator of a large excavator who fell and was sucked into the underside of the machine, and saving the lives of car crash victims who were trapped in burning vehicles, stuck in a car submersed in a freezing cold river water and scattered along a steep, densely wooded hillside in darkness.

Recipients of today's awards, the level of their award, and their employing department are as follows:

  • Anival Avila, Gold, CDCR
  • Zach Basnett, Gold, CDCR
  • Sergio Chavez, Gold, CDCR
  • Christopher Corpstein, Gold, CDCR
  • Aaron Fetherstone, Gold, CDCR
  • John Franz, Gold, CDCR
  • Michael Humphrey, Gold, CDCR
  • Kevin Machado, Silver, CDCR
  • Zackery McCully, Gold, CDCR
  • Dale McDonald, Gold, CDCR
  • Travis Molina, Gold, CDCR
  • Aaron Schaad, Gold, CDCR
  • Shaun Tayman, Gold, CDCR
  • Kyle Bush, Gold, CHP
  • David Crislip, Gold, CHP
  • Greg Klingenberg, Gold, CHP
  • Andrew Lamar, Silver, CHP
  • Felix Serpas, Gold, CHP
  • Jason Smith, Gold, CHP
  • Brock Veillette, Silver, CHP
  • Jason Heinz, Silver, Caltrans
  • Matthew McCarter, Silver, Caltrans
  • Shawn Morgan, Silver, Caltrans
  • Steven Rhine, Silver, Caltrans
  • Theodore Sampson, Silver, Caltrans
  • Stephen Madrigal, Silver, Covered California
  • Aivaras Petraitis, Gold, California Department of Insurance

For more information about the Medal of Valor Award, visit . Details of recipients' awards, and what they did to earn them, are posted on the website. 

CalHR is responsible for all issues related to employee salaries and benefits, job classifications, civil rights, training, exams, recruitment and retention. For most employees, many of these matters are determined through the collective bargaining process managed by the department.

CalHR was established on July 1, 2012, by Governor Brown's Reorganization Plan Number 1 of 2011, which combined the Department of Personnel Administration with certain programs of the State Personnel Board to create the new department. For more information about CalHR, visit.

Governor's State of Employee Medal of Valor 2018 Citations PDF | RTF      

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January 11, 2018

State Personnel Board Approves New Information Technology Classification Plan

Civil Service Improvement project modernizes job classifications for 10,000 IT employees


SACRAMENTO, CA – The State Personnel Board (SPB) today approved a plan on a 4-0 vote that updates the job classifications for information technology employees as part of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.'s initiative to modernize California's civil service system.      

The plan consolidates 36 job classifications into nine new ones, effective January 31. The new classifications cover the entire information technology field and provide greater clarity and flexibility for the state to recruit skilled workers and for existing employees to plan career advancement.

The new information technology classifications are just one piece of a larger project to improve California's civil service system. Launched three years ago, the Civil Service Improvement (CSI) initiative aims to reform a large, complex administrative system governing more than 230,000 state employees.  

"Information technology is a dynamic, constantly changing field," said Government Operations Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer. "This class consolidation plan gives the state modern descriptions and the structure needed to recruit and retain skilled information technology employees."

Under the CSI initiative, Government Operations Agency, CalHR, SPB and the Department of Finance are working together to consolidate the state's 2,862 classifications.

CalHR drafted the IT consolidation plan using a team of nearly 50 experts representing 13 different state departments and five agencies and worked closely with employee organizations, including SEIU, Local 1000.

"This is about bringing state IT job classifications into the 21st century and providing the state with a more sensible, modern administrative structure that will accommodate the changing nature of the IT industry," said CalHR Director Richard Gillihan.

In preparation for the changeover, CalHR will hold three days of forums for all departments in state government to guide and assist them in implementing the new classification structure.

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Communications Office

Contact

Andrew LaMar
(916) 322-6944
Andrew.LaMar@calhr.ca.gov

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