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News Archive - 2005

News Archive - 2005

 

  

 

12-02-2005: Agreement with attorneys union goes to Legislature

On Friday, Dec. 2, DPA delivered the State's tentative agreement with the State attorneys union to the Legislature for its review and ratification. DPA provided the signed pages of the tentative agreement and the summary of its provisions on compact disks. This is the first time DPA has delivered these materials electronically.

Union members ratified the agreement last month.

 

State and SEIU to resume bargaining

Negotiators for the State and SEIU-represented bargaining units will return to the bargaining table Dec. 12.

 
 
 

10-24-2005: DPA launches online course in Classification & Pay

 
 
 

10-21-2005: State and attorneys union reach accord

State negotiators have reached agreement on a new two-year labor contract with the union representing the State's attorneys (California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment, State Bargaining Unit 2). The Administration's pension and health reform provisions in this agreement take effect July 1, 2006, subject to legislative and union ratification.

 

This new contract would run from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2007. The union's previous contract expired July 2, 2003.

 

Pension Reform:

  • Employees will pay an additional 1% of salary toward pension costs beginning July 1, 2006, or individual employees may opt out of CalPERS. Employees who opt out make a zero pension contribution and instead receive a salary stipend equal to half the State's normal pension cost (based on State's normal cost for employees in the Miscellaneous pension category).

  • For employees hired on or after July 1, 2006, pensions would be based on their highest 3-year average. (Currently, calculations are based on the single highest year.)

 

Health Reform:

  • The State's contribution toward employees' health, dental, and vision benefits will be set at a fixed dollar amount rather than a percentage, effective Jan. 1, 2006, with no further increases for the contract's duration. For current employees, that monthly amount will be $365 for 1-party, $696 for 2-party, and $906 for 3-party coverage.

  • For employees hired on or after July 1, 2006, the State will contribute the full amount for 1-party coverage and, during the first year of employment, half the dependent contribution. During the employee's second year, the State will cover 75% of dependent coverage; after two years, the State will make the full contribution for dependents.

 

Holiday Reform:

  • The union agrees to eliminate one paid holiday if the State reaches agreement with all other bargaining units to do so.

 

Salaries:

  • 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment effective July 1, 2005, for all unit 2 employees

  • Cost-of-living adjustment of 2 to 4% effective July 1, 2006, for all unit 2 employees

  • New starting salary ($4,410/mo.) effective July 1, 2005, for specified job classes where salary lags have created recruitment and retention issues (Real Estate Counsel I, Deputy Attorney General, Staff Counsel, Deputy Attorney-Caltrans, Legal Counsel, Fair Employment and Housing Counsel, Fair Political Practices Commission Counsel, Fair Political Practices Commission Counsel-Enforcement, Tax Counsel, Board Counsel I-ALRB, and Corporations Counsel)

  • Increase pay range for Attorney III classifications by one step (5%), effective July 1, 2006

  • Increase pay range for Attorney IV classifications by one step (5%), effective July 1, 2006

 

09-06-2005: Labor Day weekend negotiations fail to produce agreement

Despite meeting all weekend, negotiators for the State and the unions failed to reach agreement on new contracts.

 

Rumors have circulated claiming that DPA had reached an agreement with SEIU, Local 1000. This information is false. To put such rumors to rest and prevent the spread of misinformation, DPA distributed the following update to departments earlier today:

 

  • There is no agreement.

  • There are no further bargaining dates scheduled at the present time.

  • There may be further bargaining dates scheduled in the future.

  • The parties are not at impasse.

  • There is no prospect of an imminent agreement.

  • The State cannot unilaterally implement any of the proposed reforms without statutory authorization.

  • The State is not seeking authorization to implement any reforms before the Legislature adjourns.

  • When and if there is an agreement, it will be made at the bargaining table with department representatives present and participating.

 

At the present time, status quo continues.

 
 
 

08-26-2005: State proposes 18% raise for RNs in final offer

Yesterday the State made its last, best, and final offer to bargaining unit 17 (Registered Nurses), including raises up to 18% over two years and a new longevity pay provision. Negotiators for the State and union are meeting today as the union considers the offer.

 

The roughly 3,900 RNs in this bargaining unit work in mental health hospitals, youth and adult correctional institutions, developmental centers, veterans' homes, and State special schools. Their last contract expired June 30, 2004. The proposed new contract would be effective July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007.

 

Provisions of the last, best, and final offer from the State:

  • 5% raise effective July 1, 2005, for all unit 17 employees

  • Additional 5% pay differential effective July 1, 2005, for "level of care" employees (provide or supervise direct patient care) at facilities where State RN pay lags the local jurisdiction (Atascadero State Hospital, Napa State Hospital, Psychiatric Facilities at Salinas Valley State Prison and the California Medical Facility, Agnew Developmental Center, Sonoma Developmental Center, Chula Vista Veterans Home, Yountville Veterans Home, Diagnostic Center Northern California and School for the Deaf [Fremont], El Paso de Robles Youth Correctional Facility, Correctional Training Facility [Salinas], Salinas Valley State Prison, California Men's Colony, San Quentin State Prison, California Medical Facility [Vacaville], Solano State Prison, and RJ Donovan Correctional Facility).

  • 5% raise effective July 1, 2006, for all unit 17 employees

  • Additional 3% longevity pay differential effective July 1, 2006, for all unit 17 employees with 15 years or more of State service

  • $20,000 bonus for new "level of care" employees hired at State facilities in hard-to-recruit areas, to be paid after 5 years (60 qualifying pay periods) (Barstow Veterans Home, the new Coalinga State Hospital, Porterville Developmental Center, and the following state prisons: Avenal, California Correctional Institution [Tehachapi], Corcoran, Substance Abuse Treatment Center [Corcoran], North Kern [Delano], Pleasant Valley [Coalinga], Valley State Prison for Women [Chowcilla], Central California Women's Facility [Chowcilla], Wasco [Bakersfield], Pelican Bay [Crescent City], High Desert [Susanville], and California Correctional Center [Susanville]).

  • Raise the State's contribution toward health, dental, and vision premiums to $365/mo. for 1-party, $696/mo. for 2-party, and $906/mo. for family coverage, effective Jan. 1, 2006, for the duration of the contract. (Current monthly contribution levels, which remain in effect pending a new agreement, are $346/677/887.)

  • New rest periods for employees who work mixed shifts, as follows: 8 hrs. off after working 8 hrs. or more; 8 hrs. off when transferring to or from a night shift; and at least 3 days off after working 4 consecutive 12-hr. shifts.

  • Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2006, would get the full State contribution (i.e., $365/mo. in 2006 and 2007) for employee-only health, dental, and vision coverage and half the State contribution for dependents during the first year of employment. During the employee's second year, the State would pay 75% of the dependent contribution. The State would pay the full contribution for dependent coverage after two years.

  • Increase employee's share of pension costs by 2% of salary, beginning in FY 06-07. Employees in CalPERS' Miscellaneous and Industrial categories (First Tier), including the Alternate Retirement Program, can stay at the current contribution rate by opting for a 2%-at-60 retirement formula for future State service or converting to Tier 2 (1.25%-at-65), or have a zero contribution rate by opting out of CalPERS. Employees opting out of CalPERS would receive a salary stipend equal to half the State's normal cost of the 2%-at-55 formula.

  • Exclude sick leave from "time worked" when determining overtime.

  • Eliminate one paid holiday (Lincoln's Birthday).

  • Joint labor-management committee to consider career ladder concept at Dept. of Health Services; discussions would examine justification for creating additional nursing classes.

 

 

 

08-26-2005: DPA presents offer to craft, maintenance employees

DPA yesterday presented the State's contract offer to representatives of bargaining unit 12 (craft and maintenance employees). The union (Intl. Union of Operating Engineers) offered a counterproposal that included pay raises ranging from 5 to 30%, which DPA rejected as too costly.

 

The roughly 11,000 employees in unit 12 have been working without a contract since July 2, 2004, when the previous agreement expired. The proposed new contract would run from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2007.

 

Summary of the State's proposal:

  • 2.5% raise effective July 1, 2005, for all unit 12 employees

  • 2.5% raise effective July 1, 2006, for all unit 12 employees

  • Additional 5% increase effective Jan. 1, 2006, for telecommunication technicians, electronic technicians, and water and power dispatchers

  • Raise the State's contribution toward health premiums, effective July 1, 2005, to $284/mo. for 1-party, $564/mo. for 2-party, and $728/mo. for family coverage. Effective Jan. 1, 2006, and for the duration of the contract, raise the State's contribution to $302/mo. for 1-party, $606/mo. for 2-party, and $788/mo. for family coverage. (The State's current monthly contribution levels are $226/450/589.)

  • Raise the State's contribution toward dental premiums to $35.04/mo. for 1-party, $61.73/mo. for 2-party, and $89.55/mo. for family coverage.

  • Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2006, would get the full State contribution toward single-party health coverage and 50% of the normal contribution for dependent coverage during the first year of employment. During the employee's second year, dependents would be covered at 75% of the State's normal contribution; after two years, dependents would be covered at 100% of the State's normal contribution.

  • Increase employee's share of pension costs by 2% of salary, beginning July 1, 2006. Employees in CalPERS' Miscellaneous and Industrial categories (First Tier), including the Alternate Retirement Program, can stay at the current contribution rate by opting for a 2%-at-60 retirement formula for future State service or converting to Tier 2 (1.25%-at-65), or have a zero contribution rate by opting out of CalPERS. Employees opting out of CalPERS would receive a salary stipend equal to half the State's normal cost of the 2%-at-55 formula. Safety members can stay at the current contribution rate by opting for a 2%-at-55 formula for future State service.

  • New death and disability benefits for Caltrans employees killed or injured while working on a State roadway

  • Exclude all leave time from "time worked" when determining overtime.

  • Eliminate two paid holidays (Lincoln's Birthday and the Personal Holiday)

  • Employees would be subject to furlough (up to five days in a fiscal year) only in the event of a State fiscal emergency. A furlough is unpaid leave.

 
 
 
 

08-25-2005: State makes final offer to attorneys union

State negotiators yesterday presented an offer for a new two-year labor agreement with the State's attorneys and administrative law judges (bargaining unit 2).

 

Management and union negotiators have been bargaining since October but have been unable to reach agreement. The previous contract expired July 2, 2003.

Summary of the State's offer:

 

  • 2.5% raise effective July 1, 2005, for all unit 2 employees

  • 2.5% raise effective July 1, 2006, for all unit 2 employees

  • New starting salary ($4,410/mo.) effective July 1, 2005, for specified job classes where salary lags have created recruitment and retention issues (Real Estate Counsel I, Deputy Attorney General, Staff Counsel, Deputy Attorney-Caltrans, Legal Counsel, Fair Employment and Housing Counsel, Fair Political Practices Commission Counsel, Fair Political Practices Commission Counsel-Enforcement, and Tax Counsel)

  • Increase pay range for Attorney IV classifications by one step, effective July 1, 2006 (step equates to 5% of salary).

  • Set State's contribution toward health premiums at the flat-dollar equivalent of the "85-80" formula, effective Jan. 1, 2006, with no further increases for the duration of the contract. (Under this formula, the State contribution equals 85% of the weighted average premium of the four plans with the highest employee enrollment; 80% for dependents.)

  • Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2006, would get the full State contribution toward single-party health coverage and half the dependent contribution during the first year of employment. During the employee's second year, the State would cover 75% for dependent coverage; after two years, the State would make the full contribution for dependents.

  • Eliminate one paid holiday if all other bargaining units agree to do so.

  • Increase employee's share of pension costs by 2% of salary, beginning in FY 06-07. Employees in CalPERS' Miscellaneous and Industrial categories (First Tier), including the Alternate Retirement Program, can stay at the current contribution rate by opting for a 2%-at-60 retirement formula for future State service or converting to Tier 2 (1.25%-at-65), or have a zero contribution rate by opting out of CalPERS. Employees opting out of CalPERS would receive a salary stipend equal to half the State's normal cost of the 2%-at-55 formula.

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08-23-2005: State offers more money to RNs

The State has upped its offer to registered nurses (bargaining unit 17), including a 13% pay raise over two years for nurses working at facilities where the State has special challenges recruiting and retaining RNs.

 

DPA presented the State's new bargaining proposals to union negotiators Aug. 18. The union rejected the offer. However, DPA remains hopeful a deal can be reached this week, in time for legislators to act on it before the close of session.

 

Key elements of the State's offer:

 

  • 5% raise effective July 1, 2005, for all unit 17 employees

  • Additional 5% pay differential effective July 1, 2005, for "level of care" nurses (RNs who provide or supervise direct patient care) at facilities where State RN pay lags the local jurisdiction.

  • 3% raise effective July 1, 2006, for all unit 17 employees

  • $12,000 bonus for new employees hired at State facilities in hard-to-recruit areas, to be paid after 5 years (60 qualifying pay periods) (Barstow Veterans Home, the new Coalinga State Hospital, Porterville Developmental Center, and the following state prisons: Pelican Bay, High Desert, Avenal, California Correctional Institution [Tehachapi], Corcoran, Substance Abuse Treatment Center [Corcoran], North Kern [Delano], Pleasant Valley [Coalinga], Valley State Prison for Women [Chowcilla], Central California Women's Facility [Chowcilla], and Wasco [Bakersfield])

  • Set the State's contribution toward health premiums at the flat-dollar equivalent of the "85-80" formula , effective Jan. 1, 2006. (Under this formula, the State contribution equals 85% of the weighted average premium of the four plans with the highest employee enrollment; 80% for dependents.)

  • Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2006, would get the full State contribution toward single-party health coverage and 50% of that amount for dependent coverage during the first year of employment. During the employee's second year, dependents would be covered at 75% of the State's flat-dollar contribution; after two years, dependents would be covered at 100% of the State's flat-dollar contribution.

  • Increase employee's share of pension costs by 2% of salary, beginning in FY 06-07. Employees in CalPERS' Miscellaneous and Industrial categories (First Tier), including the Alternate Retirement Program, can stay at the current contribution rate by opting for a 2%-at-60 retirement formula for future State service or converting to Tier 2 (1.25%-at-65), or have a zero contribution rate by opting out of CalPERS. Employees opting out of CalPERS would receive a salary stipend equal to half the State's normal cost of the 2%-at-55 formula.

  • Exclude all leave time from "time worked" when determining overtime.

  • Eliminate two paid holidays (Lincoln's Birthday and the Personal Holiday)

  • Stop vacation accrual by employees who exceed the current cap (640 hours). This provision would be implemented in FY 06-07 following a transition period.

  • Non-level-of-care nurses would be subject to furlough (up to five days in a fiscal year) only in the event of a State fiscal emergency. A furlough is unpaid leave.

 

 

 

08-10-2005: Bargaining resumes

Bargaining resumed this week on new contracts for the nine bargaining units represented by SEIU, Local 1000. During these negotiations, State representatives will seek common ground with union representatives to achieve the policy goals outlined below.

 

Stabilize health and retirement benefit costs

  • Health - The State's annual cost to provide this benefit for active employees has risen from $1.1 billion to more than $1.5 billion in the past four years. Unless we take steps to stabilize these increases, it's estimated the State's annual cost could exceed $2 billion by 2010.

  • Retirement - Benefit enhancements enacted over the past few years, combined with uncertain investment returns, pose a large unfunded liability to the taxpayers. We need to control the State's pension costs to reduce the taxpayer's liability and ensure the program's long-term viability.

 

Allow furloughs in fiscal emergencies

A furlough program would give the State more flexibility to control payroll costs in a fiscal emergency. Current options (hiring freezes, layoffs, negotiated pay cuts) take longer to achieve the necessary savings and carry more negative consequences for employer and employee.

 

Align State holidays with rest of California

The number of holidays enjoyed by State employees should be in sync with what most working Californians receive.

 

Control overtime costs

Overtime pay should be triggered only when the employee actually works the requisite number of hours (i.e., 40 hrs./week). Current practice inflates overtime costs by allowing State employees to use leave time to meet this 40-hr. requirement.

 

Enforce leave caps

The State must take steps to reduce the huge balance of unused leave amassed by employees who've exceeded the current cap of 640 hours. Collectively, this leave balance represents a huge unfunded liability for the State.

 

 

 

08-01-2005: SDI deductions start October 1 for SEIU bargaining units

Effective April 1, 2006, employees in the nine bargaining units represented by SEIU, Local 1000 (units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21) became eligible for SDI benefits. Payroll deductions for this benefit began October 1, 2005.
 
Disability insurance pays part of your wages if you have to stop working because of a non-work-related illness or injury. SDI also includes paid family leave benefits.
 
SEIU is the only union that asked the State to switch its employees to SDI, which is paid for by employee payroll deductions. All other State employees remain in the NDI program, which is paid for by the employer.
 

Information from the Employment Development Department

 
 
 

07-21-2005: Unit 7 (CAUSE) contract signed

The Governor yesterday signed AB 1373 (Umberg), ratifying the State's new two-year contract with bargaining unit 7. This new agreement runs from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007.

 

Provisions of the CAUSE contract:

  • Waiting period for dependent health coverage: Effective Jan. 1, 2006, new employees will receive the full State contribution toward their health premium but only half the State's health contribution for dependents during the first year of employment. After one year, the employee will receive 75% of the State's dependent contribution, 100% after the second year.

  • State health cost stabilization: The State will pay a fixed amount toward employee health premiums that is equivalent to the dollar amount paid for most other bargaining units (i.e., roughly 80% of the average premium in 2005 and 85% of the average premium in 2006). However, any premium increases approved by CalPERS for 2007 will be covered by employees.

  • New health coverage category: DPA and the union will work to establish a new health premium category of "employee plus children" to reduce out-of-pocket premiums for single parents.

  • Overtime determination: Sick leave will not count as "time worked" when determining an employee's eligibility for overtime pay.

  • Uniform allowance increase: Permanent, full-time employees required to wear uniforms currently reimbursed at $540/year will receive a $100 increase in their uniform reimbursement.

  • Pay range increases:: Pay ranges for the jobs listed below will be increased by one step or two (a step equates to 5% of salary). Employees who reach the top step will then become eligible for higher salaries than possible under the current salary structure, which is intended to boost recruitment and retention for these positions.

    • 911 Dispatcher: 2 steps (effective July 1, 2005)

    • Bureau of Automotive Repair Program Representative (inspects, certifies auto shops): 1 step (effective Jan. 1, 2006)

    • Criminalist & related classes: 1 step (effective July 1, 2006)

    • Peace Officer (includes park rangers, game wardens, special agents): 1 step (effective Jan. 1, 2007)

  • Furloughs, holidays, retirement: Agreements reached with other bargaining units, the Legislature, and/or enacted by California voters will apply to this bargaining unit as well.

 
 
 

07-20-2005: DPA advises departments on prohibitions against sickouts

DPA has advised State personnel and labor relations staff to take swift action if any employees engage in sickouts or other job actions. "No strike" provisions of State labor contracts, including expired contracts, prohibit sickouts and other job actions. Employees who engage in such actions will be docked pay for the missed time and disciplined.

 

In general, these "no strike" provisions state:

 

  • "A. During the term of this agreement, neither the Union nor its agents nor any employee, for any reason, will authorize, institute, aid, condone or engage in a work slowdown, work stoppage, strike, or any other interference with the work and statutory functions or obligations of the State.

  • "B. The Union agrees to notify all of its officers, stewards, chief stewards and staff of their obligation and responsibility for maintaining compliance with this Section, including the responsibility to remain at work during any activity which may be caused or initiated by others, and to encourage employees violating this Section to return to work."

 

These provisions remain in effect when the contract expires, as authorized by law (Dills Act), which states:

 

  • "(a) If a memorandum of understanding has expired, and the Governor and the recognized employee organization have not agreed to a new memorandum of understanding and have not reached an impasse in negotiations, subject to subdivision (b), the parties to the agreement shall continue to give effect to the provisions of the expired memorandum of understanding, including, but not limited to, all provisions that supersede existing law, any arbitration provisions, any no strike provisions..."

 

The State and the unions with expired agreements are still bargaining, have not reached impasse, and are working toward an agreement. Thus, the provisions above are in full force and effect.

 
 
 

07-18-2005: PERB issues complaint against SEIU over sickout

A sickout staged by SEIU, Local 1000 at the Chula Vista Veterans Home over the Fourth of July weekend has resulted in an "unfair practice" complaint by the Public Employment Relations Board.

 

The Board's complaint, issued today, responds to an unfair practice charge filed July 8 by DPA and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs against SEIU. The departments charge that the sickout by certified nursing assistants in bargaining unit 20 violates their contract's no-strike provision. (Article 5.1, Bargaining Unit 20 Memorandum of Understanding)

 

The no-strike provision prohibits employees from engaging in a work slowdown, stoppage, strike, or any other interference with the work, functions, or obligations of the State. Based on State law (Government Code section 3517.8), this provision remains in effect even though the Unit 20 contract recently expired.

 

Over the holiday weekend, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs brought in outside nurses and used State RNs (many on overtime) to cover the shifts of the CNAs who called in sick. In addition, other staff at the home and volunteers came in to assist the residents.

 

The next step will be a July 29 "settlement conference" involving the Board, DPA, and the union. If no settlement is reached, the Board will set a hearing date to decide whether to uphold the complaint against SEIU.

 

 
 

07-11-2005: Psych Tech contract signed

The Governor today signed AB 1567 (Torrico), clearing the way for the new contract agreement with the State psychiatric technicians to be implemented.

 

The agreement raises salaries for psychiatric technicians by 5 percent, half of it retroactive to Aug. 1, 2004, and the other half effective Jan. 1, 2005. Employed in State mental hospitals, developmental centers, and prisons, the 7,100 nursing professionals in this unit have been working without a contract since July 2003. This new contract runs until June 30, 2006.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, the State can re-open the contract to negotiate new provisions on salaries, health benefits, retirement, holidays, vacation caps, and overtime.

 

In the area of health benefits, the new contract sets the employer contribution toward employee health premiums at a fixed dollar amount rather than a percentage, which will help the State control its rising health costs. Overtime costs also are addressed by excluding sick leave from "time worked" when determining overtime eligibility.

 

Assembly to vote Thursday on CAUSE contract

AB 1373 (Umberg) is scheduled for a final vote in the Assembly on Thursday, July 14. The bill ratifies the agreement announced May 20 between the State and Unit 7 (California Union of Safety Employees), representing protective service and public safety employees.

 

State and SEIU negotiators take a break

By mutual agreement, State and union negotiators for SEIU, Local 1000 will not hold any bargaining sessions this week. Future meetings will be scheduled, however.
 
 
 
 

06-28-2005: Psych Tech contract clears Legislature

The contract agreement with the State psychiatric technicians received final approval yesterday from the Senate (AB 1567, Torrico), clearing the way for implementation upon signing by the Governor.

 

The agreement raises salaries for psychiatric technicians by 5 percent, half of it retroactive to Aug. 1, 2004, and the other half effective Jan. 1, 2005. Employed in State mental hospitals, developmental centers, and prisons, the 7,100 nursing professionals in this unit have been working without a contract since July 2003. This new contract runs until June 30, 2006.

 

Under the terms of the agreement, the State can re-open the contract to negotiate new provisions on salaries, health benefits, retirement, holidays, vacation caps, and overtime.

 

In the area of health benefits, the new contract sets the employer contribution toward employee health premiums at a fixed dollar amount rather than a percentage, which will help the State control its rising health costs. Overtime costs also are addressed by excluding sick leave from "time worked" when determining overtime eligibility.

 

Senate approves Unit 7 (CAUSE) contract

The Senate yesterday also approved the Unit 7 tentative agreement between the State and its public safety workers. AB 1373 (Umberg) now returns to the Assembly for final concurrence. This new contract would run from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007, replacing the agreement that expired July 2, 2003.

 

Little progress in SEIU talks

Although negotiators met over the weekend with three of the bargaining units (3, 4, and 11), there's little progress to report. Unit 3, representing teachers and librarians working in State facilities, asked for a 25 percent pay raise and the same enhanced retirement formula that currently applies to correctional officers and firefighters ("3 percent at 55"). (Effective Jan. 1, 2006, this formula goes to 3 percent at 50 for correctional officers and firefighters.)

 

 

 

06-23-2005: Merit Award Board meets June 30

When: June 30, 2005, at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Department of Personnel Administration, 1800 15th St., Benefits Conference Room
Why: The Board will consider employee suggestions submitted by departments for a Merit Award
 
 
 

06-21-2005:Still waiting on SEIU response to State proposals

In January, DPA released the State's initial bargaining proposals. In March, we invited SEIU to the bargaining table. In May, SEIU released its proposals and then spent the next four weeks discussing groundrules for bargaining.

 

Last week, DPA finally was able to schedule meetings with all of SEIU's bargaining units to begin actual negotiations. With the exception of Unit 17 (registered nurses), DPA has reached tentative agreements with the SEIU-represented bargaining units only on very minor issues.

 

DPA and the RNs, on the other hand, have met several times and reached tentative agreement on most non-economic items. DPA is now awaiting a response from the RNs to our economic proposals.

 

The Unit 17 contract expired June 30, 2004. Contracts for the eight other SEIU units expire June 30, 2005.

 

Negotiations continue with Units 2, 12, and 13

State negotiators continue to meet with union representatives for the State's attorneys and administrative law judges (Unit 2), craft and maintenance employees (Unit 12), and stationary engineers (Unit 13) on new contracts. All three units are working under expired contracts.

 

Update on contract agreements reached so far

Two bills ratifying agreements negotiated with psychiatric technicians who work in State facilities and the State's public safety employees await final approval in the Senate. Both bills - AB 1567 (Torrico) and AB 1373 (Umberg) - were previously approved by the Assembly.

 
 
 

06-14-2005: DPA makes offer to nurses

DPA has presented an offer to the State's RNs that includes significant reforms, as well as pay raises to boost hiring and retention. This contract would succeed the agreement with the nurses that expired June 30, 2004.

 

Of the 3,891RNs in this bargaining unit, roughly two-thirds are "level of care" nurses providing or supervising direct patient care in mental health hospitals, youth and adult correctional institutions, developmental centers, and the State's veterans' homes.

 

To develop its package, DPA analyzed compensation levels of nurses in California. Key findings of note: (1) job satisfaction among State-employed RNs is influenced more by interaction with patients and physical work environment than by salary and benefits. (Report findings based on "Survey of Registered Nurses in California-2004," published by the California Board of Registered Nurses.) (2) Base pay for State RNs lags the average in the 18 counties responding to the survey by roughly 3.2%, while total compensation for State RNs (including retirement and other benefits) exceeds the average in the 18 counties by 1.1%.

 

Here are the provisions of the State's contract offer:

 

  • 5% pay raise effective July 1, 2005, plus an additional 5% for "level of care" nurses in facilities where State RN pay lags the local jurisdiction. Effective July 1, 2006, "level of care" nurses would be eligible for additional raises (up to 5%), based on labor market conditions in the specific geographic area where they work.

  • Increase employee's share of pension costs by 2% of salary, beginning in FY 06-07.

  • Eliminate two paid holidays, beginning in FY 06-07.

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2006, new employees will receive the full State contribution toward their health premium but only half that amount for dependent coverage during the first year of employment; 75% during the second year; 100% after the second year.

  • Set the State's contribution for employee health premiums on July 1, 2005, at a flat-dollar equivalent of the "80-80" formula. (Contracts negotiated in 2003 for most bargaining units based the State's 2004 and 2005 health contributions on a percentage of that year's weighted average premium of the four plans with the highest employee enrollment: 80% for employees, 80% for dependents ["80-80" formula]. It changes to an 85-80 formula on Jan. 1, 2006, for units whose contracts extend past that date.) The State will raise its contribution Jan. 1, 2006, to the flat-dollar equivalent of 85-80 and keep it at that level in 2007.

  • Exclude all leave time from "time worked" when determining overtime.

  • Stop vacation accrual by employees who exceed the current cap (640 hours). This provision will be implemented in FY 06-07 following a transition period.

 

 

 

06-07-2005: DPA presses SEIU to start negotiations

All three meetings held to date with SEIU have bogged down over ground rules for bargaining, with the union insisting its units should negotiate as a single coalition rather than as individual bargaining units. There has been no discussion of the State's initial bargaining proposals that DPA released Jan. 20, nor any counterproposals from the units.

 

DPA continues to urge unit representatives to come to the bargaining table in time to reach a tentative agreement on new contracts before current agreements expire (June 30, 2005).

 

Decision expected June 13 on CCPOA release time bank

An arbitrator's decision on whether the Unit 6 contract caps the amount of time CCPOA can use from its release time bank has been postponed until Monday, June 13. The decision, initially scheduled to be issued yesterday, follows two days of hearings last week on the question of whether the cap in Section 10.13 (B) of the contract is valid.

 

That section states, "In no case shall CCPOA accumulate or use more than 10,000 CTO and/or vacation hours from the bank during the term of this MOU." A recent review of time drawn from the release time bank showed the union had exceeded the limit by more than 112,000 hours.

 

Assembly approves two MOU bills

Last week, the Assembly approved two tentative agreements containing provisions of the Governor's reform package:

 

  • AB 1373 approves the agreement between the State and Unit 7 employees (protective service and public safety), which we announced May 20.

  • AB 1567 approves the agreement between the State and Unit 18 employees (psychiatric technicians), which we announced Dec. 16.

 

Both MOU bills now move to the Senate for approval.

 

 

 

05-20-2005: DPA and CAUSE reach tentative agreement

The Dept. of Personnel Administration has reached tentative agreement on a two-year contract with the California Union of Safety Employees (CAUSE), representing 6,610 State employees in bargaining unit 7.

 

Pending approval from the Legislature and union members, this new contract would run from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007. The last contract expired July 2, 2003.

 

The agreement includes compromise language on the Governor's health benefit reforms and overtime calculations. The union also agreed to accept a furlough program, reduced holiday schedule, and retirement reform if other union contracts are negotiated with these provisions (or in the case of retirement reform, enacted by initiative). In return, the State agreed to adjust the pay ranges for specified jobs where the State has difficulty recruiting and retaining personnel.

 

Provisions of the new agreement:

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2006, new employees will receive the full State contribution toward their health premium but only half the State dependent contribution during the employee's first year of employment; 75% during the second year; 100% after the second year.

  • Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2005, the State's contribution to employee health premiums will be the flat-dollar equivalent of the "80-80" formula. (Contracts negotiated in 2003 for most bargaining units based the State's 2004 and 2005 health contributions on a percentage of that year's weighted average premium of the four plans with the highest employee enrollment: 80% for employees, 80% for dependents ["80-80" formula]. It changes to an 85-80 formula on Jan. 1, 2006, for units whose contracts extend past that date. Since Unit 7's contract expired in 2003, the State contribution for these employees has been frozen at the 2003 level.)The State will raise its contribution Jan. 1, 2006, to the flat-dollar equivalent of 85-80 and keep it at that level in 2007.

  • DPA and CAUSE will work to establish a new health premium category of "employee plus children" to reduce out-of-pocket premiums for single parents.

  • Exclude sick leave from "time worked" when determining overtime.

  • Employees required to wear uniforms will receive a $100 increase in their uniform allowance.

  • Pay ranges for the following jobs will be increased by one step or two, as noted. This allows employees who reach the top step to earn a higher salary than possible under current pay ranges for these jobs (a step equates to a 5% pay increase):

  • 911 dispatcher: 2 steps, effective July 1, 2005

  • Program representative (Employed by Bureau of Automotive Repair to inspect and certify auto shops and testify in court): 1 step, effective Jan. 1, 2006

  • Criminalist, related classes: 1 step, effective July 1, 2006

  • Peace officer (Includes park rangers, game wardens, and special agents at Dept. of Justice): 1 step, effective Jan. 1, 2007

 

 

 

02-04-2005: FTB employee honored for work in human resources field

The 2004 Robert L. Negri Human Resources Achievement Award was presented Feb. 3 to Jeanette Williams Gipson, labor relations manager for the Franchise Tax Board. The annual award from the Dept. of Personnel Administration honors outstanding performance and achievement in the human resources field.

 

Ms. Gipson's career with the State, which began in 1973, spans several departments: State Personnel Board, Department of General Services, State Controller's Office, Department of Consumer Affairs, State Teachers Retirement System, and her current employer, Franchise Tax Board. She has received several commendations and is often called upon by peers, management, and staff for her labor relations expertise and counsel.

 

Ms. Gipson's award was presented by DPA director Michael T. Navarro at the annual Labor Relations Conference.

 
 
 

01-25-2005: State settles longstanding dispute with craft and maintenance workers

The Dept. of Personnel Administration and Unit 12, represented by the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), have resolved a longstanding dispute over non-Unit 12 employees performing work traditionally performed by Unit 12 employees in departments under the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency.

 

Senate Bill 1097 (Dunn) has been introduced for the Legislature to approve this settlement agreement. The agreement:

 

  • eliminates/reduces Unit 12 work disputes and any damages in the future;

  • eliminates the State's liability with regard to a 2002 arbitrator's award that potentially could have cost the State between $35 million and $90 million;

  • eliminates all pending arbitrations and union-controlled grievances regarding Unit 12 work jurisdiction disputes;

  • clarifies that performance of work by incarcerated workers is not a violation of the work-jurisdiction provision of the Unit 12 memorandum of understanding; and

  • increases the State's health benefit contribution for eligible Unit 12 employees to the following amounts, effective January 1, 2005: $284/mo. for 1-party; $564/mo. for 2-party; and $728/mo. for 3-party coverage. (Amounts represent the dollar equivalent of the 80/80 formula currently in statute for other bargaining units. This settlement agreement contains no such statute or contract formula.)

 

 
 

01-03-2005: Public meetings on initial bargaining proposals

Public meetings were held on the following dates at 11:00 a.m. in Conference Room A/B at the Department of Personnel Administration, 1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 400, Sacramento, California 95811-7258. These meetings were required by Section 3523 of the Ralph C. Dills Act, which governs collective bargaining for California state civil service employees. For information on proposals made or received at the meetings, see initial bargaining proposals in 2005.

 

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Thursday, January 20, 2005

  Updated: 8/27/2012
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