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April 20, 2022 CASE Files

Welcome to this week’s CASE Files, part of our commitment to keep you up-to-date on our work to increase your salary, improve and protect your benefits, and to aggressively represent your interests in every forum where your employment and professional interests are at stake.

CASE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ UPDATE 

CASE leaders pose for a photo with California Attorney General Rob Bonta during a meeting in Los Angeles to discuss improving Unit 2 salaries and benefits. Left to right: CASE Directors Anthony Seferian, Jackie Grossman, and Rama Maline; Attorney General Rob Bonta; CASE President Tim O’Connor; CASE Directors Ryan Smith and Simon Hovakimian.

CASE Leaders meet with Attorney General Bonta. CASE leaders met with Attorney General Bonta on Monday in Los Angeles to thank the Attorney General for his commitment to helping CASE improve salary and benefits for the state’s legal professionals. CASE Board Members shared their goals of closing the salary gap between CASE members and their public sector peers, achieving salary equity for ALJs, improving family leave benefits for all, and preserving telework flexibility.  Attorney General Bonta was supportive of CASE’s goals and cited compensation, along with the Department’s culture and mission, as key to building the strongest DOJ team possible. The CASE Board agrees, for DOJ and all state agencies: compensation is key to attracting and retaining the best legal professionals to serve the people of California. 

This meeting is the first in a series planned by the Board to discuss the important work you provide to the state with leaders of all departments, agencies, and commissions where Unit 2 professionals work.  

Investments in your positions pay dividends for the State. Unit 2 personnel routinely win big for the state in terms of settlements reached, levied fines, collected fees, and more. Your stories can help us illustrate at the bargaining table the immense return on investment CASE members provide California through their service. Share your stories here.

BETTER KNOW YOUR MOU

Range Changes – Timing is Everything. Are you coming up on a hiring anniversary date? Nearing a milestone in your state service? The order of when you move ranges and your annual Merit Salary Adjustment (MSA) can sometimes make a difference, especially for those not already at the top step. Article 5.4 provides that employees who are eligible for a range change may defer the change for up to 6 qualifying pay periods to coincide the range change with the effective date of their MSA. Requests to delay a range change must be provided in writing and submitted no less than 30 days prior to your anniversary date for purposes of the range change. Questions? Contact CASE.

CASE ON THE CASE

Reagan Building Rats, HVAC Problem. As part of CASE’s duty to hold employers accountable for workplace conditions, staff recently pressed managers at the departments of Justice (DOJ) and General Services (DGS) to fix two problems at the 31-year-old Ronald Reagan Office Building (RROB) in Downtown Los Angeles: an April 11 heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system malfunction that overheated the workplace, and an ongoing rat infestation.

After learning of the heating problem, CASE Labor Relations Representative Monica Miner emailed DOJ and DGS the morning of April 12: “Please advise what caused the extremely high temperatures yesterday and if this has been corrected today. As you are likely aware, there have been ongoing issues at the Ronald Reagan building, including temperature issues and rodent problems. These ongoing issues will not be tolerated, and CASE expects this and other problems to be remedied immediately.”

Adriana Budmark, a DOJ Staff Services Manager II based in Sacramento, emailed back 75 minutes later. The HVAC air compressors failed, she wrote, “resulting in elevated office temperatures throughout the RROB.” DGS, which acts as the State’s landlord, “brought in temporary cooling fans and portable air conditioning units” while repairs to the system were underway.

As for the rat problem, DGS “has a pest control technician onsite once a week” to set exterior traps intended to keep the critters from entering the building. The technician also treats any area where pests have been sighted. 

“If you continue to hear of elevated temperatures or rodent problems in the RROB building,” Budmark wrote, “please let us know so we may investigate the matter further.”

CASE jumps on the case whenever we learn of conditions that are unsafe, unsanitary, or which violate the terms of the Unit 2 Memorandum of Understanding with the State. Please get in touch with CASE with any such workplace concerns.

MEMBERS-ONLY BENEFITS

Privacy Protection. More than 1,800 CASE members serve the State as Deputy Attorneys General, Deputy State Public Defenders, and Administrative Law Judges. These classifications fall under California Government Code 6254.21, which prohibits any person, business, or association from publicly posting the home address or telephone number of any Public Safety, Elected, or Appointed Official as defined by that section.

So as a service to members – and only members – CASE offers our Privacy Protection Program: Any member covered by Government Code section 6254.21 may download and fill out a personal information opt-out form and then send it via mail or email to info@calattorneys.org. CASE staff will copy and send the form to all the major directory websites and sources that contain residential addresses and telephone numbers, with a letter demanding the member’s information be removed from all databases under their control.  If a directory website or source requires opt-out requests to be made online, CASE staff will take care of it. 

The Privacy Protection Program … just one of the many benefits of CASE membership!

JOIN CASE TODAY!

For now, CASE Files will continue to be delivered weekly to all Unit 2 employees, but our Bargaining Updates are delivered only to members. Stay informed on the important decisions that will impact your salary and benefits by joining CASE today. Apply here.

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