Keeping you up-to-date on our work to increase your salary, improve and protect your benefits, and aggressively represent your professional interests in every forum where they are at stake.
CASE BOARD OF DIRECTORS UPDATE
Dues Due. Be on the lookout for information from your employer about bar dues payment processes, which can vary from department to department. The maximum the State will reimburse is $465 of the default $510 indicated on your State Bar dues form. The State does not cover contributions towards Elimination of Bias or the Legal Services Assistance, or optional donations for items like the Justice Gap Fund or California Supreme Court Historical Society. If you are directly paying your dues, make sure to opt-out of those items unless you would like to pay for them out-of-pocket. The State also will not cover late payment penalties unless they are responsible for the late payment.
For employees not required to be State Bar members as a condition of employment, your department may provide reimbursement for dues or 2 additional Professional Development Days (PDDs).
Additionally, the CASE MOU provides increased reimbursement for specialty or local bar dues – up to $200 annually where State Bar Membership is required as a condition of employment. Fees for more than one specialty or local bar membership can be reimbursed if the total reimbursement does not exceed $200.
Bar Dues must be paid by February 1, 2024. For more details, check out the CalHR Manual section on dues payment, or contact CASE.
2023-24 Leave Buy-Back Program Canceled. The State last week issued a Budget Letter announcing several cost-saving measures in the face of a record $68b budget deficit. Among them, cancellation of the 2023-24 Leave Buy-Back (aka: cash out of vacation/annual leave) program. While Article 9.23 of the Unit 2 MOU provides for leave cash out of up to 160 hours each year, the program is dependent on department fund availability and approval. The Budget Letter preempts department action which usually occurs in the spring.
This includes the Excluded Employee Leave Buy Back Program and its 2023-24 enhancement that would’ve allowed transfers of cashed-out amounts to be rolled to SavingsPlus accounts. For members who may have submitted a request for that program, forms will be returned and further communication is expected from SavingsPlus directly to account holders in the coming weeks.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 2023 IN REVIEW
These events were among the most consequential news stories for CASE legal professionals this year:
- California’s budget deficit swells to record $68B as tax revenue falls – Politico (12/7/23)
- California attorney union wins ruling against CDCR after department hired contract workers – The Sacramento Bee (8/24/23)
- California union alleges state withheld work-from-home stipends for hundreds of employees – The Sacramento Bee (2/3/23)
Strengthen Your Union, and Get a Little Gift for Yourself. It’s a good time of year to remind everyone about our Member Recruitment Incentive Program. When you invite a colleague to join CASE and they list you as the person who referred them, they get the protections and benefits of CASE Membership, and you get $100. (Referral must be listed on the new member’s application at the time of submission). Top referrers each quarter get a bonus reward, too.
Governor Grants Informal Holiday Time Off. Per tradition, the Governor has granted state employees 4 hours of informal time off for the upcoming holiday season. In most cases, the ITO should be taken the business day before December 25 or the business day before January 1. ITO cannot be cashed out at separation, so make sure to use it. Work Week Groups SE and E can combine their 4 hours of ITO with paid leave to equal a full day off or use their ITO to leave early after working a partial day. Happy Holidays!
Speaking of Holidays: The State also released the 2024 State Holiday Schedule for Excluded Employees this week. You can find it here.