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March 24, 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

After soliciting applications for three vacant director positions, the Board has started the process to fill the seats, which will continue at its special meeting on March 25. The Board thanks all of the CASE members who submitted their applications. 

BARGAINING UPDATE

Bargaining Survey Reminder – DUE MARCH 25. Negotiations for the next MOU considers all sections of the MOU, not just salaries. So, we need to hear from you about your priorities. The best way to let us know is to complete our 2022 Bargaining Survey. But don’t wait! The Bargaining Team is taking submissions through March 25.

TELEWORK Q&A

Are you heading back to the office?  Many CASE members have reported that they will soon be required to return to the office from their pandemic-related telework authorization. Some departments have communicated specific operational needs for requiring in-person work, but others have not.

  • What if you object to returning to in-person work? Article 6.4 of the CASE MOU allows for home telework, with conditions.  It provides: “…that telework has been proven to improve employee morale, reduce traffic congestion and improve productivity.” and that “…employee requests to telework shall not be denied except for operational needs…employees who believe their request to telework was denied in violation of this subsection, may file a grievance that can be appealed to the fourth level of the grievance procedure.”
  • So should I file a grievance? If you’re not happy with the in-person work schedule proposed for your workplace, let your supervisor know your desired schedule, in writing, citing Article 6.4 of the MOU. You should receive a response from your supervisor, though it may not offer more than basic “operational need” talking points from management.  If you don’t receive a satisfactory response – contact CASE ASAP. We will be preparing department wide grievances for those departments that may be in violation of the MOU and your evidence will be helpful in making the case for common-sense, continued telework.

BETTER KNOW YOUR MOU – National Judicial College Differential

You know there’s a contract, and chances are you know what it covers generally. Today, we debut a new feature – Better Know Your MOU – where we’ll highlight some famous, and not so famous, provisions of the Unit 2 collective bargaining agreement. First up, Article 5.11, the National Judicial College Differential. 

Administrative Law Judges and other Hearing Officer classifications listed in Article 5.11(E) who complete an equivalent judicial education curriculum (as defined) receive a 5% monthly salary differential. The MOU also requires the state to for necessary and reasonable expenses incurred to attend such a program. 

Are you an ALJ or Hearing Officer who has attended a judicial education program? Check your pay warrant to make sure you are receiving the differential. If you aren’t, contact us at info@calattorneys.org.

CALPERS CORNER

Free Educational Webcasts.  Understanding your CalPERS benefits is important, whether you’re early in your state career, mid-career, or nearing retirement.  Fortunately, CalPERS hosts free monthly webcasts that explore various aspects of pension system membership and benefits, from using the myCALPERS portal and retirement planning, to survivor benefits and how to file for your pension online.

The webcasts generally run 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Free sign-up is required. Please visit the CalPERS Member Education Webcast page via this link for registration details and a schedule of upcoming topics.

MEMBER BENEFITS

Discount on attractions. The greatest value of CASE membership is, of course, our collective action to benefit Unit 2 legal personnel. 

But beyond that, did you know dues-paying CASE members enjoy many other benefits, including discounts on attractions statewide? As warmer weather returns, it’s a great time of year to check out the world-class San Diego Zoo, ride the Roaring Camp Railroads through the redwoods near Santa Cruz, or explore Northern California rivers with All-Outdoors White Water Rafting – all at reduced rates for CASE members. Please go to our Voting Member Benefits & Resources webpage for a list of participating vendors.  

And if you are not yet a dues-paying member, please join us to unlock the many benefits of CASE membership for you and your family.  Joining is simple and quick, and starts by filling out the online membership application found here.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • Your 2022 Bargaining Team. As reported last week, the CASE Bargaining Team began negotiations on March 17 with CalHR, seeking to end the years of salary inequities borne by state attorneys, ALJs, and other legal professionals in Unit 2.  Your interests in those talks are represented by Bargaining Team members Tim O’Connor (Attorney V, State Compensation Insurance Fund), Rama R. Maline (Deputy Attorney General V, Department of Justice), Talene Ghazarian (Attorney, Department of Health Care Services), Simon Hovakimian (Workers’ Compensation Judge I, Department of Industrial Relations), and Traci Belmore (Administrative Law Judge I, Department of General Services).  Have questions for the team?  Email queries to info@calattorneys.org.  

JOIN CASE TODAY!

Strong membership sends a clear message to CalHR: We’re in the fight for better compensation, better benefits, and safeguarded retirement together. Members alone vote for their Board representatives and to ratify our contract. And only members receive representation by our skilled, knowledgeable CASE staff if they are subject to discipline or do not receive a promotion when due. Join CASE today by filling out an application online.