November 16, 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 aggressively represent your professional interests in every forum where they are at stake.

Welcome New Board Members. CASE welcomes new Board Members John de Leon and Seaton Tsai. The CASE Board also thanks departing Board Member Warren Williams for his years of dedicated service to the CASE Membership. The Board next meets this Friday, November 18 (see member attendee registration info below). 

Member Recruitment Incentive Program. CASE is pleased to share our new Member Recruitment Incentive Program. We are truly stronger together – a high number of engaged members sends a clear message to CalHR and the Governor. You can help us build a stronger union and be rewarded for your efforts. If you recruit a new CASE Member and are listed as the referring member on their application, you’ll receive $100. The top recruiter in each quarter will receive a bonus payment as well.

Some fine print applies, of course: The referral name must be listed on the new member’s application at the time of submission; CASE Board Members are not eligible to participate in this program; and the Board reserves the right to change the terms of the incentive program at any time. 

CASE lawsuit garners media attention. CASE’s lawsuit against the State Personnel Board (SPB) and the Civil Rights Department (CRD) as Real Party in Interest received media coverage after it was filed in Sacramento County Superior Court on Thursday.  The stories report on a Petition for Writ of Mandate challenging SPB’s decision that CRD legally hired outside lawyers to take over high-profile discrimination and harassment cases against video game companies Riot Games and Activision Blizzard. CRD maintains it outsourced the work due to conflicts of interest. 

CASE argued before the SPB in one case that no conflict of interest exists, and that the potential conflicts in the other case could be avoided through personnel screening measures – and thus keep public attorneys doing public work. SPB ruling in favor of CRD prompted CASE to file the writ.

The Sacramento Bee’s story, “California union alleges state illegally outsourced work in lawsuits against video game makers,” includes a quote from CASE President Tim O’Connor that succinctly defines what is at stake: “This would basically open up the floodgates for state agencies to hire outside counsel with unfettered discretion.”  (The Bee provides limited content access to non-subscribers.)

Bloomberg Law’s, “California Lawyers Union Sues to Void State Use of Outside Firms,” cites the complaint’s central assertion: “CASE and its members have been irreparably harmed by the Board Decision as it authorizes the outsourcing of legal work that could and should be performed by CASE members, who are rank-and-file civil service attorneys employed by the State of California.”  (Bloomberg also provides limited content access to non-subscribers.)

As part of CASE’s ongoing media-relations efforts, CASE staff alerted reporters to the pending litigation, provided embargoed public records, and arranged advance background and on-the-record interviews to explain the issues in play. These links will open the petition and supporting documents:

CASE Board Meeting – Friday, November 18. The next CASE Board meeting will be held Friday, November 18. Members interested in attending, can register here. A zoom link will be provided the morning of the meeting. Make sure to register no later than Thursday, November 17 at 12:00pm if you’d like to attend. 

MOU Implementation Status Reminder.  As reported in CASE Files #32, CalHR and the State Controller informed CASE that they expect to issue the pay letter required to provide the GSI increase and related back pay issued on November 23. Because that date falls after the monthly payroll cutoff, you will not see the increase reflected on your monthly pay for November 2022 (issued December 1, 2022). However, the adjustment for the November 2022 pay period will be issued as a supplemental warrant with a December 1 issue date. Retroactive GSI salary adjustments for the period of July, 2002 through October, 2022 will issue as a supplemental warrant on November 24.

Ensuring Members Receive Their Stipends. CASE continues to receive reports of members not receiving the telework stipends negotiated over a year ago, with especially pronounced issues at the Department of Industrial Relations. To assist us in enforcing your rights under the contract, we invite members to take this quick survey. Your responses will help us assess next steps – including filing Wage Claims on behalf of members who haven’t received what they are owed. Take the survey today.

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