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
Increases to Business & Travel Reimbursement Rates Coming January 1. CASE is pleased to announce that thanks to the work of both the CASE Bargaining Team and Supervisor and Manager Meet and Confer Team, the state will be increasing Business & Travel Reimbursement Rates effective January 1. And, this is just the start of what we anticipate will be additional improvements in 2024. Article 12.1 of the CASE MOU promises Unit 2 rank-and-file employees will receive any increases to reimbursement rates provided to excluded employees, so your direct reports in Unit 2 will benefit as well. You can check out the increased amounts here. The State continues to work towards adoption of the federal reimbursement rates established by the General Services Administration (GSA). Look for more news on improvements in future CASE Files.
Calling all CASE Runners! Members from any department are invited to join the California DOJ Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay team, March 23-24, 2024. This 120-mile, 20-stage foot race begins in Baker, California, and ends in Las Vegas, Nevada, pitting the home team against teams from various local, state, and federal public agencies from across the country and the globe. The team is looking for members to embrace the challenge of this highly competitive, grueling, non-stop competition that highlights the work of public servants and offers a chance for cross-agency camaraderie. Learn more about the race here. Up to the challenge or want to learn more? Contact CASE Vice President (and race veteran) Ryan Smith.
Protecting the Profession. As noted in this week’s news items, below, the State Bar recently solicited comments on its proposal to allow individuals to obtain a license to practice law without taking the Bar exam. The proposal would allow entry into the profession simply by working under a mentor and submitting written work product. CASE submitted its opposition to the proposal during the comment period. CASE is proud that the state is home to the highest quality attorneys practicing today, but the State has made clear at the bargaining table that they view our legal professionals as fungible and not worthy of being compensated similar to other public sector lawyers and judges. This proposal would make it easier for the State to hire “warm bodies” rather than competent and skilled legal professionals. The full State Bar proposal can be viewed here.
BETTER KNOW YOUR MOU
Solidarity with CAPS Scientists. As many of you have heard, after three years without an MOU and a declaration of impasse by PERB, our State Scientists kin in Unit 10, representing 5,200 scientists across more than 50 state departments, have undertaken the first ever state employee strike in the hopes of securing horizontal and vertical pay equity. “[CAPS] is not here to settle for anything less than the fair pay and respect that [they] deserve,” CAPS President Jacqueline Tkac said. “[CAPS] hope[s] that the state can recognize the opportunity that [they] have in front of [them].”
CASE understands the frustration that comes from dealing with an administration that refuses to appropriately value public service and pay people what they are worth. Scientists frequently work closely with CASE legal professionals to implement and enforce important environmental policy and protect public policy — including creating earthquake warning systems, protecting wildlife and reducing air pollution. As we know, state scientists are paid 40% to 60% less than professionals in comparable positions doing similar work.
CalHR is very concerned that State unions act in concert with each other and is always seeking to prevent unions from supporting other bargaining units. During negotiations, CalHR required inclusion of Article 4.1 which prevents CASE from striking during the term of the agreement (and until impasse is declared after the MOU expires) including participating in sympathy strikes with other unions. CASE is therefore obliged to encourage its members to comply with the terms of the MOU. CAPS is currently set to return to mediation with CalHR at the end of the month.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
News of interest to CASE legal professionals:
- Bar exam alternative proposed in California gets rocky public reception – Reuters
- Burbank Airport drops lawsuit against California High-Speed Rail – KTLA
CASE Supplemental Insurance Open Enrollment. Through November 30, CASE members can sign up for Accident Insurance and Critical Injury Insurance available through our group policy with The Standard. Open enrollment ends November 30 and this will be your only opportunity to enroll until Fall 2024.
For more information, including cost and coverage, please review the benefit summaries available here: Accident and Critical Injury. This Enrollment Guide contains information on how to log-in to the system.To access the enrollment portal, please visit the Supplemental Insurance page in the Member Center (password: membersmatter22).