October 26, 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 professional interests in every forum where they are at stake.

Advocating for Career Opportunities, Holding CalHR Accountable. Last week, CASE challenged the State’s over-reliance on Retired Annuitants – a practice that robs CASE Members of promotional and career development opportunities. State law limits departments’ use of Retired Annuitants to situations where they have specialized skills, and permits their service for only a limited duration. Despite this statutory command, CalHR permits departments to employ RAs for years on end, blocking Member opportunities to promote to Attorney IV and V, or Senior ALJ positions. The complaint for declaratory relief asks the court to define the terms “specialized skills” and “limited duration” so that we can set an outer limit on the use of RAs.

Media coverage has included:

  • Some California retirees go back to work with CalPERS pensions. Union lawsuit seeks limits.” – Sacramento Bee (tiered subscription – access may be limited)  From the story: “This is a big problem,” said Tim O’Connor, (CASE’s) president. “It’s with a lot of agencies, it’s been very abusive, and we’re going to do something about it.” … O’Connor said that while CalPERS’ rules hold the retired annuitants accountable for their post-retirement employment, the union aims to force CalHR to hold employers accountable.
  • Lawyers union says California gives too many state jobs to retirees.” – Courthouse News Service  From the story: “CalHR has refused to enforce the requirement that departments show that their RAs have any specialized skills that do not exist among rank-and-file state employees and has refused to enforce the requirement that RAs be employed for only a limited duration,” the union claimed. “CASE seeks to end the unlawful employment of RAs — at least as to attorneys and judges — and obtain from this court an interpretation of state law regarding the proper employment of RAs.”

This lawsuit is just the initial move in a series of aggressive legal actions by your CASE leaders, who are fully engaged in representing your interests as a Unit 2 employee. CASE Files will keep you apprised as events unfold.

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 (only) who haven’t received what they are owed. Take the survey today.

State Revenue Slows.  In vetoing multiple spending bills in late September, Governor Newsom indicated that tax revenue collection was slowing down and it was not a good time to create new state spending obligations.  Here is how that is reported in the Department of Finance’s October Finance Bulletin:

  • “Preliminary General Fund agency cash receipts for September were $2.785 billion, or 14.7 percent, below the 2022-23 Budget Act forecast of $18.906 billion. Cash receipts for the first three months of the 2022-23 fiscal year were $4.781 billion, or 11.1 percent, below the forecast of $42.946 billion. Combined with the $2.186-billion shortfall relative to forecast for the 2021-22 fiscal year, the cumulative deficit was $6.967 billion through September. Shortfalls in September continued to be driven by lower proceeds from personal income tax.”

News Headlines. Recent media reports of interest to Unit 2 legal professionals:

Get Out The Vote! There are two important elections underway:

California General Election – November 8. Vote-by-mail ballots for the November 8, 2022 General Election were sent last week to all California registered voters.To be counted, your ballot must be postmarked by November 8 or dropped off in a secure ballot drop box by 8 p.m. that night. Not registered? You can register online here, or confirm your voter registration information is correct here.

CASE 2022 Elections – through 5pm, November 4.  All CASE Members who joined prior to the August 26 deadline received an email last Friday from Ballotpoint Election Services (email address: notice@ballotpoint[dot]com) to the personal email address you have on file with CASE. If you do not have a personal email address on file, your ballot was sent to your state email address. Don’t see it? We recommend checking both work and personal inboxes and checking your spam folder (and your work email quarantine) before requesting a new ballot be sent to you. Candidate statements have been posted for your review. You can access them at the CASE website. Password to access is membersmatter22.

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