July 6, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

General Salary Increase Confirmed. CAPS received notice Friday that the expected 5% and 2% General Salary Increases that were included for Unit 10 Supervisors in the May Budget Revise are confirmed and will be executed as of July 1, 2017.

This means that Supervisors who saw the Like Pay Like Work increases in 2014 will receive a 2% increase, and those who did not receive the Like Pay Like Work increases will see a 5% increase in compensation in July, received in paychecks August 1.

Click here to view the list of LPLW classes.

Other Post-Employment Benefits Contribution. CAPS received additional notification on Friday that all supervisors would begin contributing to pre-funding retiree health care in congruence with as the rank and file employees in the bargaining unit, as expected. For Unit 10 that means the schedule below:

July 1, 2017: by 0.7 percent

July 1, 2018: by 0.7 percent, for a total of 1.4 percent, and

July 1, 2019: by 1.4 percent, for a total of 2.8 percent.

Contributions are also “pre-tax.” You can view the full Policy provided by CalHR here: http://hrmanual.calhr.ca.gov/Home/ManualItem/1422.

Pre-funding post-retirement health benefits has been on the Supervisory radar since the rank and file memorandums began to include them. It really started with Unit 5 in 2010. This past round of bargaining, we saw the Governor’s team had a larger agenda and pushed for pre-funding in all contracts. Post-Retirement health benefits are extremely valuable for all of us who plan to retire from our state jobs, and pre-funding them is the best way to ensure they remain sustainable.

Small Steps, Bigger Picture. While the 5% increase is a welcome step for those supervisors who did not receive the Like Pay Like Work increases in 2014, it does not make up the 35% salary inequity among the supervisors in Unit 10. CAPS and the Supervisors’ Committee are acutely aware of this issue and will continue to strategize, provide evidence and make proposals to CalHR and the Governor in support of fair increases for scientific supervisors. Our latest salary chart can be viewed here: http://capsscientists.org/wp-content/uploads/Supervisory-State-Scientist-and-Supervisory-State-Engineer-Salary-Relationships.pdf.

Once again, I wish to thank you for your continued support http://capsscientists.org/wp-content/uploads/Supervisory-State-Scientist-and-Supervisory-State-Engineer-Salary-Relationships.pdfof CAPS’ efforts.

Valerie Brown, Chair
CAPS Supervisors’ Committee

December 19, 2016

I hope all of you are preparing for joyful holidays and time spent with family. The year-end holidays are a great time to reflect on the year we’ve had. I again want to thank you for your membership.  Your continued support is critical if we are to achieve gains for ALL state scientific supervisors and managers. Here are some reflections and updates: 

Long Term Strategic Planning Progress. In the last communication, I notified you that the CAPS Board of Directors approved an aggressive plan to accomplish the goals set forth in the strategic long term plan developed by the entire CAPS Board last spring. Among these goals were sustaining the CAPS Quarterly Grants and Dependent Scholarship Programs, and maintaining a healthy reserve. With your continued membership, you are contributing to this goal, and I thank you. Additionally, CAPS set out to fund a meaningful media outreach program. Not only has CAPS been able to allocate funding, but we have also embarked on a dynamic new media campaign that will seek to boost the profile of state scientists among decision-makers and the public. More details  can be found HERE:   http://www.capsscientists.org/media/

Excluded Employee Leave Buy Back – December 31 Deadline. Departments have begun releasing information about the Excluded Employee Leave Buy Back program. The current Leave Buy-Back Program is being enhanced to allow excluded employees with vacation or annual leave balances in excess of 640 hours as of December 1, 2016 with the option to transfer future leave accruals into a Savings Plus 457(b) and/or 401(k) Plan account. The Program will allow employees the option to transfer the number of leave accruals elected into Savings Plus, take them as a cash payment, or a combination of the two. For the purpose of this new option, eligible leave is either vacation or annual leave. Employees must submit the completed form to their Human Resources office by December 31, 2016.

Follow up Meetings with CalHR. Your Supervisors’ Committee wants to meet with CalHR and its representatives. We hope to meet face-to-face with CalHR in the coming weeks, both in order to reemphasize our requests and to, hopefully, receive a substantive response. More than ever we see that fair pay starts with nearly one-fourth of us who never received the substantial salary boost from July 2014. The fact is that the salaries and benefits for ALL state scientific supervisors are below-market, and below where they need to be. We will continue to push for progress in these areas, as well as updating and enhancing benefits for supervisory members. To review the past CAPS Supervisors Committee Proposals over the years, please visit: http://capsscientists.org/supervisors/supervisors-negotiations/.   

Protecting your Retirement.  CAPS is actively updated on all retirement issues via our participation in the Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of statewide labor unions representing public employees. There are hundreds of public pension systems providing retirement benefits to California public employees – our CalPERS system is by far the largest. Critics have long attacked public pension systems and continue to hope to remove benefits you were promised upon hire. CAPS remains vigilant on all retirement threats and will be there to advocate for you!

Again, a special thanks to my fellow members who have continued to support CAPS. I’m grateful we have a collective voice focused on achieving equitable salaries, benefits and working conditions for all of us.

Thank you for your patience and support of CAPS’ efforts.

Valerie Brown, Chair
CAPS Supervisors’ Committee

September 6, 2016

I’d like to share my thoughts on topics important to all state scientific supervisors.

Last week, during the CAPS Board of Directors meeting, we reviewed the strategic long term plan developed by the entire CAPS Board last spring.  The Board approved an aggressive plan to accomplish these goals and objectives:

  • Achieving salary equity for ALL State Scientists.
  • Defending state scientists retirement, health, dental and vision benefits.
  • Funding a meaningful media outreach program.
  • Ensuring continued funding of state scientific programs and political action as it relates to the 2018 gubernatorial election.
  • Sustaining the CAPS Quarterly Grants and Dependent Scholarship Programs.
  • Maintaining a healthy financial reserve.

We also adopted a new mission statement that ensures that CAPS remains unified by important themes: professionalism, independence, and responsible advocacy.

I take special interest in the first bullet above. We ALL deserve the equity raise most state scientific supervisors received in July 2014. CAPS continues to work on behalf of those state supervisors who did not receive the raise by developing strong arguments and pursuing any available avenue.

The long-term planning set forth CAPS’ goals for ALL members, and we are included. I want to thank you for continuing to support CAPS through your continued membership. The dues increase approved by the CAPS Board on August 20 is a critical element in helping us achieve our goals.  We are moving forward and I am extremely grateful that you remain part of this effort. 

Thank you for your continued support!

Valerie Brown, Chair
CAPS Supervisors’ Committee

May 16, 2016

May Budget Revise. The May Budget revise was released last Friday morning and within it, our compensation increases. According to the budget revise, all Unit 10 Supervisors are set to receive a 5% General Salary Increase (GSI) on July 1, 2016 commensurate with the Unit 10 rank and file compensation increase. This would also keep in line with the increase that that Unit 9 supervisors are set to receive. Here are some of the other important highlights:

  • Tax Revenue estimates have been reduced by $1.9 billion due to lower than expected income tax receipts.
  • Danger of a $4 billion state budget deficit by 2019-2020 if voters don’t approve Prop 30 extension in the November 8, 2016 General Election.
  • No new long-term spending commitments added to the budget until voters decide on Prop 30.
  • If voters reject Prop 30 there will have to be cuts in services.
  • “Reflects a $362 million increase in employee compensation and retiree health care costs relative to the Governor’s Budget,” that “the additional costs are driven primarily by increases to salaries and benefits recently negotiated with (CCPOA) and Scientists”
  • Credits agreements with scientists and engineers for pre-funding retiree health care.
  • State supervisors (including all State Scientific Supervisors) are scheduled to receive a 5% general salary increase on July 1, 2016.
  • The minimum wage increase passed this year will result in $3.4 billion in additional General Fund commitments in future years.

You can see the summary of the Governor’s May Revise online: www.ebudget.ca.gov.  A detailed breakdown is expected soon.

Continued Efforts. Your Supervisors’ Committee continues to push the Administration to correct the salary inequities that occurred due to only approximately 75% of Unit 10 Supervisors receiving the Like Pay Like Work increases in 2014.

Now is the time to move forward with the Administrative Appeal for the 25% of scientific supervisors who did not see those increases. The process is similar to the original charge CAPS filed back in 2006, when CAPS initially challenged inequitable salaries with state engineers. CAPS expects to get a “quasi-legislative hearing” before a CalHR Administrative Law Judge.  The case will focus on the historical salary relationships and comparability for supervisory scientists in non-LPLW classes (like supervising Research Scientists, Health Physicists, and Toxicologists). CAPS has been busy building our case – using the State’s own historical salary relationship charts to “prove” that the non-LPLW supervisory scientific classes have historically been comparable to the scientific LPLW classifications. It’s full steam ahead with organizing our administrative challenge.

Thank you for your continued support of CAPS’ efforts.

Valerie Brown, Chair
CAPS Supervisors’ Committee

May 5, 2016

Vacation/Annual Leave Cash–Out Set For May.  State scientific supervisors and managers are able to cash out up to 80 hours of accumulated vacation or annual leave during May of each year.  This follows our recent Meet-and-Confer proposal requesting that the amount be raised from last year’s 40 hours to keep pace with the cash out available to rank-and-file scientists.  Checks will be cut in June.  Departments are required to notify employees whether they are participating in the leave buyback program by May 1. Employees wishing to cash out leave must make the request to their department’s Human Resources office by May 31, 2016. Payments will be distributed by June 31.

CAPS has inquired and the following Departments will be participating: CDFW, DTSC, CDPH, Water Boards, DWR, CDFA, CalRecycle,  Parks and Rec, Pesticide Regulation, CEC, CalFIRE, Delta Stewardship Council, DOC, SCIF, CalPERS, DGS, High Speed Rail, Consumer Affairs, DIR, Colorado River Board, Tahoe Conservatory and DDS.

Post-Retirement Health Benefits. Post-retirement health benefits, or “OPEB,” has been part of a larger funding discussion for quite some time within the state. It wasn’t until this round of rank-and-file bargaining that any kind of OPEB contribution proposal was passed to the Unions. Thus far, PECG, CCPOA, and CAPS have all secured new memorandums of understanding for their rank-and-file with the OPEB contribution piece installed. What does that mean for the supervisory and managerial state scientists?

In Senate Bill 99 (SB 99), which was also the CAPS Memorandum of Understanding ratification bill, the Legislature approved and implemented the contribution schedule to pre-fund retiree health care for both rank-and-file and supervisory scientists. Under this language, a contribution of .7 percent of salary will begin on July 1, 2017. You can view it here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/sen/sb_0051-0100/sb_99_bill_20150922_chaptered.pdf. The Administration’s representatives did not discuss the OPEB issue in our Meet-and-Confer session as the contribution is not scheduled to start until the 2017 fiscal year.

As we are included in the pre-funding of retiree health care, we expect to be included in salary increases as well.  We should see some indication of a response to our salary proposals when the Governor releases his May Revise to the proposed state budget.  Your Supervisors’ Team will continue to meet with CalHR to discuss salaries and other important issues and will keep you apprised of our progress.

Thank you for your continued support of CAPS’ efforts.

Valerie Brown, Chair
CAPS Supervisors’ Committee

March 14, 2016

It’s time for the Supervisors Committee to schedule a meet and confer with CalHR’s representative to discuss exactly what the new state Scientist Rank and File MOU means for us. 

Supervisors Committee. First, I would like to introduce you to your Supervisors Committee. The following CAPS supervisory members have graciously accepted a volunteer Committee position: Barbara Materna, Research Scientist Manager (CDPH – Richmond), Michael Anderson, Senior Toxicologist (CDFW – Sacramento), Gregory Ledbetter, Supervising Veterinarian (CDFA – Tulare), David Martasian, Senior Environmental Scientist Supervisor (DWR – Sacramento), and finally myself, Valerie Brown, Senior Health Physicist (DTSC – Sacramento).

I would once again like to extend a huge THANK YOU to these members. The first meeting for the Supervisors Committee will be held at the end of this month. 

Continuing Issues.  The primary focus of the CAPS Supervisors Committee will remain on the 25% of supervisory members who didn’t receive the Like Pay, Like Work increase. With the issuance of the August 20, 2014 Pay Letter that afforded 75% of our colleagues pay increases, the historical horizontal relationships amongst state Scientist Supervisory classes skewed and have been out of whack since. This skew has provided an opportunity to reconstruct some of those salary relationships – ensure that those supervisors with higher levels of education are compensated accordingly, which had not always been the case.

Last year, the CAPS Supervisors Committee met with CalHR and presented a CAPS Supervisors Compensation Proposal (http://capsscientists.org/wp-content/uploads/CAPS-Supervisors-Compensation-Proposal.pdf) that would right size the S10 classifications into a long-lasting coherent and logical relationship with each other as well as with Rank and File. CalHR, thus far, refuses to provide these salary equivalency changes. 

New Issues. State Supervisors have to keep up with the Jones’ – Rank and File will see three 5% salary increases over the next three years and so, the Supervisors Committee aims to negotiate commensurate raises for all supervisors including those that received the LPLW increases at the least.

The ability to cash out vacation hours was increased in the Rank and File MOU from up to 20 hours to up to 80 hours. Currently, S10 are able to cash out up to 40 hours and M10 up to 80. The Supervisors’ Committee will request that S10 be matched within our Unit.  

Another new issue that has arisen is prefunding Retiree Healthcare or “OPEB” (Other Post-Employment Benefits). The argument is that prefunding OPEB will ensure that our promised retiree healthcare package remains intact. PECG had already ratified their new Contract for Rank and File by the time the Governor’s proposed State budget was released in January of this year. After a review of the budget line items it could be seen that PECG Supervisors received the 5% salary increase as their Rank and File did, but also were set to contribute the same percentage towards prefunding OPEB as the Rank and File. The overall number for PECG is 2.0% pre-tax contribution from their pay by July 1, 2019; whereas CAPS’ new MOU has our Rank and File contributing a total of 2.8% by July 1, 2019. We are expecting CalHR to bring this to the table for us as well. 

Past Proposals and Other Current Issues. In past years our focus has been mainly on pay equity, however, we have made other proposals too. To review the past CAPS Supervisors Committee Proposals over the years, please visit: http://capsscientists.org/supervisors/supervisors-negotiations/.

We want to hear from you! Please send an email reply to if you have other current issues that perchance affect all of us. The Committee would be happy to look into addressing it at the meet and confer and/or formulating a proposal from the membership. 

Again, thanks for your membership!   Your continued support is critical if we are to achieve gains for ALL state scientific supervisors and managers.

Valerie Brown, Chair, CAPS Supervisors Committee
Senior Health Physicist
DTSC, Sacramento

 

November 16, 2015

This is the FIRST in what will be a SERIES of messages over my two year term that I hope will keep you informed of the efforts that everyone at CAPS is making on your behalf.

You pay dues voluntarily– just like I do–so that CAPS has the wherewithal to protect our benefits and increase our pay.  Many of us are awaiting the same salary adjustment that most state scientific supervisors received July 1, 2014.  Details on that effort are listed below.

But first, let me thank ALL of you who participated in the recent CAPS election, including my worthy opponent, and longtime CAPS director and advocate, David Rasmussen. I look forward to pulling everyone together in support of better pay and benefits for ALL state scientific supervisors and managers. In fact, if you want to assist in this effort, feel free to contact me about serving on the CAPS Supervisors Committee. I especially want representatives who did not receive the Like Pay, Like Work salary increase from summer 2014. Reach me here:

Salary Challenge for Supervisors. This summarizes where things are headed in our efforts for salary equivalency for ALL state scientific supervisors.

The April 2008 LPLW decision was implemented effective July 1, 2014.

Salaries were raised for approximately 556 state supervisors.  These increases were additionally provided to a significant number of state scientific managers.

Why weren’t these increases extended to ALL state scientific supervisors?  What does the state intend for the 161 employees (in 34 state scientific supervisory classifications) who received NO additional adjustment? Thus far, CalHR refuses to provide salary equivalency, has virtually no reason for this gross and ongoing inequity, and frankly doesn’t really want to talk about it.

Administrative Appeal Planned.  The best fix here is for Governor Brown to just implement equal pay, but that’s not happening, so we have no choice but to dispute this administratively. So the CAPS Board of Directors on August 22nd authorized the CAPS legal staff to file a new challenge to the amount of the salaries for the non-LPLW supervisors. Our dues pay for this.

The administrative appeal process is similar to the original charge filed back in 2006.  That’s when we challenged inequitable salaries with state engineers. Now the inequity is between supervising scientists.  We expect to get a “quasi-legislative hearing” before a CalHR Administrative Law Judge.  The case will focus on the historical salary relationships and comparability for supervisory scientists in non-LPLW classes (like supervising Research Scientists, Health Physicists, and Toxicologists).

We are in the midst of putting the salary claims together – using the State’s own historical salary relationship charts to “prove” that the non-LPLW supervisory scientific classes have historically been comparable to the scientific LPLW classifications.

We will soon see what Governor Brown proposes in his 2016 -2017 state budget.  We’ll be keeping an eye on bargaining and how it may impact our claims. Regardless, it’s full steam ahead with our administrative challenge.

Thanks for your patience and your continuing support!

Valerie Brown, Chair
CAPS Supervisors Committee