On December 10, 2009, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger awarded the Governor's Medal of Valor to 27 State employees whose extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism saved lives.
This year marked the medal's 50th anniversary, and, in addition to celebrating the new heroes, the Governor unveiled a new, state-of-the-art Medal of Valor kiosk that was subsequently installed in the Capitol. The kiosk allows visitors to look up any Medal of Valor recipient using a touch-screen interface. The Governor also announced a new website,
medalofvalor.ca.gov, created to honor the heroes who've received this award.
On October 6, 2009, DPA sent the following letter to Michael Baratz, Chief of Staff for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1000.
Elimination of Columbus Day Holiday
Request for Immediate Retraction
Dear Mr. Baratz:
It has come to our attention that Service Employees International Union, Local 1000 (SEIU) is making several statements urging its members not to report to work on Columbus Day, October 12, 2009, a regular work day. These statements are contrary to the law and must stop immediately. Further, SEIU must take immediate and effective steps to retract and correct its communications to accurately reflect the current state of the law.
As you know, the Legislature eliminated the Lincoln and Columbus Day holidays in connection with the February 2009 Budget Act. State employees who are scheduled to work on October 12, 2009, are expected to report to work just as they would on any other work day. In fact, the Legislature, in acknowledging the change for State employees, recently reminded its own employees to report to work on Columbus Day.
SEIU has been communicating incorrect information on the status of the Columbus Day holiday and urging its members not to report to work on October 12, 2009. On September 23, 2009, the SEIU Update '09, September 23 edition, contained a message from SEIU President Yvonne Walker, incorrectly stating that the Columbus Day holiday is still in effect. On September 25, 2009, SEIU posted on its website a message from Ms. Walker incorrectly stating "October 12, 2009, is a holiday and employees should not come to work." Ms. Walker's message was also distributed by SEIU representatives and stewards at various departments via the State's e-mail system. On September 30, 2009, the SEIU Update '09, reprinted Ms. Walker's September 25 statement instructing employees not to come to work on October 12, 2009. On SEIU's Channel 1000, Ms. Walker addressed union members, again instructing employees not to come to work on October 12, 2009. On October 1, 2009, Ms. Walker again appeared on SEIU's Channel 1000 repeating the same incorrect information to employees regarding the holiday.
SEIU's communications to its members not to report to work on Columbus Day directly interferes with the State's lawful direction to employees on this issue. SEIU is fully aware of the State's direction to employees. In its various communication to its members, SEIU acknowledges that DPA has informed State employees that the Legislature has eliminated the Columbus Day holiday in revising Government Code section 19853, that employees are required to come to work if so scheduled (absent prior approval by the employee's supervisor to use leave credit), and that if an employee does not obtain prior approval, the absence will be considered absent without leave (AWOL).
While we understand your organization's desire to communicate with your members, SEIU's efforts on this issue can no longer be considered fair communication about your members' rights and have become communication actively encouraging an illegal work stoppage. SEIU is advocating an illegal job action which may result in employees being subject to possible disciplinary action.
SEIU is encouraging its members to violate Government Code section 19853, as well as section 5.1 of the SEIU agreements relating to work stoppages, which remains in effect. That section requires SEIU to notify all of its officers, stewards, chief stewards, and staff of their obligation and responsibility for maintaining compliance with the No Strike provision, including the responsibility of employees to remain at work during any activity which may be caused or initiated by others, and to encourage employees violating section 5.1 to return to work.
SEIU is the only state employee organization instructing its members not to report to work on October 12, 2009. For example, Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG), in a recent memorandum to its members, states "a long-established rule in labor relations is - obey now, grieve later. This means that, in most circumstances, employees must obey directions from supervisors and managers and then obtain an appropriate remedy through the grievance procedure, which PECG is pursuing in this case." Similarly, California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment (CASE), in a memorandum to its members states, "It is CASE's opinion that the "no strike" clause of our MOU precludes us from instructing Bargaining Unit 2 members to ignore the instructions of their employer with regard to the upcoming Columbus Day holiday."
We request that SEIU comply with the terms of section 5.1 and immediately stop urging its members to refrain from reporting to work on October 12, 2009. Further, we request that SEIU immediately (1) retract any and all communications to its members that may have encouraged work stoppages and (2) issue new communications informing its members that Columbus Day, October 12, 2009, is not a state holiday.
/s/ Julie Chapman
Chief Deputy Director of Policy
DPA would like to alleviate any confusion employees may have regarding the status of Columbus Day as a recognized paid holiday.
In February 2009, legislation passed that amended the State holiday provisions in Government Code section 19853. The amendment eliminated two paid holidays, effective March 2009:
Lincoln's Birthday (February 12)
Columbus Day (the second Monday in October)
Now, an employee who wants to take time off on Columbus Day must get prior approval from his or her supervisor to use leave credit. If an employee does not receive prior approval from the supervisor, then, just like any other unapproved absence, the employee will not be paid for the day. The absence will be considered absent without leave (AWOL).
For additional information, you may
review Personnel Management Liaison memo 2009-017, dated March 25, 2009
and PML 2009-040, dated September 17, 2009.
Open enrollment period for health, dental, vision plans, Consolidated Benefits (CoBen), FlexElect Reimbursement Accounts, and cash options.
If you want to enroll in these benefit programs, or make a change to your current enrollment, contact your Personnel Office for the necessary forms. Changes you make during the 2009 open enrollment take effect January 1, 2010.
During open enrollment, you can change health plans as well as add, change, or delete dependents from your coverage.
CalPERS Website - information on your health plan choices.
During open enrollment, you can enroll in or change your dental plan as well as add, change, or delete dependents from your coverage.
08-27-2009: Governor's Press Release on CAHP's Contract Amendment
August 27, 2009: DPA submitted to the Legislative Analyst and Members of the Legislature the
tentative agreement to apply an addendum agreed to by the parties August 26, 2009 and
summary of the tentative agreement to apply an addendum.
June 6, 2007: DPA submitted to the Legislative Analyst and Members of the Legislature the
addendum agreed to by the parties June 5, 2007.
August 31, 2006: The Legislature ratified the Memorandum of Understanding with Bargaining Unit 5
August 11, 2006: DPA submitted to the Legislative Analyst and Members of the Legislature the
Memorandum of Understanding with Bargaining Unit 5 and
summary of the Memorandum of Understanding.
A job action is a work slowdown, work stoppage, strike, sick-out, or any other interference with the work and statutory functions or obligations of the State.
No. The labor contracts contain a "No-Strike" clause which prohibits employees from engaging in any type of strike or job action, including a work slowdown, work stoppage, or any other interference with the work and statutory functions or obligations of the State.*
* There is currently no contract between the State and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. The State implemented certain terms of its "last, best and final offer" on September 18, 2007. Bargaining Unit 6 members have no legal right to strike because they are "essential employees," which means their services are essential to the public health and safety.)
Yes. According to Government Code section 3517.8, the labor contract provisions remain in effect even though the labor contract between the State and the employee bargaining representatives has expired.
Any strike or job action that interferes with the business of the State is prohibited, regardless of its duration.
Employees may be regarded as Absent Without Leave (AWOL). Those who are regarded as AWOL will not be paid for any day in which they participated in a strike or job action. In addition, those employees may be subject to disciplinary or other appropriate administrative action.
Yes, sick-outs are prohibited by the No-Strike Clause and the Government Code. Employees who participate in a sick-out may be regarded as AWOL.
If an employee's absence is unauthorized, that employee may be regarded as AWOL. Employees regarded as AWOL will not be paid for each day of participation in a sick-out. Employees may also be subject to disciplinary or other administrative action for participating in a sick-out. Each absence will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Each case should be carefully reviewed and leave should only be authorized if it is clearly legitimate. Supervisors retain discretion to determine the legitimacy of the absence.
Supervisors should seek further guidance from their department in these cases.
Unions are permitted to hold meetings with members to discuss the status of bargaining and the options available to secure an agreement. A meeting to discuss "strike options" is not necessarily a meeting to call a strike. Employees who participate in such meetings on their own time without disrupting State operations are not participating in an illegal job action.
However, the labor contracts prohibit the union from condoning a strike or other types of job actions. Any direct evidence of union involvement in encouraging these prohibited actions should be brought to the attention of your department's labor relations officer.
As stated, employees may participate on their own time (e.g., before or after work, vacation, CTO, annual leave, etc.) in lawful informational picketing or rallies so long as such activities do not interfere with work and statutory functions or obligations of the State.
Yes. Employees have an obligation to go to work and will be permitted to do so.
Employees in bargaining units who aren't covered by a new contract (Unit 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13) are subject to furloughs. Unless the units agree to alternate savings, employees in these units will continue to have three furlough days per month through June 2011.
For employees in bargaining units with a new contract (Units 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21) and excluded employees, furloughs ended in the October 2010 pay period. The last scheduled furlough Friday was October 22, 2010.
Employees of the following departments are exempt from the furlough:
Board of Equalization
Bureau of State Audits
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFIRE)
California Earthquake Authority
California Highway Patrol
California Housing Finance Authority
Employment Development Department (including California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board)
Franchise Tax Board
Legislative Counsel Bureau
Public Utilities Commission
State Compensation Insurance Fund
Also, represented employees in Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 are exempt from the furlough, based on
recent contract agreements. Excluded employees are exempt from the furlough based on
Executive Order S-15-10.
There are no more scheduled furlough Fridays. Scheduling of furlough hours will be up to the departments for employees who are still subject to furloughs.
Beginning with the November 2010 pay period, all employees subject to furloughs use a "self-directed" furlough. There are two types of self-directed furloughs:
For most positions, including positions that generate revenue, or where services must continue and employees normally must work on holidays: You can choose which three days to take off each month, subject to supervisor approval.
For posted positions in 24/7 facilities such as prisons and hospitals: Management will work with employees to determine which three days in the month will be taken off. When this is not operationally feasible and would jeopardize security, health or safety, management will work with employees to select time off in the future. However, deferring furlough days for future use shall only be done after all other options have been evaluated and proven unworkable. Deferred furlough hours do not have an expiration date.
Beginning August 20, 2010, most employees had three furlough days per month through October 2010.
Yes, after June 2010, furlough Fridays resumed August 20, 2010.
Furloughs ended in the October 2010 pay period. The last scheduled furlough Friday was October 22, 2010.
Unless the units agree to alternate savings, employees in these units will continue to have three furlough days per month.
07-01-2009: Statewide vacancies list for employees facing layoff
07-21-2009: Southern California job fair for State employees facing layoff
06-05-2009: Job fair for State employees facing layoff
Dear State Employee:
I am writing regarding recent developments relating to a novel strain of the swine flu you have read about that has been discovered in California and many other parts of the world. I want to share with you some of the steps that California is taking in response to these developments and urge actions you can take to help reduce the spread of the virus and its health impacts. So far, this novel virus has been identified in three counties and a limited number of persons, but we expect the number to grow.
To ensure that we are prepared, the Governor has issued an Emergency Proclamation that will support and facilitate our state health departments' response to this outbreak. The Joint Emergency Operations Center of the Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the California Emergency Management Agency, has been also activated to closely monitor the situation and work with our federal and local partners to respond. Finally, the state has increased monitoring statewide for patients with flu-like illness, expanded public health laboratory testing of potential flu specimens, and enhanced veterinary activities for various levels of animal disease surveillance.
All Californians need to practice the very best personal hygiene habits to prevent the spread of this disease. This is especially important for state employees, many of whom work in contact with the public, travel as part of their jobs, and care for individuals in a wide range of institutional settings.
To limit the spread of swine flu, I urge you:
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, please stay home from work and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
I recognize that many of you work in 24-hour care facilities where you may be exposed to individuals who become sick. Your department and the California Department of Public Health will be issuing further guidelines about working in institutions caring for individuals who may be infected with this strain of swine flu.
This outbreak is a reason for concern but not for panic. I will inform you of additional activities or actions as necessary.
For the most current information about swine flu, please visit the Department of Public Health Website at
Thank you for your continued service to the people of California.
04-27-2009: Swine flu - symptoms, prevention, and news
The statewide closure of California state government offices remains in effect for this Friday, March 6, 2009. This will be the third statewide closure resulting from Executive Order S-16-08 furloughing state employees two days per month. Friday is the last Furlough Friday. After this Friday all furlough days will be self-directed.
All state hospitals, prisons and other 24-hour care facilities will maintain normal hours of operation, and a limited number of state offices will remain open on this third "furlough Friday."
Friday's closure also applies to employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1000. Pending ratification of the recent SEIU Local 1000 tentative agreement, these employees continue to be covered by the Governor's Executive Order requiring two furlough days per month. Upon ratification, adjustments will be made for SEIU employees.
02-24-2009: DPA submits SEIU Local 1000 tentative agreement to Legislature
The statewide closure of California state government offices remains in effect for this Friday, February 20, 2009. This will be the second statewide closure resulting from
Executive Order S-16-08 furloughing state employees two days per month.
All state hospitals, prisons and other 24-hour care facilities will maintain normal hours of operation, and a limited number of state offices will remain open on this second "furlough Friday." A list of offices open on "Furlough Fridays" is posted on the DPA website.
Friday's closure also applies to employees represented by Service Employees International Union Local 1000. Pending ratification of the recent SEIU Local 1000 tentative agreement, these employees continue to be covered by the Governor's Executive Order requiring two furlough days per month. Upon ratification, adjustments will be made to the furlough schedule for SEIU employees.