Unit 1 Report from Statewide Bargaining Advisory Commitee (SBAC)
9:13 AM - March 18, 2011


SCIF’s “holiday present” to its employees:
SCIF Office Closures, Program Consolidations and Transfers

The State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) has announced a two-year reorganization plan which, if implemented as currently proposed, could result in about  2400 Local 1000-represented employees having to choose between a  transfer to worksites more than 50 miles from their current place of employment or “voluntary layoff.”
SCIF says it plans to revamp, consolidate and reduce its office space to achieve $200 million in savings. Claims operations will be consolidated into six main locations and a few small satellite offices.  The regional underwriting function will be consolidated into five locations.   

While SCIF says it isn’t planning layoffs and says every employee will be given the option to re-locate, SCIF can only achieve its savings goal if a significant number of employees don’t transfer and opt to retire or accept a “voluntary layoff.”  Local 1000 is urging employees to “Just Say Yes” to any offers of relocation, in order to keep all their options open.

One of the most heart-wrenching cases is SCIF employees who work in Oxnard.  They can either move 282 miles to Pleasanton, 328 miles to Sacramento or 528 miles to Eureka!   As currently proposed by SCIF, re-locations will start in the third quarter of 2011 and continue through the end of 2012.

Local 1000 is reviewing all available legal, political and contractual options.  A statewide planning meeting of SCIF activists was held on January 24th in Sacramento.  Negotiations are expected to start within the next 30 days.

For more information, contact Brenda Modkins, Unit 1 Alternate Vice Chair, at bmodkins@doj.ca.gov.

Members stepping up to the plate:

Twenty-four Unit 1 members participated in a “contract review marathon” on January 7th and 8th in Sacramento, with the goal of identifying contracts to fight through State Personnel Board (SBP) challenges, Joint Labor Management Committees (JLMCs), and by providing information to legislative committees. Fifty-two contracts were analyzed; 87 were targeted for additional analysis.

Some unearthed juicy tidbits:

Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) contracts for project managers and web-developers (as if state IT employees can’t do this job!);

$19 million spent in a no-winner  Franchise Tax Board (FTB) legal case;

A DMV contract  that originated as a sole source contract in 1995 for $12 million and has been amended ten times – and is now up to $72 million (an example of lack of oversight of the procurement process);

Growing use of student assistants; and

Contracts with out-of-state firms (state tax money needs to stay in California!)

Activities identified for further action and follow-up:

Request quarterly IT acquisition plans for each department to see what IT services each department plans to purchase in the coming quarter;

Petition the legislature to require better management of contracts.  Some departments seem to just sign off on invoices without making sure they’re getting what they’re paying for.

The use of “leveraged procurement acquisitions,” such as CMAS and MSAs which allow departments to purchase up to $1.5 million with very little oversight, has led to wasteful spending.

Many thanks to Marie Harder, CDPH, for her leadership on fighting outsourcing. Thanks to the following marathon volunteers: Howard Ballin, DOJ; Gigi Boongaling, Caltrans; Theresa Brooks, SCO; Jean Colyer, Caltrans; Javier Cardenas, CDPH; Belinda Dean, DFG; Karen Devoll, CDCR; Kwajalien Dorn-Davis, EDD; Claudia Gambaro, DOM, Rebecca Griffiths, SCO; Beto Hernandez, EDD; Andree Joseph-Conley, SCIF; Lowell Landowski, CDPR; Kim Maun, DHCS; Karen Mease, DHCS; Kevin Menager, FTB; Crissy Montgomery, CDCR; Cindy Kauffman Moreno, DMH; John Pace, CalPERS; Jeff Recht, WRCB; Leonard Seitz, Caltrans; Mark Swabey, Caltrans; and  Nicholas Weinbrenner, EDD, and our special guest – Donald Wilson – from the legislative staff.

The next outsourcing event is planned for February 4th in San Diego; 49 participants are enrolled!

Worksite meetings up and down the state:

Meetings are being held at Employment Development Department (EDD) worksites up and down the state to gather member feedback on implementation of new EDD automated systems. EDD has about a dozen projects in the works, with projected costs over $445 million. Implementation will be phased in over the next two years. Layoffs are not anticipated as a result of implementation, but Local 1000 is carefully monitoring this issue since how our members do their jobs will be changing.

We’re sponsoring meetings in EDD call centers and adjudication centers, where the Call Center Network Platform Application Upgrade (CCNPAU) is being rolled out. Worksite meetings will be scheduled next in EDD Tax Branch offices, where the Automated Collection Enhancement System (ACES) went “live” at the end of January. Next stop will be Disability Insurance offices, which have been swamped by calls about the new EBP Electronic Benefit Payment (EBP) program.

Thanks to our dynamite EDD team who have been leading discussions at the worksites: Aida Canonizado, Employee Program Representative (EPR) San Diego; Seid Ferdows, Disability Insurance Program Representative (DIPR), Santa Ana; San Diego; Gail Hannon, EPR, Sacramento;  Tee Henderson, Tax Collections Representative, Rancho Cordova; Beto Hernandez, DIPR, Riverside; Margarita Maldonado, Chair of Bargaining Unit 1, DOJ; Margaret Wilson, DIPR, Santa Barbara; and Nicholas Winebrenner, EPR, Rancho Cordova.

Call Centers

Although “set up and shut down time” is paid work time, EDD has been expecting some employees to work for free.

“Our contract is really clear on this point,” explained Margarita Maldonado, chair of bargaining unit 1.  “If you start work at 8 a.m., you can’t be expected to take calls at 8 a.m. – you need sufficent time to log on to your computer and read the latest messages.  And If you’re still on the phone after 5 p.m. dealing with a customer/client issue – that’s overtime, not free time for the state.”

Our contract language doesn’t  become “null and void” because EDD is implementing new technology in its call centers and tax branch.  Our contract says, “Time necessary to “set up” and/or “shut down” a State function shall be part of the employee’s workday (Article 19.5).
A class action greivance has been filed at the Sacramento Call Center on Auburn Boulevard by steward Jim Hooben and more are in the works. Desk tents with  “19.5 says 8 to 5″ are being distributed throughtout the state.

EDD’s request to fill vacanies rejected by Schwarzenegger

Several federally-funded EDD automation projects have been delayed or suspended due to lack of information technology (IT) employees to do the necessary front-end work.   
EDD requested an exemption from Governor Schwarzenegger’s hiring freeze to fill 40 IT positions, but this request was denied.  EDD has begun advertising the vacancies, however, in anticipation that Governor Brown will be of a different mind-set and grant an exemption. 
In a recent meeting with Local 1000 representatives, EDD said that work on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Forms and eApply4UI Modernization projects have been suspended due to business needs to direct IT staff resources to other projects.  Implementation of the Alternate Base Period (ABP) project has been delayed for one year, to April 2012; due to lack of IT staff resources and complications with the Single Client Data Base (SCDB) project.  

All three of these projects are being funded by the federal government, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Closures, Sales and Cutbacks
Unit 1 layoff update

Unfortunately, the New Year brings news of state closures, sales of state property and cutbacks which may result in layoffs for some of our members. Local 1000 continues to bargain with the state to mitigate the effects of layoffs, but the hiring freeze is making it difficult for affected employees to transfer to vacant positions in other departments. 

Here’s the latest:

Heman G. Stark Adult Correctional Facility, Chino
The closure had an effective date of January 14, 2011.  This facility was used on an emergency basis to temporarily house adult offenders who were displaced from the California Institution for Men (CIM) due to rioting in August 2009. Originally 29 Unit 1 members were subject to layoff; that number has now been reduced to 1. Other affected employees transferred to vacant positions within CDCR or opted to demote in lieu of layoff.

CDCR “Fall 2010 Surplus Positions”
CDCR has recently announced layoffs in multiple counties and classifications. CDCR says they must eliminate the positions due to insufficient funding. For some of these individuals, this will be a second round of layoffs, as they were placed in positions in the first round (Winter 2010) that are now being eliminated. Twenty-six Local 1000 members are potentially affected, of which five are in Unit 1. The effective date is April 18, 2011.

Preston Youth Correctional Facility, Ione
Closure is targeted for June 30, 2011, as more youth offenders are returned to their home communities. This potentially affects 273 employees, 23 of whom are Unit 1 members. Assembly Member Alyson Huber (D- District 10) has sponsored local town hall meetings, as closure will devastate the local economy, and a joint legislative hearing. She has introduced AB 8, a bill which would delay closure of the facility.

For more information on CDCR/DJJ layoffs, contact Karen DeVoll, Unit 1 DBUR (District Bargaining Unit Representative) at kadevoll@yahoo.com.

Lanterman Developmental Center, Pomona
The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has announced plans to transfer Lanterman’s current 400 clients to community-based facilities, potentially affecting 38 Unit 1 members. DDS has said the transfer process could take at least two years and has not announced a facility closure date.

For more information on Lanterman, contact Todd Snell, Unit 1 DBUR (District Bargaining Unit Representative) at tsnell@dss.ca.gov.

Orange County Fairgrounds
Plans by the Department of Food and Agriculture (DFA) to sell the Orange County Fairgrounds is currently tied up in legal proceedings. Should the sale continue, 21 Unit 1 employees will be impacted.

For more information, contact Brenda Modkins, Unit 1 Alternate Vice Chair, at bmodkins@doj.ca.gov.

Sale of state properties  by the Department of General Services (DGS)  
Governor’s Schwarzenegger’s controversial decision to sell – and then lease back – 11 state properties is currently in litigation.  The 11 properties include 24 buildings, from Los Angeles to Santa Rosa.  Should the sale go through, the hardest hit group will be about 350 Unit 15 members who serve as custodial staff for these buildings.  However, a small number of Unit 1 employees – 19 individuals –  may  see layoffs if the sale proceeds.     
For more information, contact Jacqueline McCollum, Unit 1 CBUR (Classification Bargaining Unit Representative) at  Jacqueline.mccollum@dot.ca.gov.

Decision Appealed by Petitioner

A petition to sever Information Technology (IT) professionals from Unit 1 of Local 1000 was dismissed in late December by an administrative law judge of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).  However, the petitioner has appealed the decision to the full Public Employment Relations Board.  PERB  has authority to determine appropriate bargaining units for state employees.

State Lottery Safety

Local 1000 representatives met with the State Lottery regarding health and safety concerns for Route Sales Representatives (RSRs).  RSRs  say driving decaled vehicles make them targets for theft. In addition, they sometimes have to count large sums of money in public view.  

As one RSR stated, “I don’t feel safe.  I always feel someone might be watching me or approach me with the intention of robbery.  There have been three robberies at my CVS accounts in the past two months; luckily I wasn’t there at the time.”

Another added: “It doesn’t take a genius to know that, when the Lotto van is parked in front of the store, we’ll have thousands of dollars in cash to count.  Often the money is counted in public view. How much does the Lottery benefit in advertising from our vans?  Will this offset the huge lawsuit the Lottery will  have to deal with the first time a RSR gets hurt?”

These issues, as well as a few additional concerns were brought up in the meeting with Lottery management in mid-December. Lottery management disagreed with RSR safety concerns and, in fact, mentioned that they were considering expanding Lottery advertising by adding Lottery decals to vehicles used by District Sales Representatives (DSRs).

While Lottery management was not receptive at this time to the removal of the decals, management did agree to review having a pilot program with portable money machines.  This would allow RSRs to be removed from public view when counting money from the lottery machines.  Further, Lottery management is interested in forming a Joint Labor Management Committee to meet quarterly and discuss health and safety issues.

We’re working on the next steps in dealing with the decals on lottery vehicles and following up on a pilot program for the portable money counters. 

Local 1000 representatives were Senior Labor Relations Representative Janet Sass McDermott, Unit One Alternate Vice-Chair Brenda Modkins, District Sales Representative (DSR) and Classification Bargaining Unit Representative (CBUR)  Roderick Bowie, and Route Sales Representative (RSR) Karen Hight.

For more information, contact Rod Bowie at rbowie@calottery.com.