April 21, 2017

The previous Weekly Update reported that Caltrans will be hiring hundreds of engineers and other employees to achieve the expanded program resulting from new legislation which will raise $5.2 billion per year for transportation, split equally between the state and local agencies. PECG has been meeting with Caltrans management to assist Caltrans in identifying and recruiting highly qualified candidates for Unit 9 and other classifications in the Department. PECG asked members and fee payers to let us know if they are aware of engineers or related professionals and college seniors who would be interested in applying for these newly available jobs.

More than 400 PECG members responded with one or more names and contact information for potential candidates! PECG has created a 5-step guide to assist those who are interested in navigating their way through the exam process and applying for available positions. The response by so many members is deeply appreciated as we seek to ensure that Caltrans will have a broad pool of highly qualified candidates to fill the available positions to achieve the expanded program. PECG will be contacting all of the potentially interested applicants to assist them.

If you are aware of anyone who might be interested in working for Caltrans – an engineer or related professional, college senior, recent graduate, or experienced practitioner – please respond to this email. Please include the potential applicant’s email address so we can provide them with the information they’ll need to apply.

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MOU Section 5.19 provides for cashing out accrued vacation/annual leave at the option of each employee. Each department can authorize up to 80 hours to be cashed out each year if funds are available. By the end of April, departments will announce whether they will participate and how many hours will be available for cashout. Employees can submit written requests during May. Thus, departments should be announcing by the end of next week how many hours will be available for employees to cash out if they wish to do so.

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The Department of Water Resources has awarded a contract to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. to conduct repairs on Oroville Dam’s spillways. Due to the need to begin work immediately so that the spillway will be operable when the rainy season begins next November 1, the contractor will complete the design as well as the construction. Kiewit’s bid of $275 million was well in excess of the Engineer’s Estimate of $232 million but was accepted by the Department and work began immediately. Complete recovery or replacement of the spillways is expected to be undertaken after this initial work is completed.

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The monthly PECG/Caltrans meeting was conducted this week. The main topic was the joint effort to identify and recruit well-qualified candidates for the hiring program. Other issues included a vacation/annual leave cashout; inequity salary increases for Party Chiefs and Senior Telecommunications Engineers; Caltrans’ role in the climate change working group authorized by AB 2800; and participation by Caltrans employees in assisting the Landscape Architects Technical Committee in preparing the next Landscape Architect examination.