January 20, 2023
This is a good time for a friendly reminder about the Dependent Re-verification Program (DRV), under which all state employees and retirees with spouses, domestic partners, children, and other dependents enrolled in a state health care plan must provide documentation that those family members are eligible to continue receiving medical and dental benefits. The DRV process runs on a three-year cycle with set deadlines for state employees and retirees to submit eligibility documentation based on your birth month.
According to the State, failure to complete the DRV process will result in the cancellation of health and dental insurance for unverified dependents.
For complete DRV details, including a list of acceptable documents to verify dependency status, please see CalHR’s website by clicking here. You can also view more information about the program on the CalPERS website here.
The following chart illustrates the three-year schedule:
January 13, 2023
On Tuesday, Governor Newsom kicked off the budget debate at the State Capitol with the release of his proposed 2023-24 State Budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2023.
According to the Administration, after years of surpluses, the budget next year will slip into deficit. Specifically, the proposed budget projects a $22.5 billion deficit in 2023-24 due to a $29.5 billion decline in tax revenue projections during the current and next fiscal years. Tax revenues are down due to an economy weakened by inflation, federal interest rate hikes, and stock market declines.
The result is a 2023-24 proposed budget that totals $297 billion, which represents a 3.5% reduction from the current $308 billion budget. To close the deficit, the Administration proposes to delay or pull back nearly $20 billion in spending authorized in the last two state budgets, which were marked by historic surpluses. For now, the Administration is not proposing to use the State’s $36 billion in available reserves, including the $22 billion in the Rainy Day Fund, as part of their deficit reduction plan.
Importantly, the proposed budget provides funding for the Unit 9 general salary increase, and other pay and benefit improvements, due July 1, 2023– per PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). That funding is included within the $487.5 million the budget provides to pay increased compensation and health care costs required by MOUs that are currently in place. The proposed budget notes that the Administration will soon begin negotiations with 14 other state bargaining units that have MOUs that expire this summer. No money is included at this time for pay or benefit increases for those units.
In addition to the statutorily required $8.5 billion payment to CalPERS, the proposed budget includes a $1.2 billion supplemental payment to bolster the fund next year. The proposed budget also includes the state’s required contributions to fund health care for active employees and retirees, and to meet the state’s share of prefunding future retiree health care costs.
Of course, this is just the start of the budget process. The budget will go through review and ultimately be approved by the State Legislature over the next 6 months. PECG will be there to protect the interests of Unit 9 employees and will keep members up to date in the weeks ahead on any important developments. To read the summary and the details of the Administration’s 2023-2024 State Budget proposal, please click here.
In recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, PECG staff will be off on Monday. Please enjoy your three-day weekend.
January 6, 2023
The new year presents a fresh opportunity to remind PECG members of what unites our membership and the importance of collective action to achieve our shared goals.
PECG developed the – PECG Delivers! Our Collective History of Success – flyer to let new and long-time members learn more about PECG’s history and how we came to deliver competitive pay, pension protection, the best health care benefits in state service, and job protection from outsourcing.
Back in July 1963, state engineers, frustrated by lagging pay and the outsourcing of their work, formally recognized that they needed each other to accomplish their objectives. They declared that state engineers needed “concerted collective effort” by a “formal organization.” The organization they created that summer was PECG. Concerted collective effort is just as important today as it was over 60 years ago.
To help advance PECG’s objectives and protect the collective interests of all Unit 9 members, please take the time and effort to encourage non-members to join PECG.
Achieving and maintaining a high level of membership is PECG’s source of power at the bargaining table, and provides the resources necessary to effectively advocate for our members in all venues – the Governor’s Administration, Legislature, courts, media, state agencies and departments, and CalPERS.
The PECG Delivers! flyer can be accessed on the PECG webpage here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). We hope it will be useful in encouraging non-members to join.
Here is the link to PECG’s online membership application. Please be sure to ask those who are joining to put your name in the “recruited by” section. PECG rewards members for recruiting new members: $50 per rank and file applicant and $200 for every supervisor or manager.
As history has proven, we are stronger working together through collective effort. PECG Delivers!
PECG is happy to report that effective January 1, 2023, the Mass Transit and Vanpool Commute program subsidy will increase to $300 (from $280) per month for all Unit 9 employees. As you may remember, the transit and vanpool subsidies were greatly increased to $280 a month in October 2022 thanks to PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU also tied future Unit 9 transit and vanpool reimbursement levels to the maximum allowable federal subsidy set each year by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). At the end of 2022, the IRS raised the subsidy by $20 to $300 a month.
The $300 monthly subsidy can be used for public transit passes sold by state agencies or purchased directly by Unit 9 employees. The $300 monthly reimbursement is also available to vanpool drivers and riders. Unit 9 employees may also split the $300 reimbursement between transit and vanpool costs. To learn more, please access the MOU’s commute program article here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
All state agencies and departments have been notified about the increase, but it may take a few weeks for some of your workplaces to catch up with, and implement, the increased reimbursement. If you have trouble receiving the increase for the month of January, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.