September 22, 2023
Following a successful campaign in Sacramento, PECG’s public service advertisement, “Engineering California’s Future,” launched this week in the Fresno-Visalia media market. Over the course of its four-week run, the 30-second spot will appear hundreds of times on Fresno’s top broadcast local news and cable news outlets.
Developed under the guidance of President Mark Sheahan and the PECG Board of Directors, the public-relations ad features five PECG leaders speaking from locations that illustrate our members’ vital work designing and inspecting infrastructure, ensuring the safety of schools and hospitals, developing clean energy, and protecting California’s natural resources and the environment.
The Fresno ad launched Monday on Fresno’s ABC 30 News. To see that initial airing – just as it looked during the broadcast – please click here. You can learn more about the PECG leaders featured in the ad on the PECG webpage here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). The plan is to take the media campaign to other parts of the state served by PECG members in the future.
September 15, 2023
The open enrollment period for California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) health care plans opens on Monday (September 18) and closes on October 13, 2023. The open enrollment period is your chance to evaluate your health plan provider and make any necessary changes before the new premiums go into effect on January 1, 2024.
To help you make your decision, PECG has developed this chart, which provides the State’s updated contribution amounts for 2024 and the dollar amounts Unit 9 rank and file employees would have to pay out-of-pocket to participate in each of the plans. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Earlier this summer, CalPERS announced that the average health plan premium will go up 10.77% in 2024. Please keep in mind that rate changes vary widely from plan to plan. Fortunately, the State’s contribution will also be going up for Unit 9 employees from 7.5% to 8.5% to $794 for employee only, $1,538 for two-party, and $1,982 for family coverage. This is due to changes in the four plans with the highest participation levels by active state civil service employees used to calculate CalPERS health plan reimbursement amounts.
Thanks to PECG’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), for Unit 9 rank and file employees the state’s contribution is based on what is known as the 85%/80% formula. This means the state pays 85% of the premium amount for rank and file employees and 80% of the additional premium costs for their family members. This is the best health care reimbursement rate in state service.
Unit 9 supervisors and managers are covered by CoBen, in which the State makes a contribution that the individual can then apply to health and dental premiums. For 2024, the CoBen benefit allowance is $842 for employee only, $1,624 for two-party, and $2,100 for families.
Please carefully review the monthly health plan premiums on PECG’s chart to determine the impact on you and your family. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Again, if you would like to make changes to your plan provider for 2024, the open enrollment period starts September 18 and ends October 13, 2023. Log in to your my|CalPERS account to access customized health information and explore your 2024 health plan options.
September 8, 2023
As state-employed public servants, health, dental, and vision benefits are an important part of the total compensation package provided to PECG members. In preparation for the upcoming Open Enrollment period – September 18 through October 13 – the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) is offering a two-day Open Enrollment Virtual Benefits Fair for state civil service employees on September 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the many health care options available to them, including voluntary benefits and additional year-round programs to support the well-being of state employees. The webinar will include live Q&A sessions from health, dental, and vision plan representatives. If you are unable to attend on September 13 or 14, webinar recordings and resources will be online through October 13.
This webinar is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register for the virtual fair, click here.
Again, 2023 Open Enrollment is from September 18 through October 13. Changes made during 2023 Open Enrollment will take effect January 1, 2024. PECG members enjoy the best health care reimbursement rate in state service, known as the 85%/80% formula. The state pays 85% of the premium amount for Unit 9 employees and 80% of the additional premium costs for their family members. September’s Informer, which will be out soon, will include all the health plans and the employee out-of-pocket costs for each to help members decide which option will best fit their circumstances.
Caltrans is seeking nominations for the 2023 Caltrans Excellence in Transportation (EIT) Awards. The Caltrans EIT Awards Program recognizes excellence in transportation design, construction, traffic operations, maintenance, planning, and improvements throughout California. The nomination deadline is Friday, September 29, 2023.
PECG encourages members to take this opportunity to submit entries to recognize your good work and the department’s outstanding projects. Please see Caltrans’ original email for all the details here, or visit the Caltrans webpage here.
And if your board, department, or office sponsors similar awards or recognition programs, please share those with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 1, 2023
Thank you to all the PECG members who submitted original photographs showcasing California’s infrastructure and natural beautyfor possible inclusion in the PECG 2024 full-color wall calendar. If you did not have a chance to pass along that perfect shot, please hold onto it until next year.
This week, the PECG Nominating and Awards Committee met to review the photos of California sites, cities, landscapes, bridges, water facilities, and other fantastic scenery. The committee had some tough decisions to make, but ultimately selected the 15 photos that will be featured in the 2024 wall calendar.
With the photos selected, it is a good time to announce that we are accepting pre-orders for PECG’s 2024 wall and pocket calendars. If you would like to request a copy of the 2024 wall calendar, pocket calendar, or both, please click here.
By providing calendars only to those who request them, PECG cuts our waste stream and saves resources that can be dedicated to other important member services. We plan to get the calendars out to those who request them in December, along with the 2024 PECG membership cards.
A special thanks to the PECG Nominating and Awards Committee (Brad Shelton – Chair, Vincent Agusiegbe, Shabbir Ahmed, Wasim Ali, Joya Gilster-Nava, Robert Lumahan, and Keith Mack) for their time and effort in selecting the photos for what will be another spectacular wall calendar.
PECG’s Board, Section Leaders, and staff hope you enjoy the three-day Labor Day weekend. Please take the time to give thanks for the many benefits PECG, and other labor unions, provide to members. PECG delivers only through the united strength and commitment of our nearly 11,000 members.
August 25, 2023
PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), agreed to last year by PECG’s Bargaining Team and the State, increased the safety footwear allowance for rank and file Unit 9 employees to $150 every 12 months for those employed in field positions as outlined in MOU Article 7.3 (Safety Footwear). For the full details, read MOU Article 7.3 here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
In recent weeks, we have heard from several PECG supervisors and managers in departments that were not extending the increased Unit 9 safety footwear increase to them. Thanks to the PECG Meet and Confer Team, which represents supervisory and managerial members, the safety footwear allowance was extended last year to all eligible Unit 9 employees in senior positions. Should your department be unaware, please share this guidance from the CalHR webpage.
August 18, 2023
The numbers are in, and PECG’s May 25 to June 30 image-video campaign was a terrific success, with its positive message about PECG members and their important work reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers – many influential in state government.
Under the direction of President Mark Sheahan, PECG launched the ad campaign to remind Sacramento political leaders, policy advisors, and the public about the vital services PECG members contribute to California’s economy and our quality of life. The ad targeted the greater Sacramento market to reach the Governor, the Legislature, department leaders, and other funding and policy influencers during the final weeks of negotiations on the state budget, which set spending for fiscal year 2023-24 state programs, including those that employ PECG members.
The 30-second video, “Engineering California’s Future,” ran 543 times over 27 days on broadcast and cable television in more than a half-million households and businesses in the Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto region, mostly on news programs popular with State Capitol elected officials, political staff, and other state-government stakeholders.
The web component of the campaign targeted internet users based on many factors, including their proximity to the State Capitol. The spot played 645,000 times on mobile devices, computers, and televisions connected to the internet. Most significantly, more than 80% of the time, the entire ad ran. By comparison, the online advertising industry’s standard for so-called “audience engagement,” which measures interest in the message, is about 55%.
With the successful Sacramento campaign completed, PECG leaders are considering broadcasting the ad in other California television markets. Meanwhile, if you have not seen “Engineering California’s Future,” you can view the ad, and learn more about the PECG leaders it features, at pecg.org/media/engineering-californias-future. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
August 11, 2023
PECG’s Corporate Officer ballots were counted this morning and the results have been certified by the PECG Elections Committee. The newly elected Officers will be installed on September 23 and will serve for one year.
Steve Lee has been elected as PECG Corporate President Elect for the next year. Lee is a Senior Transportation Engineer with Caltrans in the Sacramento Section. The current President Elect, Brad Shelton, a Senior Engineering Geologist with the Water Resources Control Board in the River City Section, will become President. Mark Sheahan, PECG’s current President, a Caltrans Senior Transportation Surveyor in the Sacramento Section, becomes Past President.
Here are the winners of the other PECG Corporate Offices:
- D’Arcy McLeod – Vice President Collective Bargaining and Chair of the Bargaining Team. McLeod is a Caltrans Transportation Engineer in the Marysville Section.
- Brian Simon – Vice President Supervisory and Chair of the Meet and Confer Team. Simon is a Supervising Senior Transportation Engineer at Caltrans in the Eureka Section.
- Karmina Padgett-Gonzalez – Vice President At Large. Padgett-Gonzalez is a Water Resource Control Engineer with the Water Resources Control Board in the River City Section.
- Ferdinand de la Cruz – Corporate Secretary. De la Cruz is a Caltrans Senior Transportation Electrical Engineer in the Inland Empire Section.
- Jane Pham – Corporate Treasurer. Pham is a Caltrans Transportation Engineer in the Inland Empire Section.
Congratulations to the new Corporate Officers! And special thanks to the PECG Elections Committee (Kim Smith – Chair, Aman Bains, Mahin Khakizadeh, Hamid Khorram, and Ed Yarbrough) for their time and good work in overseeing the ballot count.
August 4, 2023
As you are aware, PECG’s 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) was to be provided to all Unit 9 members – rank and file employees and supervisors and managers – effective July 1, 2023, and included in the pay warrant employees received on August 1, 2023.
Unfortunately, a number of PECG members have reported that their July pay warrant (received this week) did not include the 3% GSI as expected. If you notice that your July pay warrant did not include the 3% GSI, please contact your personnel specialist immediately and ask that your department correct the error. Please also email email@example.com and staff will work with your department and the State Controller’s Office (SCO) to ensure you receive the GSI as quickly as possible.
As previously reported, the 3.55% special salary adjustment (SSA) for Unit 9 members in 13 Range C classifications within deep classes, effective July 1, 2023, was not included in the July pay warrants. PECG is working with the State to make sure the SSA is provided in the months ahead. However, the funding for this increase will require a separate legislative appropriation so it will take some time – please be patient.
There are just a few more days to vote in this year’s PECG Corporate Officer Election. To be counted, ballots must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, August 10.
Personalized voting credentials have been emailed to PECG members numerous times in recent weeks from Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) 2023 Corporate Officer Election
(firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have not seen your voting credential email in your inbox, please check your junk or spam folder. To request your credentials again, please respond to this email with your current or preferred email address.
To learn more about the candidates, please review the July issue of the Informer, which includes each of their candidate statements. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
July 28, 2023
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration met last week and reported good news and bad. On the positive side, the preliminary net return (earnings) on investments for the 12-month fiscal year ending on June 30, 2023, was 5.8%. A positive net return helps to quiet those who oppose public employee defined-benefit pensions and constantly attack CalPERS and other public pension systems. You will remember that last year CalPERS’ negative 6.1% rate of return generated a lot of criticism. For additional details about the 2022-23 returns, please see CalPERS’ press release.
Over the past 30 years, CalPERS has averaged an annual return rate of 7.5%. At the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year, the CalPERS system was estimated to be 72% funded with a total fund value of $462.8 billion.
On the not good news front, the CalPERS Board also approved the results of final rate negotiations with their health plan providers to establish monthly premiums for 2024. The overall weighted average increase for CalPERS health plans will be 10.77% next year. Last year, the average rate increase was 6.75%.
Rate changes in 2024 vary widely from plan to plan. All HMO and PPO Basic plans see an increase over 2023 rates, and only two Medicare plans will see a decrease. The largest HMO Basic plan increase is for Kaiser Permanente Out of State at 13.59%, followed by Kaiser Permanente California at 13.07%. Medicare Advantage plans will see an average increase of 13.17%.
For Basic PPOs, PERS Platinum and PERS Gold premiums will increase by 12.18% and 12.17%, respectively. Medicare PPO plans will see an average increase of 6.62%.
Fortunately, PECG members enjoy the best health care reimbursement rate in state service – the 85%/80% formula – in which the state pays 85% of the premium for Unit 9 rank and file employees and 80% of the additional premium costs for their family members and dependents. The state’s share of the premiums for PECG-represented employees is based on the weighted average percentage of the four most utilized plans. For 2024, the four most utilized plans are Kaiser Permanente, PERS Gold, UnitedHealthcare SignatureValue Alliance, and Blue Shield Access+ HMO. The state’s contribution and the employee’s out-of-pocket cost will be published in an upcoming Informer to help you determine whether you wish to make any changes to your coverage for 2024. These changes can be made during the open enrollment period from September 18 to October 13, 2023. To view the complete list of health care rates for 2024, please click here.
Supervisors and managers are covered by what is known as CoBen. The state makes a contribution which the individual can then apply to health and dental premiums. CoBen reimbursement rates for 2024 will be released soon.
July 21, 2023
PECG’s Scholarship Program awards thousands of dollars annually to PECG members and their dependents majoring in an engineering or related field of study at an accredited college or university. This year, PECG awarded 21 $1,000 scholarships. The program is another example of PECG’s commitment to supporting our members and their dependents – the current and next generation of state engineers and related professionals. A complete list of the PECG 2023 scholarship recipients can be viewed on the PECG website here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). Congratulations to all the winners!
July 14, 2023
Thank you to everyone who has already voted in the 2023-24 PECG Corporate Officer Election! In less than a week, over 1,000 ballots have already been tallied. Voting credentials to cast your ballot were emailed to all PECG members on Monday, July 10. PECG members who have yet to cast a ballot will receive a reminder email – with personalized voting credentials – on Monday morning, July 17.
The personalized voting credential emails come from Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) 2023 Corporate Office Election (email@example.com). If you have not received your voting credential email, please check your junk or spam folder. To request your credentials again, please respond to this email with your current or preferred email address.
As reported previously, votes in this year’s PECG Corporate Officer Election will be cast entirely online using a secure system that protects voter privacy, ensures transparent and valid results, and will be administered by a neutral third party, TrueBallot.
To learn more about the candidates for PECG corporate office, please take a look at the July issue of the Informer, which includes each of their candidate statements. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). To be counted, ballots must be submitted by Thursday, August 10, at 11:59 p.m.
July 7, 2023
PECG’s Bargaining Team is happy to report that agreement has been reached with CalHR (representing the State) on a 3.55% special salary adjustment (SSA) for all Unit 9 members in 13 Range C classifications within deep classes, per Article 3.20 of PECG’s 2022-25 MOU.
The 3.55% SSA is in addition to the 3% general salary increase all Unit 9 employees received July 1. The SSA will be effective July 1, 2023, but the pay increase will not make it into the July pay warrants employees receive on August 1. PECG is working with CalHR and the State Controller’s Office to ensure that the increase is provided as soon as possible.
The agreement will require the expenditure of more than $24 million this fiscal year to fund the 3.55% SSAs for over 3,000 Unit 9 members working in Range C in the 13 deep classes identified in Article 3.20, which can be viewed here. The webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). The SSAs will help to ensure that all Unit 9 employees in Range C deep classes are paid as fairly and equitably as possible.
The PECG 2023 Corporate Officer Election gets underway on Monday, July 10. Personalized voting credentials will be emailed to all PECG members on Monday morning. Your personalized email will come from PECG Corporate Officer Election 2023 (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you do not see it in your inbox, please check your junk or spam folder.
On Wednesday of this week, the Informer featuring statements by all the 2023 Corporate Officer candidates was mailed (or emailed if you previously chose that option) to all PECG members to the address we have on file. You may also read the Informer on the PECG website here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Votes in the PECG Corporate Officer Election will be cast entirely online using a secure system that protects voter privacy, ensures transparent and valid results, and is administered by a neutral third party, TrueBallot.
PECG is run by volunteer leaders selected from among the membership. For that reason, the right to vote in the Corporate Officer Election is an important benefit and responsibility of PECG membership.
To be counted, votes must be cast by Thursday, August 10. Election results will be announced Friday, August 11.
The 2023 President Elect, Brad Shelton, automatically becomes the 2024 PECG Corporation President in late September. Mark Sheahan, this year’s President, remains on the Board of Directors for 2024 as Past President.
PECG Section elections are also underway, so please be on the lookout for your Section ballot in the weeks ahead. Good luck to all the candidates!
As previously announced, the deadline to submit photos for PECG’s 2024 full-color glossy wall calendar is this Monday, July 10, at 5 p.m.
For an opportunity for one of your photos to be featured in next year’s wall calendar, please use this form to submit no more than three high resolution, digital photos with your name, the date the photo was taken, and the exact location. Special consideration will be given to photos that are unique to California, our infrastructure, and the work of PECG members.
If you submitted photos previously that were not selected for the PECG calendar, you may resubmit them for consideration for inclusion in the 2024 calendar. Again, please limit your submissions to three or less.
July 3, 2023
We are happy to report that CalHR (representing the State) has officially announced that PECG’s 3% General Salary Increase (GSI) will be paid to all Unit 9 members – rank and file employees and supervisors and managers – effective July 1, 2023. As is customary, the GSI will appear in the pay warrant employees receive on August 1, 2023.
The rank and file pay raise is the second of three GSIs negotiated by the PECG Bargaining Team. It is part of PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was agreed upon by the Team and ratified by the membership last summer. To remind yourself of the many pay and benefit improvements, including enhanced longevity pay, in the 2022-25 MOU – please see the PECG webpage here. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
The 3% GSI was extended to Unit 9 supervisors and managers thanks to the work of the PECG Meet and Confer Team, which represents PECG’s supervisory and managerial members. The Team has been urging the State to extend the 3% GSI since the beginning of the year. The PECG Meet and Confer Team has successfully ensured that the PECG pay raises, and all the other new and improved benefits in the MOU, have been extended to Unit 9 supervisors and managers.
Unfortunately, there is nothing new to report on implementation of special salary adjustments (SSA) for Unit 9 members in 13 Range C classifications within deep classes, per Article 3.20 of PECG’s 2022-25 MOU. The PECG Bargaining Team remains in discussions with CalHR to ensure that the entire $24 million allotted for this purpose is spent on Unit 9 employees in these classifications effective July 1, 2023.
June 30, 2023
There is still a week left to submit photos for PECG’s 2024 full-color glossy wall calendar. The deadline to submit is Monday, July 10, at 5 p.m. For an opportunity for one of your photos to be featured in next year’s wall calendar, please use this form to submit no more than three high resolution, digital photos with your name, the date the photo was taken, and the exact location. If you submitted photos previously that were not selected for the PECG calendar, you may resubmit them again for consideration for inclusion in the 2024 calendar.
Submissions will be reviewed by the PECG Nominating and Awards Committee, and the committee will pick the entries that will be featured in the PECG 2024 wall calendar. Special consideration will be given to photos that are unique to California, our infrastructure, and the work of PECG members. Again, please limit your submissions to three or less.
To celebrate Independence Day, the PECG offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4. Have a safe and happy 4th of July.
June 23, 2023
Earlier this month, the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG) issued an alert that there has been a delay in the mailing of license renewal notices due to a technical problem. Renewal notices are typically sent to the licensee’s address on record approximately 60 days before the expiration date. It is the licensee’s responsibility to renew your license within the statutorily required timeframe whether you received a renewal reminder in the mail or not.
To renew your license, the Board recommends using the BPELSG Connect portal. Licensees are eligible to renew a license if it expires within the next 60 days. For more information, please visit bpelsg.ca.gov.
The Board also reports that they are still experiencing an unanticipated high volume of new applications and are working to process all applications as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it is taking up to six months to process Civil PE applications, according to the Board. The Board asks that applicants avoid contacting BPELSG to inquire about their application’s status, as that creates further delays. To apply or check on your application, the Board recommends using BPELSG Connect. Again, for more information, please check bpelsg.ca.gov.
With the arrival of summer, please keep in mind that PECG membership includes dozens of discounts to theme parks and fun attractions in every part of our beautiful state. PECG offers discounted prices to your favorite theme parks like Universal Studios, San Diego Zoo, Six Flags, Great America, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Legoland, and Disneyland(through BenefitHub and Recreation Connection). Discounts on car rental and transportation service companies are also included through Budget/AVIS, Alamo, National, and AAA Auto Club. To see a complete list of promotional offers and instructions on how to access benefits, please visit the members-only section of the PECG website. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
June 16, 2023
The PECG Bargaining Team remains in discussions with CalHR (representing the State) on implementation of special salary adjustments (SSA) for Unit 9 members in 13 Range C classifications within deep classes, per Article 3.20 of PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The purpose of these adjustments is to help ensure that all Unit 9 employees within these Range C classifications are paid as fairly and equitably as possible. PECG will continue to work on the details of the SSA with CalHR to ensure that the entire $24 million allotted for this purpose is spent on Unit 9 employees in these classifications.
The PECG Nominating and Awards Committee recently announced the candidates for PECG Corporate Office in 2023-24. PECG is run by volunteer leaders selected from among the membership. Here are the PECG Corporate Office Candidates for 2023-24:
- Joe Arnold: Senior Landscape Architect – Caltrans – San Luis Obispo Section
- Steve J. Lee: Senior Transportation Engineer – Caltrans – Sacramento Section
Vice President Collective Bargaining:
- Ryan Atencio: Staff Air Pollution Specialist – Air Resources Board – Los Angeles Section
- D’Arcy McLeod: Transportation Engineer, Civil – Caltrans – Marysville Section
Vice President Supervisory:
- Wesley Thompson: Senior Transportation Engineer – Caltrans – San Luis Obispo Section
- Brian Simon: Senior Transportation Engineer – Caltrans – Eureka Section
Vice President At Large:
- Karmina Padgett-Gonzalez: Water Resources Control Engineer – Water Resources Control Board – River City Section
- Adriana Smith: Air Pollution Specialist – Air Resources Board – Fort Sutter Section
- Ferdinand de la Cruz: Senior Transportation Electrical Engineer – Caltrans – Inland Empire Section
- Ellery Ellis: Senior Transportation Engineer – Caltrans – Fresno Section
- Reyna Baeza-Oregel: Senior Landscape Architect – Caltrans – Inland Empire Section
- Jane Pham: Transportation Engineer, Civil – Caltrans – Inland Empire Section
The Corporate Officer election will get underway on July 10, when voting credentials will be emailed to all PECG members to the email address we have on file. Voting will close on August 10. If you would like to change your email address or your other contact information, please do so here.
Votes in the PECG Corporate Office Election will be cast entirely online using a secure system that protects voter privacy, ensures transparent and valid results, and will be administered by a neutral third party, TrueBallot. Prior to the election, PECG’s July Informer newsletter will feature statements and background information about all the candidates.
Congratulations to the 2023-24 Corporate Office candidates!
June 9, 2023
PECG is happy to remind members that effective July 1, 2023, all Unit 9 rank and file employees will have access to Non-Industrial Disability Insurance – Family Care Leave (NDI-FCL), which provides partial wage replacement for up to six weeks to bond with a newly arrived child or to care for an ailing family member. This benefit, part of PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) negotiated by the Bargaining Team, marks the first time in state history that a rank and file bargaining unit’s members will have a paid family leave benefit with no additional out-of-pocket costs to the employee.
As the effective date approaches, there are some important provisions to keep in mind:
- Enrollment in Annual Leave – as opposed to Vacation/Sick Leave – is required to participate in this benefit. You can change your leave program any time you like, so long as you did not enroll in your current leave program within the last 24 months [PECG MOU 5.12(a)].
- Bonding with a newly arrived child (through birth, adoption, or foster placement) under NDI-FCL can be used within the first year of the child’s arrival in the home. That means if, for example, you welcomed a new child in February 2023, you can access NDI-FCL after it becomes effective on July 1, 2023, until the day before the child’s first birthday in February 2024.
- Unit 9 employees will be eligible for up to six weeks (42 days) of NDI-FCL, which can be taken all at once or intermittently. NDI-FCL is used in one day increments, therefore, employees cannot work a partial day and use NDI-FCL the same day.
- Unit 9 employees who meet the eligibility requirements will receive 50 percent of their gross salary for each week of NDI-FCL. You may elect to supplement your NDI-FCL benefit by using Annual Leave time to an income replacement rate of either 75 or 100 percent when you file your NDI-FCL claim.
Please see CalHR’s website here for additional information about the program. For more details about this groundbreaking benefit, please see Article 4.14 of PECG’s 2022-25 MOU. The webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). Still have questions? Email email@example.com or call your local PECG office for assistance.
June 2, 2023
CalPERS pension and health care benefits are perhaps the most important benefits you receive as part of your public service on behalf of the State. Whether you’re early in your career or nearing retirement, it is important to understand your CalPERS benefits. To help, CalPERS provides free monthly live webcasts that focus on specific topics of interest. The next online session is “Your Online Service Retirement Application” (June 14). The online session starts at 11 a.m. and generally runs 20 minutes.
CalPERS is also holding an in-person CalPERS Benefits Education Event (CBEE) in Bakersfield on Friday, June 23, and Saturday, June 24, with five informative classes. For additional details, please visit the CalPERS website by clicking here.
CalPERS invites all state employees to participate. These webinars and CBEEs are free, but registration is required. Please see the CalPERS Member Education page for more details about these and future sessions.
May 26, 2023
With just over a month left in the 2022-23 fiscal year, PECG wants to remind all members about PECG MOU Article 5.15 (Professional Leave). Per Article 5.15, each fiscal year (which ends on June 30), all Unit 9 employees can request 16 hours (without loss of compensation) of leave for professional growth activity “at the employee’s discretion,” which “shall be requested and approved in the same manner as vacation/annual leave.”
However, Professional Leave does not accumulate from year to year. It must be used by June 30 each year, or it will be forfeited. If you have not already done so, please make a plan to utilize your 16 hours of Professional Leave before it goes away on June 30. For the full details, read MOU Article 5.15 here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
In recognition of Memorial Day, PECG offices will be closed on Monday. Please enjoy the three-day weekend, but also take some time to remember those who have died while serving in the U.S. military.
Speaking of offices, PECG’s Headquarters in Sacramento has moved to 555 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1155. All other contact information remains the same.
May 22, 2023
Today, PECG launched a public service media campaign promoting the good work and important services PECG members provide to California taxpayers. The campaign features a 30-second television commercial – “Engineering California’s Future” – that will be aired on Sacramento network and television stations over the next six weeks. The ad will also be aired digitally on news and social media websites in the weeks ahead.
The video features PECG leaders speaking from locations that illustrate our members’ vital work designing and inspecting infrastructure, ensuring the safety of schools and hospitals, developing clean energy, and protecting California’s natural resources and the environment.
The media campaign was developed under the leadership of PECG President Mark Sheahan and PECG’s Corporate Board of Directors. It is timed to influence public opinion and remind state decisionmakers about your important service to the State as the Newsom Administration and the Legislature enter the final weeks of negotiations on the 2023-24 State Budget. The spot will continue to run through June 30, the last day for Governor Newsom to sign the budget before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
To view the ad, learn more about the PECG leaders featured in it, or to see a schedule of when the ad will air on KCRA and Sacramento cable networks, please click here. The website password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). The plan is to take the media campaign to other parts of the state served by PECG members in the near future.
May 19, 2023
Last week, Governor Newsom released the May Revision, the updated state budget proposal for the 2023-24 fiscal year, which begins on July 1, 2023. Due to falling tax revenues, the $22.5 billion deficit that was predicted in January has now grown to $31.5 billion.
The Governor proposes to close the additional $9 billion shortfall by expanding upon the multi-faceted solutions – reductions, cuts, delays, funding shifts, and internal borrowing – he proposed in his January budget. For the most part, the proposed cuts will be reductions in multi-billion-dollar expenditure programs that were made possible by the tens of billions of dollars in unexpected revenue that the state collected and appropriated over the last two budget years. For now, he is not tapping into the state’s $22.5 billion Rainy Day Fund.
The result is a State Budget that now calls for $306.5 billion ($224 billion general fund) in spending for 2023-24, about 1% less than the current budget.
There are no proposed cuts to state employee compensation or other pay and benefit items within the proposed budget. Money is included to cover agreed-upon salary and benefit increases for PECG members, and other state bargaining unit members with contracts in place, that go into effect on July 1.
The Administration’s 2023-24 budget will now undergo intense review by legislators before they approve it by June 15. The Governor must then sign it by June 30. PECG will be there every step of the way to protect members’ interests.
Every year, PECG produces a glossy, full-color wall calendar featuring beautiful California sites and infrastructure. We are again asking PECG members to submit their own photographs for an opportunity to be featured in PECG’s 2024 wall calendar. Photographers are encouraged to submit original images that feature sites, cities, landscapes, bridges, water facilities, infrastructure projects, or any other photo that showcases California, our infrastructure, and the important work PECG members perform in all parts of our state.
As an aspiring photographer, this is your chance to have your work appreciated by a wider audience. Using this form, please submit no more than three high-resolution, digital photos with your name, the date the photo was taken, and the exact location. If you submitted photos in a previous year that were not selected for the PECG calendar, you may resubmit them for possible inclusion in the 2024 calendar. Again, please limit your submissions to three or less.
The photos must be your own and cannot bear any signatures, watermarks, copyright marks, or any other identifying symbols. All entries must be received by July 10. Submissions will be reviewed by the PECG Nominating and Awards Committee, and the committee will pick the entries that will be featured in the PECG 2024 wall calendar. Again, photos that are unique to California, our infrastructure, and the work of PECG members will be given special consideration.
May 12, 2023
As reported last week, Article 5.19 of PECG’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) authorizes employees to cash out up to 80 hours of accumulated Vacation or Annual Leave each year if their department determines it has funds available to make the payments.
To view our latest list of Unit 9 employers, and whether they are participating in the leave buy-back program and at what level, please click here. The password to view the webpage is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). Thank you to the PECG members who have shared the leave buy-back status of their agencies over the last week.
Unit 9 employees (rank and file and supervisors and managers) who wish to take advantage of the opportunity can then submit a request form during the month of May to cash out a portion of their leave. Payments are to be issued by departments in June and keep in mind they will be taxed.
Just as a reminder, Personal Leave Program (PLP) 2020 hours are not eligible to be cashed out under the leave buy-back program. If you encounter difficulty cashing out your leave, please email PECG for assistance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As is customary this time of year, the Department of Transportation (Caltrans) recently released their annual proposal for staffing levels in the 2023-24 fiscal year starting July 1, 2023. This year, Caltrans is proposing only a modest increase in Capital Outlay Support (COS) positions to meet project delivery needs during the fiscal year.
Importantly, the proposal maintains the traditional Caltrans state staff to consultant ratio.
Specifically, the proposal calls for an increase of 126 state staff positions and the addition of available cash overtime equal to 6 COS positions. In maintaining the historic staff to consultant ratio, the proposal would also authorize the equivalent of 11 additional consultant positions. For perspective, in the 2022-23 COS authorization, state staff was increased by 626 positions, available OT by 31 positions, and consultant positions by 77. Please keep in mind that about two-thirds of COS positions are Unit 9 engineers and related positions in the department. The 2023-24 proposal will be heard in budget subcommittees in both the State Senate and Assembly before it is included in the state budget. PECG will be there to protect members’ interests and ensure Caltrans has the staff resources necessary to provide timely and cost-effective project delivery. The budget must be approved by legislators by June 15. You can read the complete COS 2023-24 budget proposal here.
May 10, 2023
Recently, PECG won an important victory that helps to safeguard important workplace protections for all PECG members. As a result of the win at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), Caltrans was required to send a message last week admitting to PECG members that they had violated the Dills Act by “failing and refusing to meet and confer promptly… and in good faith with Professional Engineers in California Government.”
Just as background, PERB is the body responsible for enforcing the Dills Act, the law that gives PECG members collective bargaining rights and guides state employee labor relations in California. The Caltrans email read, “As a result of a PERB decision, Caltrans is required to send the attached notice to all PECG represented employees.” Not surprisingly, PECG has received many questions from members about why they received the email, and what transpired requiring it to be sent.
Simply, a few years ago, a PECG member filed a complaint alleging that Caltrans had violated one of its policies. PECG requested more information about the complaint because it appeared that Caltrans failed to process it appropriately. Unfortunately, Caltrans initially, and consistently, refused to provide the information about the complaint under the mistaken belief that PECG was not entitled to it. PECG disagreed and insisted on the information. Ultimately, Caltrans did provide PECG with the requested information. However, the document that was provided was so heavily redacted, it was unreadable and useless.
After exhausting all reasonable efforts to get Caltrans to comply voluntarily, PECG filed an Unfair Practice Charge (UPC) with the PERB alleging that Caltrans had violated PECG’s, and its member’s, rights. After reviewing the evidence, a PERB administrative law judge ruled in PECG’s favor. PERB found that Caltrans was wrong to refuse to provide us with the requested information in a timely manner, and for unilaterally redacting the document without meeting and conferring with us first. When the State violates union or employee rights under the Dills Act, PERB may require the offending department to send a notice to all employees in that bargaining unit. That is exactly what happened in this case. You can review the full Caltrans Notice to Employees here.
While PECG and the State frequently work together as partners to resolve problems, disputes can still arise, and the PERB complaint process offers a productive way to decide these issues. This case is just another example of the great lengths PECG will go to represent members in the workplace and in all other venues. This is how PECG ensures that state agencies treat PECG members fairly and apply state policies properly. No additional details regarding this matter will be provided by PECG due to the sensitive nature of the facts of the case.
May 5, 2023
Many Unit 9 agencies and departments have announced that they will have a leave buy-back program this year. PECG’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Article 5.19 authorizes Unit 9 employees to cash out up to 80 hours of accumulated Vacation or Annual Leave each year if their department determines it has funds available to make the payments. On or before May 1 each year, under the terms of the MOU, each department is supposed to notify employees if the Vacation/Annual Leave cash out will be available. If so, the departments must also let employees know how many hours they can cash out, not to exceed the 80-hour maximum. The State has released guidance extending the same leave buy-back terms to Unit 9 supervisors and managers.
Just as a reminder, Personal Leave Program (PLP) 2020 hours are not eligible to be cashed out under the leave buy-back program.
So far, we have confirmation that Caltrans, Waterboards, DWR, DIR, PUC, CalFIRE, and State Lands Commission have authorized employees (rank and file and supervisors and managers) to cash out up to the full Vacation/Annual Leave 80-hour limit. Unfortunately, CDCR is not participating.
In the days ahead, PECG will let you know what other departments are participating this year and how many hours they are allowing Unit 9 employees to cash out. If your department has authorized a leave buy-back this year, please pass that information on to email@example.com and we will add it to our list, which can be accessed on the PECG webpage here. The password to access the webpage is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). Under the leave buy-back program, Unit 9 employees who wish to take advantage of the opportunity must submit a request form during the month of May to cash out a portion of their Vacation or Annual Leave. Payments are to be issued by departments in June. Please keep in mind that the cashed-out leave is taxable.
April 28, 2023
Don’t miss this opportunity – PECG Scholarship Program applications are due today, April 28, at 5:00 p.m. PECG will be awarding $1,000 scholarships to 20 worthy PECG members and/or their dependents. Scholarship applicants must be attending college and be pursuing a degree in a PECG-related major. The application period opened on March 9, and the deadline to submit your application is today. Please visit the PECG webpage for more information about the scholarship program and application requirements. The PECG webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Just a reminder that PECG offers discounted group plan life insurance coverage for PECG members and their dependents. Due to group rates, plan features are better and the cost is lower than most other individual or group plans.
PECG members are automatically covered for $5,000 life insurance and $1,500 accidental death and dismemberment coverage as a benefit of membership at no cost. Members have the option to purchase up to an additional $521,000 in life insurance, and up to $255,000 in dependent coverage. The low monthly premiums (taken through payroll deduction) offer members an opportunity to provide security for their family members easily and affordably.
The PECG package of insurance benefits includes coverage for dependent children, accidental death and dismemberment, and long-term disability.
Enrollment forms and informational brochures are available here. Again, the webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). The brochures answer common questions such as “when am I eligible?” and “when is coverage effective?” and provides complete descriptions of amounts of insurance and the costs for each. If you have questions or seek additional information, please email PECG’s insurance administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 21, 2023
The Weekly Update on February 17 included all that PECG members need to know about the many benefits provided by Article 3.3 (a) of PECG’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for those applying for and participating in professional exams. You can access the details again here. The password to access the webpage is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Today, we want to feature provision (b) of Article 3.3 – Professional Society and Organization Dues. This provision was much improved in PECG’s 2022-25 MOU and it now requires that every Unit 9 employee shall be reimbursed for dues paid to one or more job-related professional societies or organizations, up to $250 each fiscal year. Thanks to the work of the PECG Meet and Confer Team this increased benefit was also extended to supervisors and managers.
Eligibility for this benefit begins at the start of each fiscal year (July 1) and ends on the last day of the fiscal year (June 30). Please ask your human resources department or personnel specialist about how you can apply for this benefit of the PECG MOU. And if it is not provided for any reason, please urge your department to contact CalHR for approval and let us know about the problem by emailing email@example.com or calling your nearest PECG office. You can read Article 3.3 in its entirety here. Again, the password for the PECG webpage is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Happy Earth Day, which is tomorrow, April 22. Earth Day, of course, is a time to celebrate environmental protection, resource conservation, and remind ourselves of the importance of a healthy and sustainable Earth to all the species that inhabit it. This year’s theme is Invest in Our Planet – you can learn more about Earth Day and celebratory events here. And thank you to the many PECG members who have dedicated their careers to creating a safer, cleaner, and more livable planet.
April 14, 2023
Just as a reminder, PECG Scholarship Program applications are due in exactly two weeks. PECG will be awarding $1,000 scholarships to 20 worthy PECG members and/or their dependents. Scholarship applicants must be attending college and be pursuing a degree in a PECG-related major. The application period opened on March 9, and the deadline to submit your application is Friday, April 28, at 5 p.m. Please visit the PECG webpage for more information about the scholarship program and application requirements. The PECG webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Caltrans is hosting a Virtual Statewide Hiring Event on Wednesday, May 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The primary focus is to hire Transportation Engineers (Civil). PECG is passing the information to all members, so they are also aware of the many open positions and opportunities available at Caltrans, and encourages you to share it with your family members and friends.
To attend this virtual event, an application must be submitted by Wednesday, April 19. To learn more about registering for the event and submitting your application, please see the email from Caltrans by clicking here.
If your agency is looking to fill a large number of Unit 9 positions, PECG is happy to share those opportunities with members as well.
April 7, 2023
PECG remains in discussions with CalHR (representing the State) on implementation of special salary adjustments for Unit 9 members in 13 Range C classifications within deep classes, per Article 3.20 of PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU allotted $24 million to implement these pay increases effective July 1, 2023 – after the special salary adjustments are agreed upon.
The purpose of the MOU provision is to help ensure that all Unit 9 employees within Range C are paid as fairly and equitably as possible. As required by the MOU, the State released a report with recommended special salary adjustments in the 13 Range C Unit 9 classifications by March 1.
PECG’s Bargaining Team, however, questioned the methodology in the State’s report and asked for additional information supporting the report’s conclusions. When agreement is reached, PECG will report the results – but the effective date of the special salary adjustments in the 13 Range C deep classifications remains July 1, 2023. To read MOU Article 3.20 in its entirety, please click here. The PECG webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Months after it should have been paid to all eligible Unit 9 employees, PECG continues to hear from members that they have not received the improved longevity pay differential that is part of PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). You will remember that the MOU significantly increased PECG’s longevity pay differential by moving the schedule up three years. The chart below shows the new longevity pay schedule compared with the previous schedule. The longevity pay increases are to be provided retroactive to October 1, 2022.
But for Unit 9 employees to receive the pay increase, and any associated back pay, your personnel specialist and/or your HR department must input the improved schedule into your personal pay profile. It does not happen automatically and it is clear that many agencies, particularly smaller ones, simply have not taken the necessary steps to provide the Unit 9 longevity pay increases. Please check your pay warrant today and, if necessary, ask your department to implement your longevity pay increase. To read MOU Article 3.29 (Longevity Pay), please click here. Again, the PECG webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
And to answer another question PECG gets a lot, per the MOU, longevity pay is subject to retirement contributions and therefore must be used in the calculation of your pension benefits.
Spring is here, and for members who are photographers, this is a good time to capture the shot that might just make it into PECG’s 2024 glossy, full-color wall calendar.
The 2023 PECG wall calendar featuring PECG member photos turned out beautifully, and we will again be requesting photo submissions for the 2024 wall calendar. The weather is getting warmer, so now is the perfect time to get outside to take your photographs of sites, cities, landscapes, bridges, water facilities, infrastructure projects, or any other image that showcases California, our infrastructure, and the important work PECG members perform in all parts of our State.
The call for photographs, and the specific details regarding the submissions, will be included in a Weekly Update in May, so keep an eye out for that email when the time comes. The photo submission deadline will be in July.
March 30, 2023
Blood donors help save the lives of patients of all ages, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those fighting cancer and other diseases. The PECG Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) makes it easy for PECG members to make a difference by donating blood. Under the MOU, with prior approval, all Unit 9 employees may be allowed reasonable release time without loss of compensation to donate blood, plasma, platelets, and other blood products to certified donation centers.
The MOU also has provisions that make Unit 9 employees who donate organs or bone marrow eligible for paid leave. Per the MOU, those donating organs shall be granted up to 30 days paid leave, while employees donating bone marrow are eligible for up to five days of paid leave. To use Donor Leave, employees must first exhaust their available sick leave balances. Employees continue to accrue annual leave, sick or vacation leave, or any other benefit they would normally accrue during their time off. Donor Leave may not, however, be used to cover medical appointments or time off necessary prior to making their donation.
In recognition of the César Chávez Day holiday, the PECG offices will be closed tomorrow, March 31. Please enjoy your three-day weekend.
March 24, 2023
CalPERS pension and health care benefits are perhaps the most important benefits you receive as part of your public service on behalf of the State. Whether you’re early in your career or nearing retirement, it is important to understand your CalPERS benefits. To help, CalPERS provides free monthly live webcasts that focus on specific topics of interest. Upcoming online sessions include “Your Retirement Estimate and Payment Options” (April 12), “Service Credit Purchase” (May 17), and “Your Online Service Retirement Application” (June 14). All the online sessions start at 11 a.m. and generally run 20 minutes.
CalPERS invites all state employees to participate. These webinars are free, but registration is required. Please see the CalPERS Webinar page for more details about these and future sessions.
March 17, 2023
If you are applying for a promotion or thinking about moving to a new state position or department, PECG wants to remind you about Article 15.1 (Personnel Files) of the PECG Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Article 15.1 provides all Unit 9 members with access to the materials in their official personnel file. Perhaps more importantly, the MOU specifies that negative material must be purged after three years. So please take the opportunity provided to you by the MOU to remove negative or unflattering materials from your file to ensure it is ready for review by a potential employer.
All it takes is an email to your supervisor or personnel analyst to set up a meeting to review your file. Identify items that are old or outdated and ask your supervisor or analyst to assist in their removal. Before pursuing new opportunities, be sure to check back and confirm that outdated files have been removed and your file is in order. Please read Article 15.1 for the complete details. The webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Speaking of the MOU, printed and bound copies of PECG’s 2022-25 MOU are still available. If you would like to receive your own printed copy and have yet to place an order, please complete the MOU request form here.
The PECG website also features a page dedicated to the 2022-25 MOU. The MOU’s articles and sub-articles can be viewed on the PECG webpage here, or you can download the complete document as a PDF. Both formats are searchable. Again, the password to view webpage content is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
March 10, 2023
As time passes, PECG members – and their department leaders – sometimes forget that the vacation and annual leave cap (or accumulation limit) for all Unit 9 employees is currently 832 hours (up from the previous 640 hours) and remains at that level until June 30, 2025, per PECG’s Memorandum of Understanding.
If your department is insisting (mistakenly) on a leave reduction plan to get below 640 vacation or annual leave hours, please feel free to share this page from the State’s Human Resource Manual.
In case you missed it, PECG’s 2023 Scholarship Program launched yesterday. The program offers up to 20 scholarships, for $1,000 each, as a member-only benefit for PECG members and their dependents who are currently enrolled in a college or university in a PECG-related field of study.
To be eligible for a PECG scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:
- Student must be a PECG member, PECG retired member, or a PECG member dependent. A dependent is considered a spouse or child of a PECG member or a PECG retired member.
- Student must be currently enrolled and attending an accredited college or university. This includes associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate.
- Student must be currently enrolled at least half time (minimum of six units for undergraduate and three units for graduate).
- Student must be pursuing a degree in a PECG-related field of study— engineering or related professional field represented by PECG.
- Student must hold at least a 2.5 overall grade point average (GPA).
- Application and supporting documents must be type written.
The application deadline is Friday, April 28, 2023. To learn more about the PECG Scholarship Program, please visit the Scholarship Program page on the PECG website. The password to view the member-only content on the PECG website is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). The 2023 PECG Scholarships will be awarded in July and August.
March 3, 2023
As you may remember, PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) created a joint PECG and State Committee to study and then mutually decide on special salary adjustments for Unit 9 members in 13 Range C classifications within deep classes. When the special salary adjustments are agreed upon, the MOU allotted $24 million to implement them effective July 1, 2023.
The purpose of MOU Article 3.20 was to help ensure that all Unit 9 employees within Range C are paid as fairly and equitably as possible. Per the MOU, the State provided a report of their recommended special salary adjustments in the 13 Range C Unit 9 classifications by March 1. PECG’s Bargaining Team will soon meet with the State to work through a number of methodological and implementation issues and will have more to report in the weeks ahead. The effective date of special salary adjustments in the 13 Range C classifications remains July 1, 2023. To read MOU Article 3.20 in its entirety, please click here. The PECG webpage password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
The California Transportation Foundation (CTF) has extended the nomination deadline for its 34th Annual Transportation Awards to Wednesday, March 8, at 11:59 p.m.
PECG urges our Caltrans members to submit entries to recognize your outstanding work and the good work of the department – particularly in the Project/Program categories.
Award winners will be revealed at the CTF Transportation Awards Gala held on June 6.
February 24, 2023
PECG is proud to dedicate time and resources to support STEM education programs to encourage the next generation of state engineers and related professionals. This includes sponsoring many regional Science and Engineering Fairs – in which high school and middle school students prepare projects and compete for awards – that occur throughout California each spring. PECG members are encouraged to volunteer as judges and serve in other roles to help make every Fair a big success. Volunteering at your local Science and Engineering Fair is one of the activities for which PECG members are eligible to receive up to 40 hours of mentoring leave each calendar year.
Mentoring Leave is available under Article 5.11 of the PECG Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) subject to supervisory and departmental approval. After using personal time (paid leave or CTO during work hours) or personal non-work time, employees are eligible to request a matching number of mentoring leave hours. For example, after volunteering 8 hours on a Saturday, you could then request 8 hours to mentor during the workweek, again, subject to supervisory approval. To read MOU Article 5.11, please click here. The password to view this page is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). If you are interested in volunteering at a Fair in your area, please click here to learn more. You may also contact your PECG Section leaders – they will be happy to help
February 17, 2023
Given that there are a number of professional exams coming up in the spring, it is a good time for a refresher about Article 3.3 of PECG’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Unfortunately, state departments and agencies often misinterpret or inaccurately convey the full extent of the professional exam and licensure benefits available to Unit 9 employees.
Article 3.3 covers all employees applying for and participating in exams for the following professional licenses and certificates – Engineer, Architect, Landscape Architect, Land Surveyor, Engineer-in-Training, LSIT, Geologist-in-Training, Engineering Geologist, Geologist, and Geophysicist.
Here are the available benefits:
- Unit 9 employees scheduled to take any of the license exams listed above during the work day will be granted State release time to take the examination upon presentation of proof that the employee is scheduled for the examination. Such release time is limited to the time required for the exam and includes reasonable travel time to and from the nearest examination site, not to exceed the normal work shift on the exam day. To be very clear, Unit 9 employees do not need to use their annual leave or vacation time to participate in an exam.
- Upon successful completion of any portion of one of the licensing exams, the State shall reimburse Unit 9 employees for all fees and charges required to apply for and participate in the examination. The amount to be reimbursed is the full fee and charges employees are required to pay a particular licensing board. Employees will not be reimbursed for exam fees for any exam they fail.
- The State shall also reimburse Unit 9 employees for their license renewal fees.
- Unit 9 employees shall accrue eight (8) hours of compensating time off upon successful completion of a licensing exam.
To read Article 3.3, please click here. The password to view this page isPECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). And as always, if your department tells you something that contradicts the information above, or you are having difficulty in receiving your appropriate licensure reimbursement or leave time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call your nearest PECG office. And, of course, good luck on your exam!
Engineers Week kicks off on Sunday! To celebrate, PECG is sponsoring Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 9, which recognizes February 19 to February 25, 2023, as Engineers Week, and ACR 8 that declares February 23, 2023, as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. ACR 9 is authored by Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin (Thousand Oaks), who worked previously as an engineer at Teledyne Systems and at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab. Assembly Member Luz Rivas (San Fernando Valley), the author of ACR 8, is an MIT-educated electrical engineer. You can read each measure by clicking on the links above.
PECG’s offices will be closed Monday, February 20, in observance of Presidents’ Day. Please have a great three-day weekend.
February 10, 2023
Perhaps you missed it or maybe forgot, but PECG’s Membership Committee wants to remind members that last year they developed seven attractive, professional virtual backgrounds featuring the PECG Delivers! logo. The backgrounds can be used for any online meeting to help limit visual distractions, provide privacy, and, of course, promote PECG.
Please visit the PECG website to download yours today by clicking here. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
PECG’s Membership Committee – Ambreen Afshan (Co-Chair), Carrie Austin (Co-Chair), Rajive Chadha, Cameron Muir, Sunil Repaka, Jagannath Sarkar, and Terry Thompson – works hard to recruit and retain PECG members, especially in a virtual environment. To encourage members to recruit “future” members, PECG provides recruitment awards to successful recruiters: $50 per rank and file applicant and $200 for every supervisor or manager.
Please take the time today to recruit a new member. The PECG website provides an array of membership recruitment tools to help you and allows soon-to-be members to join in a matter of minutes. Again, the password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
February 3, 2023
As reported in previous Weekly Updates, the State has issued multiple pay letters to provide the 2.5% General Salary Increase (GSI) to all Unit 9 members – rank and file employees and supervisors and managers – effective July 1, 2022, and to implement the many new and improved pay differentials that are part of PECG’s 2022-25 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The vast majority of PECG members report having received the GSI and the related back pay. Unfortunately, we continue to hear from members that have yet to receive the differential increases and the associated back pay.
If you have yet to receive your GSI, a differential increase, or the back pay associated with them – please notify your Personnel Specialist immediately. Please also share your circumstance with PECG by emailing us at email@example.com. We continue to follow up with departments to urge that they take the necessary steps to ensure that Unit 9 employees receive the pay increases they are due as soon as is possible.
This week, PECG’s 2022-25 MOU orders were dropped in the mail to all members who requested a copy. If you would like to receive your own printed copy and have yet to place an order, it’s not too late. Please complete the MOU request form by clicking here. The PECG website also features a page dedicated to the 2022-25 MOU. The MOU’s articles and sub-articles can be viewed on the PECG webpage here, or you can download the complete document as a PDF. Both formats are searchable. The password to view this content is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
Your job and work responsibilities are the last thing you want to worry about when faced with the loss of a loved one. That is why you need to be aware of Article 5.2 (Bereavement Leave) of PECG’s MOU. It provides for up to three days of bereavement leave after the death of a spouse, parent, stepparent, child, sibling, or any person residing in your immediate household at the time of death. If the death requires you to travel more than 400 miles one way from your home, you may be granted an additional 2 days of leave. Other leave credits, including sick leave if used in accordance with the MOU, are also available to cover additional time that you may need. Read the complete Article 5.2 here. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive). Please contact your nearest PECG office if you need help accessing this or any other benefit.
January 27, 2023
If your retirement plan is set, or you are contemplating retiring in the near future, please remember that you can continue to be part of PECG by becoming a PECG retired member. PECG makes it easy to sign up for retiree membership with the online application on the PECG webpage here. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
For just $8 per month, PECG retired members under age 70 are automatically enrolled in a $1,500 Basic Life Insurance plan and also receive $1,500 of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. At age 70, your dues will drop to $4 a month because the basic life and AD&D insurance coverage is no longer provided by PECG’s insurer.
But retired members regardless of age continue to receive PECG Weekly Updates and the Informer newsletter to keep you up-to-date on important news, including PECG’s work to protect your pension, health care, and other retiree benefits. And, as a retired member, if you have any trouble with your retirement benefits, a PECG staff member is just an email or phone callaway.
You will also continue to receive PECG’s annual pocket and wall calendarsand enjoy PECG’s low-cost group auto and homeowner insurance, as well as substantial savings on consumer goods and vacation discounts.
PECG thanks you for your public service and hopes you enjoy your well-deserved retirement. If you have any questions about your PECG membership or retirement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact PECG’s headquarters office in Sacramento at 916-446-0400 (or at 1-800-338-1480 if you are outside of California).
Again, to sign up for retired PECG membership, please click here for the electronic authorization form.
As you know, PECG publishes a newsletter – the Informer – to keep members up-to-date on the latest developments of interest to state engineers and related professionals. The Informer is printed and sent every month to thousands of PECG members via U.S. Mail.
As we prepare the February edition, we just wanted to remind you that there is another option. Like over 2,200 of your colleagues, you could choose to receive an email every month that directs you to the latest Informer posted on the PECG website along with the password to access it. To give the online viewing experience a try, please view the latest Informer, and dozens of archived Informers, here. The password is PECGdelivers! (case-sensitive).
If you find that you enjoy the online viewing experience, and want to reduce your waste stream, please reply to this email and let us know that you would like to “opt out” of the mailed, paper Informer.
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 email@example.com.