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August 23, 2013 - We reviewed the proposed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for Bargaining Unit 16 and Bargaining Unit 19. Bargaining Unit 16 is represented by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). Bargaining Unit 19 is represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). If adopted, the MOUs would modestly increase state costs in 2013-14. Depending on decisions made by the Department of Finance, a general salary increase for all affected employees could increase state costs beginning in 2014-15 and thereafter.
August 2, 2013 - We reviewed the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 18. These employees are represented by the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians. If adopted, the MOU would modestly increase state costs in 2013-14. Depending on decisions made by the Department of Finance, a general salary increase for all Unit 18 employees could increase state costs beginning in 2014-15 and thereafter.
June 21, 2013 - We reviewed the proposed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for Bargaining Units 1, 3, 4, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, and 21. These employees are represented by Service Employees International Union, Local 1000. If adopted, the MOUs would modestly increase state costs in 2013-14. Depending on decisions made by the Department of Finance, a general salary increase for all affected employees could increase state costs beginning in 2014-15 and thereafter.
March 20, 2013 - Last year, the Legislature asked CalSTRS to submit a report detailing at least three options for addressing the unfunded liabilities of the pension system's Defined Benefit (DB) Program, which are now estimated by system actuaries to total about $70 billion. This handout for the Legislature's Public Employment and Retirement Committees (1) describes the risks of waiting to address CalSTRS' unfunded liabilities, (2) compares CalSTRS' unfunded liabilities to California's other long-term liabilities, (3) and examines possible sources for additional funding. We recommend that the Legislature adopt a plan that aims to fully fund CalSTRS' unfunded liabilities in about 30 years. A companion video further explains our findings and recommendations.
March 14, 2013 - Over the past five budget years, furloughs reduced state employee compensation costs by about $5 billion in exchange for giving state employees additional time off. This report examines whether state employees took this additional time off—or whether, after accounting for changes in use of vacation and other time, they worked about as many days as they did before. We find that (1) state workers used most of their furlough days, but decreased their use of vacation and annual leave days, and (2) state leave liabilities and payments to separating employees are now at historic levels.
March 12, 2013 - Presented to Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration
April 20, 2012 - We reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding for Bargaining Units 12 (Craft and Maintenance), 16 (Physicians, Dentists, and Podiatrists), 18 (Psychiatric Technicians), and 19 (Health and Social Services/Professionals). If adopted, the MOUs would result in modest increases in state costs for employee compensation.
April 13, 2012 - Presented to Joint Conference Committee on Public Employee Pensions, Hon. Warren T. furutani, Chair, and Hon. Gloria negrete McLeod, Chair
November 8, 2011 - The Governor’s 12-point pension and retiree health plan would result in bold changes for California’s public employee retirement programs. His proposals would shift more of the financial risk for pensions—now borne largely by public employers—to employees and retirees and would, in so doing, substantially ameliorate a key area of long-term financial risk for California governments. Despite the proposal’s strengths, it leaves many questions unanswered, such as how his hybrid plan and retirement age proposals would work and how the state should cope with large unfunded liabilities already affecting the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the University of California Retirement Plan, and the health benefit program for state and California State University retirees. The Governor’s proposal to increase many current public employees’ pension contributions also raises significant legal and practical issues.
October 13, 2011 - Since 2008, the cost of providing unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in many states has exceeded available resources. As a result, by 2010 the UI funds in 32 states were insolvent, forcing those states to obtain loans from the federal government to continue payment of UI benefits. In this report, we conduct a comparative analysis of the UI programs in all 50 states and Washington D.C. to provide context for the Legislature in considering potential solutions to California's UI insolvency. Our analysis finds that California’s UI program pays comparatively lower weekly benefits, but pays these weekly benefits for a longer duration and to a relatively larger caseload. As a result, California has comparatively higher total program costs. To the extent the Legislature desires, California’s comparatively high cost structure could be mitigated by changing its UI eligibility and benefits duration policies. However, regardless of UI policies, California’s UI program is likely to have a higher UI cost structure than the average U.S. state as a result of its comparatively worse labor market.
August 31, 2011 - This webcast and accompanying handout summarize the major provisions of the collective bargaining agreements that the Legislature ratified in 2010-11. During the first 12 months of these agreements, most employees receive lower total compensation and the state experiences net employee compensation savings. In future years, employees will receive higher total compensation and the state will experience increased costs. UPDATE 9/1/11 -- Handout updated to include reference to a 2009 state law eliminating two state holidays.
August 8, 2011 -
LAO State Finance Director Jason Sisney appears on the news interview program The Maddy Report, where he is questioned about public employee pensions. His interview is contained in the first two segments of this five segment program.
View on YouTube.
July 7, 2011 - Beginning in 2008, the Unemployment Insurance (UI) funds of many states, including California’s, were under stress and soon became insolvent. Many states sought loans from the federal government. As of June 2011, California’s outstanding federal loan totaled over $10 billion. Three federal proposals have recently been introduced to address the insolvency issue. All three would improve the solvency of California’s UI fund and two would likely eliminate California’s UI fund deficit by 2016. Regardless of whether Congress acts, we recommend that the Legislature ensure implementation of a long–term solvency plan by 2014. If federal reforms are enacted, it is likely that no additional action by the Legislature will be necessary. However, if no federal reforms are enacted, it will be critically important for the Legislature to adopt its own long–term solvency plan. We recommend that the Legislature consider an approach which includes both increased employer contributions and decreased benefits for UI claimants.
April 8, 2011 - We reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 6 (Correctional Peace Officers) and Unit 13 (Stationary Engineers). If adopted, the MOUs would result in increased state costs in the current year, savings in 2011-12, and costs thereafter. Overall, the MOUs would reduce state Bargaining Unit 6 and 13 employee compensation costs in 2011-12 by about 3.6 percent.
April 1, 2011 - We reviewed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Bargaining Unit 9 (Professional Engineers in California Government) and Unit 10 (California Association of Professional Scientists). If adopted, the MOUs would result in increased state costs in the current year, savings in 2011-12 and 2012-13, and net cost thereafter. Overall, the MOUs would reduce state Bargaining Unit 9 and 10 employee compensation costs in 2011-12 by about 6 percent.