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UPE News Item

    UPE Update

           DHA Class Study FAQs


1. Whose idea was the class study?

a.     The class study was DHA’s idea from start to finish.  UPE negotiated with the County over the language in          the new class specifications and salaries for the affected classifications but the process was driven by DHA.

2. I am an ES, what will happen to me?

a.     You will be promoted to HSS II.  

3. I am an ES, what will my new salary be?

a.      In general ES’s will move into the HSS step that is one step below their current step.  For instance, an ES Step 9 would become a HSS II Step 8.  An ES Step 8 would become a HSS II Step 7 etc.  ES Step 5 (newly-hired ESs who are still in probationary status) are an exception and will come in at HSS Step 5.  ES’s in Steps 6 to 9 will all see their base pay increase by a little over 7% immediately following the implementation of the class study.  ES Step 5 will see their base pay increase by a little over 12 % immediately following implementation of the class study.  This increase will be offset by the loss of the multi-program differential (see Question 4 below for more details).  However, once a former ES reaches top step for HSS II their take home pay will be over 7% higher than it would have been as a top step ES even with the loss of the differential.  

4. What happens to the multi-program differential?

a.     The multi-program differential will no longer apply.  This differential only applied to the ES classification and the class study eliminates the ES classification.  Even with the loss of the differential, all ES’s will see their take home pay increase by at least 7% (see point 3a above) as a result of class study. Additionally, differentials are not compounded with base pay for purposes of retirement.  The salary increases related to the class study are incorporated into your base pay and will be compounded for purposes of retirement. So, in the long run this is more beneficial than a differential.

5. Will my anniversary date change?  

a.     Under the contract, anniversary dates only reset if someone receives a promotion resulting in an increase of 10% more than their current salary.  Under the current class study, this would apply to a small group of people who are likely ES Step 5.  

6. When will these changes take effect?  

a.     The Board of Supervisors will vote on the agreement at the January 28, 2020 meeting.  Changes would take effect the first full pay period after ratification.  

7. Will there be retro pay?

a.     No.  The classification changes which trigger the salary changes will not occur until after the Board of Supervisors ratify the addendum.  Retro-pay is not possible under a classification study.  

8. Will HSS pay change?

a.     No.  Unlike the ES and SES classifications, DHA did not propose any substantive changes to the class specifications or duties of the HSS.  This made it difficult for UPE to bargain for increases in salary for this classification at this time.    

9. I am an ES, when I become a HSS will my job duties change?

a.     Not immediately.  During the negotiations, the Department stated that they did not have plans to change duties “at this time”.  However, it is likely that this will change at some point in the future.  ES who become HSS will need to be trained before they could be asked to take on CalWORKS cases. Should any changes to worker functions or duties occur as a result of the class study, the County stated in negotiations that the Union would have an opportunity to meet and confer beforehand. 

10. I am an ES, when I become a HSS can I apply to transfer to other HSS positions?

a.     Yes.  If selected, the Department will need to provide training on any programs you have not previously been trained on.  

11. Will I keep my special skills pay?

a.     Yes.  There are no changes to special skills as a result of the class study. 

12. I am an SES what will happen to me?

a.     You will be retitled a Human Service Quality and Review Specialist (HSQRS).  Your pay will increase by 5% but your Step placement will not change.  

b.     No one will lose their job as a result of the change of minimum qualifications. If you are an SES now, you will continue to be an SES once this takes effect.

13. Why did the Supervisors complete their class study before UPE?

a.     The issues for the supervisors were less complex than those presented for UPE and our workers.  This allowed the Supervisors to move forward more quickly.  In the supervisors’ case, one class is being moved up to another.  There was little to negotiate.  Our class study involves changes to three classifications. Based on the manner in which the County structured the class study, UPE and the County needed to agree on all classifications for the study to move forward.  

b.     UPE was prepared to move forward with the class study under the current agreement but it was the County that refused to accept UPE’s proposal.  Ultimately, a neutral third-party state mediator had to rule that UPE’s position was correct for the County to accept UPE’s position.  If the County had not de-valued the HSQRS position the UPE portion of the class study would have proceeded with the Supervisors. 

14. Why did UPE hold out for more money for the SES?

a.     The County’s own class study identified the new HSQRS class as the advanced journey class of the HSS I/II class.  In Sacramento County, advanced journey classifications are paid at least 5% more than the lower journey level class.  This is codified in our contract, the County Personnel Ordinance, and the Civil Service Rules. UPE could not allow the County to create a promotional class and not pay it promotional pay.  It sets a bad precedent.  Every worker deserves to be paid more for the work they do.  In this case, the County admitted that these workers deserve to be paid more, but they refused to do it.  If we conceded this point, then it weakens our hand at the next negotiation because we are allowing them to pay our workers less than what our contract calls for and less than the workers deserve.  Classification changes are rare occurrences with implications that can last decades.  We had to get this right now, at the start, or we would lose the opportunity.  Finally, this creates an additional promotional opportunity for workers in the HSS I/II class who can now promote to HSS Sup or HSQRS.  






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