The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 16, 2009
State Fund employees each to receive $250 bonus

SCIF logo blk.JPG

Here's a note to all State Compensation Insurance Fund employees that came our way via a few fund employees. Our comments follow:

From: Jennifer A. Vargen

Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 2:47 PM
To: SCIF AllUsers
Subject: Message from President re: Special Board Meeting and Encore! Award

Dear Colleagues,

As you have probably heard, the Board has called a special closed-session meeting for tomorrow. Information on this special meeting can be found on Scif.com. One item on the agenda is pending litigation during which the Board has asked for a further detailed update on both the CASE and SEIU lawsuits as they relate to State Fund and the furlough program. We will keep you posted as we have information to share.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated all permanent and active employees at State Fund, who are not Executive Officers, for an Encore Award. The monetary award that comes with Encore! can not begin compensate people for lost income, but it does provide a tangible sign of my appreciation for your hard work and commitment to State Fund's mission in the face of incredible challenges. Your nomination form is attached to this email and provides more information about the Encore! award.

Jan Frank

CEO and President

The Encore Award is $250 dollars per person and the money comes from policyholder premiums. Given the bonus to all State Fund employees will cost just under $2 million, fund spokeswoman Jennifer Vargen told us when we reached her Wednesday night.

One State Fund employee speculated that the money was being doled out ahead of a move by the board to somehow keep SEIU-covered fund employees from an eventual settlement, assuming the union wins its pending furlough court case:

Maybe the State Fund Board of Directors, at tomorrow's meeting, will try to deprive only non-lawyer State Fund employees of the back pay by officially exempting all SCIF employees from furloughs, thereby preempting the SEIU lawsuit from going forward and the SCO's hands being tied. Perhaps lawyers will be able to obtain back pay because they already have an Order from Judge Busch.

We asked Vargen about that. She said that the board's closed session to discuss the CASE lawsuit and the upcoming SEIU furlough lawsuit shouldn't be linked with the the award.

"Jan just wanted to recognize employees for outstanding service during a very difficult time," Vargen said.

Click here to see the board's teleconforence meeting agenda for 2 p.m. today.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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