ACP, Is It Worth It?
By Jon Larson
The Alternate Compensation Program is an option that we have in the local bargaining agreement with Kaiser and Local 30 starting with paragraph 1900.
In lieu of benefits those that participate will be paid 20% over base wages. We will look at what is being given up in exchange for this and will be referring to the contract which is available on www.opeiulocal30.org and MyHR. It is something that should not be taken lightly as you are locked in the program for a year. You may want some writing materials available to help keep track of and make comparisons.
Signing up for or discontinuing ACP is done through the Open Enrollment Period on MyHR. Though medical benefits are part of what is being given up, your own medical coverage is a requirement to be able to participate. To look at the current value of your medical and dental just take a look at your current paycheck.
For vacation accrual see paragraph 1427, this is dependent on your status and years worked. Life balance is five days for a full time person and has another added benefit that will be mentioned later. For a full time person with a dozen years seniority this totals up to thirty days. If you are on ACP and want time off then paragraph 1908 states that you may take two weeks a year.
Sick leave is addressed in paragraph 1910. The sick leave account is frozen when entering the ACP program and no more hours are accrued, these will be available again when leaving the ACP program. You are not paid for time not worked so any days called out sick are unpaid. That’s fifteen days for a full time person that can be rolled over into a HRA for retirement or cashed out if not used.
Holidays, all six of them are not paid, paragraph 1914. If you decide to work on the holiday then the 20% does not apply and you are paid time and a half over base wages.
Overtime works about the same as the holiday, paragraph 1912 describes this.
A couple things that we have no control over is jury duty and bereavement, neither of which are paid. Being variable, either of these can add up quickly. How many day can you afford to go unpaid? In case of bereavement which is not guaranteed do you want to have to consider that while mourning?
CESLA or California AB 109 is for taking care of a sick child, parent, spouse or registered domestic partner. The amount is measured off of your annual accrual of sick leave and life balance. Under ACP you will have given up both of these and therefore have no CESLA available to you. This is very important to consider if you have an elderly parent, a newborn or plan on starting a family.
I hope to have given you something to think about if you have considered or are currently participating in ACP.