Monday, December 24, 2007

You're not really here Christmas Eve, are you?

You aren't really looking at Unit 9 News on Christmas Eve, are you?

Go check NORAD's Santa tracking instead. Sheesh.

Looks like the state veterinarian, and at least one press person, were also at work Christmas Eve:

California State Veterinarian Dr. Richard Breitmeyer has granted a 24-hour permit waiving all brand inspection and health requirements for nine reindeer slated to visit California on the evening of December 24 and the in early morning hours of December 25.
Whew. Some of us never even thought about the health and regulatory implications of those reindeer flitting hither and yon on Christmas Eve. Thank goodness Dr. Breitmeyer is on top of things.

Health Requirements for Santa's Reindeer Waived by State Veterinarian (press release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chicago PeopleSoft Implementation Shorts Teacher's Retirement Checks

No surprise here: Chicago Public Schools implemented PeopleSoft and promptly began shorting teacher's retirement checks. After six months or so, the problem is still not fixed, and PeopleSoft is still sending bad information to the pension fund:

About 1,700 recently retired teachers, principals and administrators have had pension paycheck problems since the Chicago Public Schools converted to a PeopleSoft payroll system, which has been giving inaccurate salary and pension contribution information to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund for months, Pension Fund officials say.
Retirees report their checks are short anywhere from $300 to $1000 per month.

Pay shortage 'a cheap shot': CPS retirees [Chicago Sun-Times]

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Discrimination Lawsuit Against Fresno State

Fresno State University is facing yet another lawsuit over sexual harassment in its athletics program. Iris Levesque worked in the men's basketball office from 2000-2005, and contends she was let go in retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, and violation of campus and NCAA rules.

She says in the complaint that she and Lopes “had a contentious working relationship due to her regular complaints of inappropriate behavior by Coach Lopes, his staff, and his student athletes. This inappropriate behavior took the form of gender and age discrimination as well as potential violations of NCAA rules and CSU, Fresno policies.”
Fresno State hit with another lawsuit - Ex-secretary says complaints about Lopes got her fired. [Fresno Bee]
Another discrimination suit against Fresno State [Indybay]

Good thing Chancellor Reed has been "working with" campus president John Welty for years to fix all this:
"All Fresno State has is its integrity. When bad things happen, you have to take decisive action to make the corrections." [...]

Reed made the statement in the tumultuous spring of 2003, after it was revealed that a former adviser conspired to improperly provide academic help to three former Fresno State basketball players.

Reed also said during the 2003 interview that he had been working closely with Welty to fix Fresno State's athletic problems for the "last three years or longer."
Welty and Reed are joined at the hip [Fresno Bee]

State Senator Dean Florez, D-Shafter, has called for Welty's resignation, and wrote to Chancellor Reed regarding his support of Welty:
“Your continued support of President John Welty, who allowed this climate of discrimination to exist during his tenure, raises serious questions regarding both your leadership abilities as well as the values your Chancellorship instills in the California State University.”
Florez has urged the California State University Board of Trustees to take action:
On Thursday Florez pledged that, short of immediate action by Reed, he would urge the CSU Board of Trustees to convene an emergency meeting to consider the future leadership of CSU Fresno. On Friday he wrote to the Board, calling on the Trustees to remove Welty as CSUF president and revoke Reed’s authority to determine the future course of legal action regarding allegations of gender discrimination against the university.

“It is clear to me that Chancellor Reed has become too invested in the outcome of these matters and has not made decisions in the best interest of the California State University as a whole,” Florez wrote.
Florez chairs the California State Senate Select Committee on Gender Discrimination and Title IX Implementation, and has scheduled a committee hearing on "gender discrimination at Fresno State" for Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 10:30.

Senator Dean Florez Calls for Welty's Resignation from CSUF [Press Release from Senator's Office]
Select Committee on Gender Discrimination and Title IX Implementation Agenda

The recent state auditor's report showed the CSU paid out $2.82 million in 41 employment discrimination cases over five years. This year's discrimination cases against Fresno State have resulted in $27 million in awards and settlements.

Governor to Declare Fiscal Emergency

The Governor has announced he will declare a fiscal emergency and call a special session of the Legislature because of the state budget.

Schwarzenegger announces fiscal emergency to cut budget [Associated Press]
Gov. Schwarzenegger Announces Special Session to Address Fiscal Emergency [Press Release from Governor's Office]

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quick Rundown of CSUEU and SEIU Meetings

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, sent out this information on recent and upcoming meetings for CSUEU leadership:

Past meetings:

The CSEA Board of Directors held a special meeting via telephone call last night. On the call, the Board approved the restatement of the CSEA retirement plan (every 5 years the plan must be "restated" and the IRS approves it again - CSEA submitted the restarted plan to theIRS in 2006, and the IRS issued its approval in October 2007).

The Board also approved an amendment to the plan required by the Article 15 of the 2006-2009 collective bargaining agreement with UAW Local 2350. The plan was amended to make some changes to post-retirement health benefits, and to separate the text of the post-retirement health benefits from the retirement plan document into a separate document.

Last week, SEIU held a meeting of the State Council in San Diego. The agenda is attached [below].

And finally, today [Tuesday, December 11], Pat, Dennis, Phil, Brenda Brown and I met with Keith Willis and Kim Evon of SEIU at SEIU's Western Region office in Los Angeles. We discussed what resources SEIU can provide to CSUEU for our upcoming 2009 Contract Campaign. The meeting was very productive, and even though I was late, Phil took good notes. I will provide the Board and Statewide Organizing Committee with some more details once I write everything up.

Future meetings:

The Executive Officer committee will be meeting at the 10th St. facility in Sacramento this December 19-20. Topics will include the transition of SFSU Head Start employees from SEIU Local 1021 to CSUEU, updated info on our facility move from 10th St. to the 5th floor of CSEA's O St. building.

I have been noticed that CSEA will hold a Board of Directors meeting on Sunday, January 27 at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento. The deadline for submission of an agenda item by a member of the CSEA Board is January 7. With the changes of resolution B&P 8/07 at General Council, CSUEU now has three elected representatives to the CSEA Board, and only one alternate. If you have an item for the CSEA Board, please let me, Pat, or Lori know ASAP.

The format has changed slightly:
- the Board Agenda Committee will meet 8:30-8:45 am
- the closed session is 9-10 am
- the open session is 10:15-4 pm

Here is the text of the SEIU meeting agenda forwarded by Ronnie:

October 3, 2007
Oakland Airport Hilton


10:00 a.m. Call to Order and Introductions

10:10 a.m. Adoption of Minutes

10:15 a.m. President's Report

10:20a.m. Executive Director’s Report

10:30 a.m. California Area Director’s Report

10:40 a.m. End of Session Legislative Report

11:00 a.m. Restructuring Committee Report on Proposed Constitution and Bylaws

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. Preparation for the 2008 State Council Planning Process

1:20 p.m. Health Care Campaign & Special Session

2:00 p.m. February Primary Ballot Measures
[a] Transportation Funding
[2] Community College Funding
[3] Legislative Term Limits
[4] Indian Gaming Referenda

2:45 p.m. Preparations for the February, 2008 Election

3:00 p.m. Board Adjourns

Technical Letter on GSI and SSI Implementation

The CSU Chancellor's Office has issued technical letter HR/Salary 2007-28. The letter covers implementation of the salary increases recently negotiated between the CSU and CSUEU, including the General Salary Increase (GSI) and Service Salary Increase (SSI) for fiscal year 2007-2008. The letter defers details of implementing the rural health care stipend and parking fee increase to future technical letters.

CSU Technical Letter HR/Salary 2007-28 [PDF]

CSUEU President Gantt and State Budget

This email was sent out by CSUEU President Pat Gantt this afternoon:


Dear CSUEU Board Members, Legislative Committee and Activists,

The holiday season is upon us, but the Grinch is looming in the shadows. The Grinch I speak of is the 2008/09 State budget. Last month there were indications that the budget deficit was at $8 billion and growing in the LAO fiscal outlook:
California's Fiscal Outlook: LAO Projections 2007-08 Through 2012-13

Now there are two articles that indicate that the state is now in same bad place it was in 1991 when there were huge cuts in the state budget. The deficit projections keep changing because the revenue side of the equation is not meeting targets and the costs are also going up. The only good news is that there is talk of tax increases to solve part of the problem, but conservatives still resist using the “T’ word.
Tax boost predicted in face of state's largest deficit since '91

Just at 12 Noon today the below article was posted where the Governor is now seeking across the board cuts. It action appears to be more of a drill or trial balloon. The Governor will reveal his budget plans on January 10th.
Governor planning across-the-board budget cuts

The true budget problem has been there for a while and the state has wrestled with a variety of fixes and solutions, but the options seem to be limited with a deficit as large as predicted. I attended a presentation last week by Jean Ross, Director of the California Budget Project. In that presentation she identified that since 1993 there has been reductions equal to $11 billion in tax cuts by the state. These cuts became even more painful as there was a bust in the industry and now we have the impacts of the housing industry on the state economy.

It is too early to tell what the direct impact may be on the CSU, but there will be an impact. We will be analyzing the budget situation and will meet with the Chancellor's Office budget staff early in January to identify any impacts. I would like each chapter to make sure that either they have someone on the campus budget committee or that someone attends to observe the discussions. Your presence will help identify impacts and the reactions of the campuses. Past experience has taught us that each campus may react to budget shortfalls differently and we need to know potential impacts to our represented employees as early as possible.

I will keep you posted any developments through email or posts on the CSUEU website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Please share this information with your members.

In Union,
Pat Gantt, President

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

State Audit of Diversity in CSU Hiring Practices

The Bureau of State Audits has released its audit on diversity in the CSU's hiring practices. Report 2007-102.2, titled "California State University: It Is Inconsistent in Considering Diversity When Hiring Professors, Management Personnel, Presidents, and System Executives" summarizes its findings as:

Our review of California State University's (university) hiring processes and employment discrimination lawsuits revealed the following:

  • The university has issued little systemwide guidance to the campuses regarding the hiring process.
  • Campuses are inconsistent in their consideration of gender and ethnicity when hiring assistant, associate, and full professors.
  • Campuses use differing levels of detail when estimating the percentage of qualified women and minorities available for employment, decreasing the university's ability to effectively compare data among campuses.
  • Campuses have hiring policies that vary in terms of the amount of guidance they provide search committees for Management Personnel Plan employees, and one campus has developed no policies for these positions that relate to nonacademic areas.
  • While the hiring process for presidents requires input from many stakeholders, the hiring of system executives is largely at the discretion of the chancellor in consultation with the board of trustees.
  • As of June 30, 2007, the university spent $2.3 million on settlements resulting from employment discrimination lawsuits filed during the five-year period we reviewed, and $5.3 million for outside counsel in defending itself against such lawsuits.

Report links:

Friday, December 7, 2007

Parking Fee Increase Table

CSUEU has prepared a table of parking fee increases. Here's the description from the spreadsheet:

This Parking Fee Increase Table has been updated to reflect the General Salary Increase of 3.457%, which is retroactive to July 1, 2007. It is based on a Side Letter negotiated between CSUEU and CSU, dated May 10, 2007, which linked any parking fee increases to general salary increases. This Side Letter also provides that under no circumstances can parking fees on any campus exceed those paid by CSU students in any given fiscal year. It supersedes provisions 21.16 and 21.17, as well as a previous Side Letter on parking fees. All rates below are monthly.
The only copy we've found of the May 10 side letter is unfortunately a scanned image; we apologize for this and will try to find a more readable version with actual words in it.

Wondering why the 2006/07 and 2007/08 increases have the same effective date? Teven Laxer, Senior Labor Relations Representative and our chief negotiator on the contract, explains:
"Parking fee increases that accrued based on FY 2006/07 compensation were effective on 7/1/07.

Increases for FY 2007/08 are technically retroactive to July 1, 2007, but campuses may implement them at the same time the raises are implemented. That remains to be seen."
Side Letter - Parking Fees and General Salary Increase - May 2007 [image PDF]
Parking fee increases table
Parking fee increases spreadsheet [Excel spreadsheet]

Fire Leave Agreement

CSUEU has posted images of the agreement reached with the CSU regarding leave during the October fires. Because the document is currently a bit difficult to find on the main web site, we've put a copy on the Unit 9 server for your convenience:

Memorandum of Understanding - Administrative Leave - Fires - October 2007 [image PDF]

This copy appears to be a scanned image; we are trying to get a proper copy and will post as soon as we can get one. In the meantime we abjectly apologize for the obstacle.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

SEIU Scholarship Applications Available Now

CSUEU members and their children are eligible for several SEIU scholarships. The criteria and selection process vary; one is even done by lottery among applicants who have correctly answered a series of questions about an SEIU report. Applications can be downloaded or filed online. The application deadline is March 1, 2008.

CSUEU members are SEIU members as well; we are SEIU Local 2579.

SEIU Scholarship list
Eligibility information

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Agreement on Leave for October Fires, Progress for Unit 13

CSUEU has reached an agreement with the CSU on leave related to the October fires, and reports progress toward a contract for Unit 13. A "conceptual agreement" means basically that the CSU and the CSUEU agreed on a list of bullet points and will flesh out the exact language, in proper sentences and format for signing, later.

From Bargaining News #7:

Agreement Reached on ATO [Administrative Time Off] for employees affected by Fires of October 2007

  • Employees who were required to return to or remain at work during the campus closures, regardless of whether they performed their regular assignment, shall be eligible for emergency pay, pursuant to Article 20, Section 20.52. Pursuant to that section, non-exempt employees earn an additional one-half hour pay for each hour worked. Exempt employees receive informal time off, as agreed to by their appropriate administrator.
  • In addition to Section 20.52, the agreement we just reached provides non-exempt employees with one-half hour informal time off for each hour worked during the campus closure. This informal time off must be mutually scheduled by the employee and his/her administrator with 180 days. If an agreement to use the time is not reached, the employee may suggest three alternative times to use the leave, no later than September 30, 2008, and the administrator must select one of them. If the employee fails to submit three choices, the administrator can direct the use of the informal time off.
  • The period of full or partial campus closure shall not count toward the five-day automatic resignation period for any employee who may have been absent with authorized leave.
  • Employees required to report to work during the closure, but were unable because of the emergency
    conditions to do so, shall be placed on administrative leave.
  • Other provisions of the Side Letter are consistent with the Technical Letter issued by the Chancellor’s Office on October 23, 2007. The full text of the Side Letter is posted on the CSUEU website.

CSU indicates that we are closer to a Conceptual Agreement for BU 13 ELP Instructors at CSULA

  • After nearly one and one-half years of negotiations and discussions, CSUEU and CSU appear to be closer to a conceptual agreement to cover the employees in recently organized Bargaining Unit 13.
  • BU 13 is comprised of English Language Program Instructors at CSU Los Angeles.
  • The parties meet again in mid-December and hope to announce progress after that bargaining session.

November 28 Mediation Results

CSUEU has announced that the November 28 mediation session with the CSU resulted in a conceptual agreement. Essentially that means the CSU and the CSUEU agreed on a list of bullet points and will flesh out the exact language, in proper sentences and format, later.

From Bargaining News #7:

Conceptual Agreement on IRP funding for FY 2007/08

  • $1.6 million (the equivalent of .25% General Salary Increase) shall be used for In-Range Progressions (IRPs).
  • IRP funds will be allocated to campuses on a pro rata basis.
  • The $1.6 million IRP allocation is not intended to supplant funds campuses have already spent or have committed to spend for IRPs in FY 2007.
  • The Chancellor’s Office will not direct campuses to target specific classifications for IRPs.
  • Any funds unspent at the end of FY 2007 shall roll over into FY 2008.
  • Implementation language still needs to be developed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New "Know Your Rights" Flyers Online

Did you know we have nifty new Know Your Rights flyers online now? Recently-updated topics include:

  • Reclassification and In-Range Progression
  • Layoffs
  • A Practical Guide to In-Range Progression
  • Probation Guide
Several are in PDF format for ease of printing.

CSU Outsources to Australia

The CSU has contracted with an Australian firm named HarvestRoad to provide parts of the California State University (CSU) Digital Marketplace. The CRN article describes the work as:

  • "the design and development of prototypes that are informed and tested by the needs and requirements of students, faculty, librarians, and disabled students services throughout the CSU system." and
  • "expanding the range and reach of digital collections accessed through a federated search service to provide users greater choice of content; integrating the federated search service into a variety of application environments that deliver content into the user’s environment of choice; systematically collecting end user requirements through use case development and focus groups with faculty, students, librarians and disability student services officers; and extending requirements gathering outside the CSU system"
That sounds like marketing-speak for:
  • doing end user requirement analysis and testing
  • expanding online/digital material and making it easier to find and use

California University goes with Aussie developer (CRN Australia)
HarvestRoad press release
CSU Digital Marketplace page at Chancellor's Office

Was sending California taxpayer dollars to Utah insufficiently exotic?

Bargaining... Happened. Mustn't Say More.

The CSU and CSUEU bargaining teams met yesterday, November 28, at Dominguez Hills over the remaining 0.25%. Our lips are sealed (team discipline, speaking with one voice, and all that), but expect an announcement soon from headquarters.

Meanwhile, you can read about how the December 14 checks will be for the 3.457% GSI's only; the SSI's take longer and can be expected in January.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tentative Agreement Reached With CSU

The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) and California State University (CSU) have reached a tentative agreement on wages and benefits for fiscal year 2007-08.

The CSUEU announcement [PDF]:

The CSU Employees Union, SEIU Local 2579, is pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with the CSU on wages and benefits for fiscal year 2007/08. On November 17, the Union bargaining team voted unanimously to accept the CSU’s November 8th conceptual proposal, which was substantially similar to proposals the union has been discussing with the CSU for several weeks. CSUEU and CSU will now draft final language, which will be submitted to the CSU Board of Trustees for ratification in early December. Reopener agreements are not subject to ratification by the union’s membership. Assuming there are no delays in processing the raises, employees should see their new pay rates reflected in December, and should receive retroactive checks in January.

“The bargaining team and board of directors believe this is an acceptable agreement,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “We now intend to focus our energy on fighting for adequate funding for the CSU in FY 2008.”

Highlights of the Tentative Agreement between CSUEU and CSU are as follows:

  • General Salary Increase (GSI) of 3.457%, retroactive to July 1, 2007.
  • Service Salary Increase (SSI) of 1% for eligible employees, to be paid on an employee’s anniversary date in FY 2007/08.
  • Retroactive to July 1, 2007, the SSI Maximum Rate will be increased by another 5%, which will make more employees eligible for SSIs during FY 2007/08.
  • Rural healthcare subsidy for eligible employees in PERS-designated zip codes without access to HMOs will increase from $750 per year to $1000 per year.
  • Pursuant to a side letter negotiated in May 2007, parking fees will be increased by 3.457%, retroactive to July 1, 2007, only on those campuses where students are currently paying more than staff.
  • CSUEU and CSU will continue to participate in mediation over the disputed .25%. The Union’s goal is to maximize the GSI. The CSU wants to dedicate these funds to market salary adjustments.
Your CSUEU Bargaining Team
  • Pat Gantt (Chico), CSUEU President
  • Dennis Dillon (Northridge), Vice President for Representation
  • Pam Robertson (Sacramento), Chair, BU 2 Council
  • Lynn Barba (Fullerton), Vice Chair, BU 2 Council
  • Sharon Cunningham (San Diego), Chair, BU 5 Council
  • Donna Dodrill (Northridge), Vice Chair, BU 5 Council
  • Annel Martin (San Bernardino), Chair, BU 7 Council
  • Jennifer O’Neal-Watts (Sacramento), Vice Chair, BU 7 Council
  • Rich McGee (San Bernardino), Chair, BU 9 Council
  • Rocky Waters (Humboldt), Vice Chair, BU 9 Council
  • Teven Laxer, Chief Negotiator

Bargaining Unit Council 9 Report: November 17, 2007

Bargaining Unit Council 9 met Saturday, November 17, 2007, in Redondo Beach. Here is the report from the Chair, Rich McGee:

In-Range Progression:
We're urging every employee to formally apply for an in-range progression. Not every employee will receive one, but a written record of the attempt will show the Chancellor's Office that, as CSUEU Pat Gantt told Chancellor Reed, we don't have a market equity issue. We have an issue with employees failing to move through their salary ranges.

Exempt issues:
We get a lot of questions about the implications of exempt status, and people often get different answers from different people. Unit 9 is putting together a small working group, to research exempt issues and put together a central, consistent source of information. We will publish this information on the Unit 9 site, so everyone can use it.

Outsourcing appears to be increasing. Because we're often not aware of new external contracts, Teven Laxer has suggested that each chapter have their LRR do an information request, requesting a copy of all contracts currently in place. If a contract was written for more than 180 days, then we need to look more closely at it, and file if necessary.

Job postings:
Just a reminder: Check the job announcements on your campus to make sure they're correctly classified and consistent with the Classification and Qualification Standards. If they aren't consistent, file a grievance.

LSS series:
The PERB decision about the LSS series is due soon, and we look forward to welcoming 500 new members to Unit 9.

Unit 9 Information online:
The Unit 9 web site has links to:
Unit 9 News, an online newsletter for Unit 9. Most content turns out to be of general interest. Unit 9 News is updated frequently, and has a newsfeed and an archive. This Bargaining Unit Council report will be posted there.
Union Resources, a one-stop source for all kinds of useful information for activists and members. If you're looking for something and we don't have it there, tell us and we will add it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chapter 318 Action: IRP Workshops, Fires, Union Clothing

Chapter 318 (San Diego) has been busy:

  • They just had the first of several chapter meetings with a focus on Reclassifications and In-Range Progressions.
  • They are scheduling IRP workshops for each bargaining unit and are hoping for a big turn out.
  • They just got a new union meeting area, in an office which used to be a copy center for the university.
  • The chapter has ordered new shirts and jackets for all of the stewards.
  • They are designing new t-shirts for chapter members in connection with a big chapter event planned for after the holidays.
  • The chapter has published a Frequently Asked Questions list regarding the fires and campus closure on their rather smart-looking web site.
Browsing the chapter web site, you'll also find a discussion forum, and a mailing list with online archives and unusually sensible settings and security warnings.

Bargaining Unit Council 9 Meets Saturday 5:15 p.m.

This week we received confirmation of the day and time of the Bargaining Unit Council 9 meeting. As suspected, it will be this Saturday evening from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. That's after the daytime CSUEU Board of Directors meeting and before the evening dinner/reception. For the room location, please check the hotel meeting room board when you arrive, or look for an updated printed schedule at the Board of Directors meeting.

Please email Rich McGee, Unit 9 Chair, about any
- questions
- comments
- demands
- remarks
- complaints
- compliments
- campus issues
- anecdotes
- data points
related to the agenda items. After all, if you don't tell the Bargaining Unit Chair what's happening on your campus, or what you think is important, how will he know?

As a reminder, we have a collection of Redondo Beach area travel information for people headed to the Board of Directors meeting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chapter 308 Action: IRP Workshops, 35 New Stewards, Joint Labor Picnic

Chapter 308 (Stanislaus) has been busy, busy, busy. After claiming thinking gave him a headache, chapter president Frank Borelli gave in and told us:

Rita Long and Dawn McCulley did an IRP workshop for the academic staff in the departments. We just had a Labor Picnic on campus sponsored by CFA and CSUEU. We recently had steward training and trained 35 new stewards over two days. We are planning a quarterly meeting on December 14, 2007 for the membership.

We approached the President and his cabinet recently about staff workload issues. All VP's met with their areas and are assessing staff workloads and asking for ideas for process improvement from staff. Staff are also involved with process reengineering of their work. We have also asked to have managers communicate better and help set work priorities. The President had us meet with the MPP's and give a presentation on staff workload. We in the labor business are really proud of how well we are working with management. That sounds weird but it is true. Sure we all know that things could change quickly but really welcome the current relationship. We are all appreciative of our new President and how he has set the stage for cooperation between labor and management. We will see where this project goes.......
A few more tidbits:
  • Another IRP workshop is planned for January, to be taught by their chapter LRR Roni Jennings.
  • The stewards will collect the IRP requests and turn in them in to HR, and the chapter will track the responses.
  • More than 300 people, including families and children, attended the joint labor picnic co-hosted with CFA. CSUEU president Pat Gantt attended, as did statewide CFA leadership. This was their 7th annual union picnic.
What has your chapter been up to? Email us and share!

Sacramento State President "Feels Like a Target"

Sacramento State campus president Alexander Gonzales feels unappreciated, according to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee:

His bosses at California State University system headquarters love him. His own faculty, not so much.
Turning his back on the "California State University, Sacramento" name, the disappearance of the trademark campus chickens, a $265,000 president's office remodel while older classrooms, labs, and offices decay, $27,000 to remodel his kitchen, a questionable $233,000 loan, a no-confidence vote from faculty, one of the lowest five-year graduation rates in the system, missed enrollment targets... all rewarded by the CSU:
Last summer, CSU trustees rewarded Gonzalez with an 11 percent raise, bringing his compensation to $295,000 in annual salary and another $72,000 in housing and car stipends.

Last week, a state audit questioned perks given to Gonzalez to help cover his move to Sacramento, including $27,000 to remodel his kitchen and a short-term home loan for $233,000 at 1.697 percent interest.
The $233,000 loan mentioned was from the campus foundation, and was given to Gonzalez when he moved from the San Marcos campus to Sacramento in 2003. University Enterprises, the campus foundation at Sacramento State, has rebuffed the Sacramento Bee's efforts to get a closer look at its activities, on the grounds that University Enterprises is not part of the university. The paper's editorial page editor, in a separate opinion piece, thought that failed the straight-face test:

It's obvious that University Enterprises wouldn't exist without Sac State. Sac State is a creation of the people of California. So it seems reasonable to think that the people of California have an intrinsic interest in how this foundation spends its money – money it got solely because of its affiliation with a public university – in support of the university the public created.

If state law doesn't enable the public – not just journalists but students, faculty and interested citizens – to find that out, then the Legislature needs to change the law.

This is the the taxpayer-funded public university system that the Governor feels should not have too much oversight because mandating public disclosure would be "micromanaging."

CSUS boss feels like a target (Sacramento Bee)
A peek inside a Sac State Foundation (Sacramento Bee editorial)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chapter 314 Action: IRP Workshop

Hosted by chapter president Mary Granger, and featuring Unit 9 Chair Rich McGee, Chapter 314 (Dominguez Hills) is presenting two one-hour workshops today on getting an In-Range Progression (IRP). Rich McGee will discuss the different ways to get compensation increases, and then focus on the IRP process at Dominguez Hills.

The workshops are open to members of all represented bargaining units and will be held in Small Classroom 102, at noon and one.

The Dominguez Hills chapter has also published a slew of interesting documents on its chapter web site, including the "$100k Club" list, a list of MPP's making more than $100,000 per year, and a selection of short documents for employees on topics such as "Performance evaluations," "What's in your personnel file?" and "Surviving the workplace."

"Clueless Trustees" Blasted

The San Diego Union-Tribune published an editorial headlined "Clueless trustees," blasting the California State University Board of Trustees' oblivious response to the recent state audit of CSU executive compensation practices. In response to Trustee Achtenberg and Chancellor Reed crowing over the audit finding "no violations of policy or law" the editorial says:

Gracious. No policy violations occurred because the pay policies are too vague and elastic to violate. Set by the CSU Board of Trustees, those policies are the problem.

And later:
CSU administration has been as devious as beneficent. In pursuing raises to meet the salaries of their peers elsewhere, executives deliberately counted only their salaries, not their hefty perks and benefits.
The editorial takes the trustees to task for not bothering to do their jobs:
Yet the board [Achtenberg] chairs, the overseer of CSU's budget, apparently has preferred the “don't ask, don't tell” approach to benefits and perks, which add so much to total executive compensation. With student fees doubling, such credulousness is, well, incredible. Trustees should not forget they are entrusted to spend public money to provide students a good education.
Clueless trustees: Time to close down CSU's get-rich factory (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Tuesday Trustee Meeting Report

The California State University Board of Trustees met yesterday in the form of various committees, including the Committee on Collective Bargaining and the Committee on Finance.

California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) speakers addressing the Committee on Collective Bargaining were:

  • Pat Gantt, President
  • Dennis Dillon, Vice President for Representation
  • Sharon Cunningham, Chair of Bargaining Unit 5
  • Annel Martin, Chair of Bargaining Unit 7
  • Rich McGee, Chair of Bargaining Unit 9
The CSUEU speakers were united in their theme that the big problem with staff compensation is not so much a market equity issue, which the CSU bargaining team has been pushing at the table as a distraction, but a matter of employees advancing through the ranges. For most employees, the only "raise" they see after they are hired is the General Salary Increase (GSI), which is just a partial Cost of Living increase, which is often is smaller than the inflation rate. Few employees (on the order of 10% or fewer) ever get an In-Range Progression (IRP). Most are discouraged from even asking for one.

Of the 16,401 CSU employees represented by CSUEU in bargaining units 2, 5, 7, and 9, only 67 (0.41%) are at the top of their service range. 2032 employees, or 12.39%, are at the very bottom of their salary range. Teven Laxer, Senior Labor Relations Representative at headquarters, reports that fully 60% of CSUEU-represented employees are in the lower quarter of their salary range.

In unit 9, the picture is not much brighter: of 7349 employees in bargaining unit 9, 43 (0.59%) are at the maximum of their salary range. 634 (8.63%) employees in unit 9 are at the bottom of their salary range.

Cal State fees could climb 10% (Los Angeles Times)
Trustee consider 2008-09 budget; CSU fees may be going up (San Francisco Chronicle)

The full Board of Trustees meets today.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chapter 304 Action: Information Table November 13

Leeanne Bowes, Vice President of Chapter 304 (Sonoma), reports on her chapter's plans for Tuesday:

Chapter 304 will have a table set up on Tuesday, November 13th to show our support. Our new LRR will be there, we will also hand out info on a letter writing, phone calling campaign to the CO's office. At the same time we will also be recruiting new members as many fee payers believe they are members. We will be handing out contracts, new employee packets, RRR buttons, and a flyer with info on how to contact the Chancellor with an example of a letter they can send.

Some members of Chapter 304 have formed a Staff Action Coalition. They are the ones who should get credit for this table. Members of the Board will also be taking times at the table on Tuesday.

What's your chapter doing? Email us and we'll post it here!

Labor Relations Representative Reassignments

This email was sent out Friday by Philip Coonley:

CSUEU Board of Directors, Chief Stewards and Staff:

After consulting with impacted staff and Chapter Presidents, as well as Pat Gantt, CSUEU president and Dennis Dillon, CSUEU Vice President of Representation, I am making additional staffing changes, effective November 12.

Staff will work together and with chapter leadership to ensure a smooth transition; I expect all representation issues, organizing plans and meeting commitments to be met during this transition.

With that, here are the assignments (those not listed remain unchanged):
Gil Rojo - San Luis Obispo and Long Beach
Brenda Brown - Pomona, Northridge and Channel Islands
Hubert Lloyd - Chancellor's Office, Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles.

I want to thank all of you for your input and cooperation. If any of you have questions or comments, please feel free to call or e-mail me.

Phillip S. O. Coonley, Chief of Staff
California State University Employees Union (CSUEU)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday Rally at Chancellor's Office

CSUEU will be holding a rally at the Chancellor's Office next Tuesday, November 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., during the Board of Trustees meeting. If you can take vacation or other time off work to join in the rally, CSUEU will provide lunch. The rally link above has directions, RSVP instructions, and parking information.

While the CSU executives enjoy their fat raises, we are still at impasse. We must continue to send the CSU the message that it's time to pay staff fairly.

Fresno State "Hackers" Facing Federal Charges

According to news reports and a federal indictment, a Fresno State student assistant who worked at the IT help desk obtained his supervisor's password and used it to access a file containing the PeopleSoft usernames and passwords for university employees, including the registrar, extension academic program registrar, and the academic records coordinator. He then used the account information to change his own grades and those of a friend. A federal grand jury has returned indictments against the pair with charges including conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, unauthorized access of computer and identity theft.

The incidents happened in 2004, and were discovered during an audit intended to check the PeopleSoft data conversion process. The campus apparently still does not know whether personal information belonging to anyone else was accessed.

Two Charged with Hacking PeopleSoft to Fix Grades (PC World)
Grand jury indicts 2 ex-CSUF students (Fresno Bee)
Federal charges for cheating, hacking at Fresno State (KSEE 24 News)
Hack database, change school grades, go to jail for 20 years (The Register)
University grade hackers face twenty year sentence (Tech Blorge)
Indictment [PDF]

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Board of Trustees Meeting November 13-14

The CSU Board of Trustees meets Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, November 13 and 14. The complete meeting schedule and agendas are available on the Board of Trustees web page.

Tidbits from the agendas and schedule:

  • Tuesday 11:35 a.m. - Committee on Collective Bargaining (open session)
  • Wednesday 10:30 a.m. - full Board of Trustees meeting
  • The chair (Roberta Achtenberg) is asking the Board to form an ad-hoc committee to come up with recommendations regarding the recent audit and report back to the Board at the January 2008 meeting.
  • The current version of the proposed minutes from the September 2007 Committee on Collective Bargaining misidentify most of the CSUEU speakers from that meeting as "chapter chairs," whatever those may be. These minutes are proposed for adoption at next week's meeting, so the CSU still has time to correct the error if they care to have an accurate public record of the meeting. [See the Committee on Collective Bargaining agenda.]
  • The Board will be approving some of its 2008-2009 budget requests to the Legislature. [See the Committee on Finance agenda.]
  • The Board will look at raising the master plan enrollment ceiling from 20,000 full-time equivalent students (FTE) to 25,000 FTE for San Francisco State, and from 25,000 FTE to 35,000 FTE for San Diego State. [See the Committee on Campus Planning, Building, and Grounds agenda.]
  • The Board will consider a motion to oppose Proposition 92, an initiative on the February 2008 ballot. Proposition 92 stabilizes community college funding while leaving the CSU vulnerable as one of the few places left in the state budget where cuts could be made. [See the Committee on Governmental Relations agenda.]
You can address the Board of Trustees yourself, or write to them. To write, use the mailing address on the second page of the current meeting schedule, or the email address list compiled by Ronnie Grant.

CSU Compensation Audit Released

The Bureau of State Audits has released its report number on compensation in the CSU, titled California State University: It Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight and Establish Stricter Policies for Compensating Current and Former Employees. The audit examines compensation policy and practice at the CSU for the period from July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2007. Even in the mild language of an auditor's report, the findings are not flattering for the CSU or the Board of Trustees.

Among the audit findings:

  • "From July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2007, the university payroll has increased by $225.8 million, or 9.6 percent, but increases varied significantly by employment classification. Average executive compensation increased by 25.1 percent over this time period, with salary increases contributing the most to the growth."
  • Over and over, the Board of Trustees cited spurious studies as justification for extravagant executive raises.
  • The CSU has ignored years of recommendations from CPEC and the legislative analyst that a more accurate and reasonable method of comparing executive compensation be used.
  • The auditors asked the CSU why it relied on questionable methodology to justify executive compensation increases. "The vice chancellor of human resources responded that the university did not believe it appropriate to deviate from a methodology that had been agreed upon years ago..." In other words: the CSU got away with it in the past, and sees no reason to change.
  • Only after media criticism of CSU executive transition programs did the Board of Trustees require the Chancellor to provide a copy of transition agreements and submit an annual report of existing transition agreements. The Chancellor apparently does not believe the Trustees need to know whether the executives in question have to actually do anything for the money they get: "... the annual report presented by the chancellor in March 2007 does not include information on the status of accomplishments or deliverables that former executives may have agreed to provide the university as part of their transition agreements."
  • "... the university has not developed a central system enabling it to adequately monitor adherence to its compensation policies or measure their impact on university finances." This failure "impairs the ability of the chancellor's office to provide effective oversight of its compensation policies."
Executive summary of CSU Compensation Audit
CSU Compensation Audit fact sheet [PDF]
CSU Compensation Audit full report [PDF]

Wednesday 10:30 a.m. - added links for news reports:

Charlie Reed claims in the San Francisco Chronicle story that "No one received any preferential treatment." Hmmm. How many of you received a loan of over $230,000 from your campus foundation, at 1.697% interest? Alexander Gonzalez, president at Sacramento State, did (page 87 of the report). Reed admitted the deal had not been publicly disclosed.
Additional coverage links, added November 12:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Organizing Committee Agenda for November meeting

Ronnie Grant, Vice President for Organizing, has sent out the agenda for the Organizing Committee meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 16, 2007, from 1-5 p.m. It will be held at the Board of Directors meeting location, the Crowne Plaza in Redondo Beach. The agenda items are:

  1. Call to Order Ronnie L. Grant
  2. Announcements and Introductions Committee members
  3. Membership trends presentation Ronnie L. Grant
  4. Report of event of CSU Board of Trustees, September 18 Brenda C. Brown
  5. Rally event at CSU Board of Trustees meeting, November 14 Ronnie L. Grant
  6. In-Range Progression Campaign Ronnie L. Grant
  7. Development of a 2007-2009 committee work plan Committee members
  8. New Business

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bargaining Unit Council 9 Agenda for November Meeting

The next Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) meeting will be held at the CSUEU Board of Directors meeting November 17-18 in Redondo Beach. The agenda has been sent to chapter bargaining unit representatives and presidents, as required by policy file.

BUC 9 Agenda items for November 2007 meeting:

  1. Introductions
  2. In-Range Progressions
  3. Exempt, workload, and on-call issues
  4. Information distribution
  5. Additional items as requested and as time permits
A Rich Text Format (RTF) copy is available on the Unit 9 web site:
BUC 9 Agenda for November 2007 meeting

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Travel Info for November Meeting

We've pulled together some resources for folks traveling to Redondo Beach for the November 17-18 Board of Directors meeting, including weather, directions, printable state and regional maps, hotel information, and a custom Google map showing the location of the hotel and useful stores.

Redondo Beach information for November CSUEU Board of Directors meeting

CSUEU headquarters is still the source for official meeting schedules and stuff like that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chapter 316 Action: Scary Salary IRP Workshop

Chapter 316, San Luis Obispo, is hosting a "Scary Salary" workshop on Halloween, to teach employees about requesting an In-Range Progression (IRP). They've also created a two-page document about IRP's and bonuses, and how to request them.

Scary Salary Workshop flyer [PDF]
In-Range Progression information [PDF]

Some of the information and terminology is campus-specific, but these could be a good starting point for other chapters.

LRR Changes

This email about LRR reassignments went out last night:

From: Coonley, Phillip
Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 7:37 PM
To: CSUEU 304 - Sonoma; CSUEU 307 - San Jose; CSUEU 312 - Northridge; CSUEU 322 - Monterey Bay; CSUEU 319 - Pomona
Cc: Brown, Brenda; Rojo, Gilbert; Hejazi, Michael; Lloyd, Hubert; CSU Staff Statewide; CSUEU LRRs and SLRRs
Subject: Staffing changes


I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Labor Relations Representative Michael Hejazi, who will begin working for CSUEU on October 22. He brings a wealth of experience in labor not only in the United States, but in Canada as well. He has most recently been working for Local 1000. Please welcome him into the CSUEU family.

Michael’s appointment necessitates some shifting of assignments. Because of the close relationships we develop while providing representation to your campuses, it can be difficult having "your" LRR shifted to another campus and getting used to someone new. Change always brings challenges, but likewise creates new opportunities. It is my hope that all of you involved will embrace the new road ahead.

With that, the new assignments:

Michael Hejazi: Sonoma, San Jose, Monterey Bay
Gil Rojo: San Luis Obispo, Channel Islands, Northridge
Brenda Brown: Dominguez Hills, Chancellor’s Office, Pomona
Hubert Lloyd: Long Beach, LA.

None of the other campuses are undergoing changes in assignments. Please communicate clearly with each other so that our needs/wants are clear. As always, I am available to facilitate if there are any difficulties.

Phillip S. O. Coonley, Chief of Staff
California State University Employees Union (CSUEU)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Governor Vetoes One CSU Reform Bill, Signs Another

Signaling a desire for more mismanagement of taxpayer funds at the California State University, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed AB 1413 this afternoon. AB 1413 would have required the CSU to make executive compensation decisions in the open, prohibited executive transition pay higher than the previous year's pay, required former executives awarded trustee professorships to actually teach to receive payment, and prevented former executives with trustee professorships from being paid more than a full professor. State Assembly member Anthony Portantino, author of AB 1413, was quoted by KQCA as saying the veto gave a "green light to the trustees to conduct business as usual, continuing to break the public's trust."

AB 1413 would also have allowed ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees to designate a staff person to attend Board of Trustee meetings in their place. The CSU routinely schedules Board of Trustees meetings to conflict with the UC Board of Regents meetings. As a result, the four state officials who are ex-officio members of both boards (the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Speaker of the Assembly) cannot attend both meetings. Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi was one of only two Trustees to vote against the CSU executive pay increases at the September meeting.

The governor did sign SB 190, called the Higher Education Governance Accountability Act, by State Senator Leland Yee. SB 190 requires the Trustees to take action on executive compensation in open session, requires full disclosure of each compensation package and the rationale for it, requires the Trustees to allow public comment, and requires that discussions of and actions on executive compensation programs and policies take place in open session.

Coverage (expanded after original post):

CSU Audit: Sonoma Program Mishandled Millions

A CSU audit of the California Institute on Human Services (CIHS) at Sonoma State University turned up a collection of problems. As CBS 5 KPIX reports:

A California State University audit found nearly $2 million in un-reimbursable or questionable labor and contracting costs by the California Institute on Human Services at Sonoma State University.

The audit, released Friday, also found $520,000 of administrative payroll expenses and $200,000 of contractual operating expenses that did not have identifying funding sources.

Word of alleged financial irregularities in the CIHS at Sonoma State University surfaced in February. The institute's executive director and founder Tony Apolloni and its managing director George Triest were placed on paid administrative leave in June.

Here are the findings from the audit report's executive summary:
  • Unapproved Labor Costs
    • Labor costs of $624,277, which had not been approved by the principal investigator, were charged to the Family Literacy grant.
  • Failure to Follow Competitive Bidding Requirements
    • Competitive bidding requirements were not followed when a $300,000 contract under the Family Literacy grant was awarded.
  • Non-Billable and Questionable Costs
    • Labor costs of $20,771 and contractual services, supplies, and other expense costs of $403,160 were either questionable or non-billable to the Family Literacy grant and two other grants administered by CIHS.
  • Expenses Incurred Without Identified Funding Sources
    • Over $1 million in additional costs were, or will be, incurred by CIHS that either did not have identified funding sources or are needed to pay increased interest costs and costs related to an internal review/audit.
  • Conflict of Interest
    • CIHS administered a project at a property owned by the executive director where his family member resided in a care facility called My Home, Inc.
    • The executive director and senior director of CIHS misappropriated funds from various grants to pay an employee who was actually performing work at My Home, Inc.
    • The executive director channeled CIHS funds to an entity he helped create, the National Continuity Program, Inc., and from which he received payment for acting as its executive director.
    • CIHS awarded paid work to the executive director’s supervisor at the Napa County Office of Education (NCOE), where the executive director had secondary employment.
    • The executive director participated in making decisions to move CIHS grants to the NCOE, where he had secondary employment.
    • Two CIHS employees may have violated conflict of interest provisions when a company they worked for/owned was awarded contract work by CIHS.
  • Improper Contracting
    • The CIHS executive director signed both a contract with a federal agency and memoranda of understanding with another California State University campus without the authority to do so.
    • Administration of several CIHS service agreements was below acceptable standards.
    • CIHS improperly allowed grant funds to be administered outside of the State Treasury.
  • Refusal to Perform Duties
    • The executive director and senior director refused to meet to answer questions related to this investigation.
    • The executive director refused to answer any questions relative to a Statement of Economic Interests form he was required to complete.
The campus will have to borrow money to pay for this:
SSU Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing Susan Kayshack said SSU will have to borrow money to repay some of the $2.9 million to $3.6 million misappropriated grant money.

Both Apolloni and Triest were "non-retained" from their positions effective June 30, 2007. Apolloni opted to return to faculty status in the political science department, then went for the faculty early retirement program. According to the audit report Apolloni "plans to teach in the SSU master of public administration program beginning in spring 2008." The ethics class in that program is listed as an elective.

Audit says millions misappropriated in SSU social service program (CBS 5 KPIX/Bay City News)
CSU Audit: Special Investigation 0791 Sonoma [PDF]

Thursday, October 11, 2007

GC Pictures

Steve Sloan, Chapter 307 (San Jose), has posted a collection of photos from General Council.

General Council 2007 photos (on Flickr)

Legislation to Improve CSU Governance: Contact Governor Now

Time is running out to urge the governor to sign AB 1413 and SB 190.

Knowing two audits of CSU compensation practices are underway, the CSU rushed to raise executive salaries before those audit results could be made public. As justification, the CSU cited a report they won't produce, using data they won't reveal. During the Board of Trustees meeting Chancellor Reed claimed to have had difficulty recruiting executives, but when challenged was unable to identify a single case.

It's awfully convenient to be able to say "I can't tell you why, but I deserve a raise." How well would that work with your boss? How well would that work at the bargaining table? Unfortunately for taxpayers, students, and employees, Reed doesn't have to make a real case for a raise. He has only to ask, and the CSU Board of Trustees rubber-stamps his proposal.

It should be plain to anyone now that the CSU cannot be trusted to manage taxpayer dollars responsibly without more oversight. AB 1413 and SB 190 will help.

In the LA Daily News, California Faculty Association President Lillian Taiz writes:

Clearly, left to their own devices the CSU administration and board of trustees will continue to make this type of activity business as usual. They have already indicated that they plan to raise executive salaries by an additional 40 percent over the next four years.

If we are ever to restore public confidence and pride in the system that has educated millions of California's working people, we must demand meaningful reform.

Contact the governor today and urge him to sign AB 1413 and SB 190. Here's now to contact the governor:
  • Use the governor's web site to send him an email:
  • Call his office at: 916-445-2841
  • Send him a FAX at: 916-445-4633
CSU's reform chance lies in AB 1413 (LA Daily News)
Also of interest:

CSU Retirees Will Have Vision Care Option

CSU Retirees will now have the option to participate in a self-funded vision care program. CSEA Retirees, Inc. sponsored SB 235 by Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Monterey.

"We are very grateful that the Legislature and governor have recognized the need to provide this important program to all state retirees," said Barbara LaPlante, President of CSEA Retirees, Inc. "When people have good vision care, they have a greater chance of retaining their independence and serious conditions may be diagnosed sooner."
Governor Signs Bill Providing Vision Care Program for State University Retirees (EarthTimes)

Chicago PeopleSoft Problems Prompt ULP

The Chicago Teachers Union has filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against the Chicago Public Schools over its failure to address paycheck problems caused by the switch to PeopleSoft.

Six months after payroll problems began cheating some Chicago teachers out of timely and complete paychecks, the Chicago Teachers Union has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Chicago Public Schools.

The union says CPS is reneging on its promise to make teachers whole who were shortchanged by glitches in the payroll system that came online last spring. Since April, the CTU has filed nearly 600 grievances over paycheck problems.

And it looks as if things will only get worse:

But a new payroll problem is looming. The CTU ratified a new contract Sept. 10, but the 4 percent raises won't kick in until at least December, Vaughn said. He blames PeopleSoft plus extra time needed to implement a complicated contract.

Teachers file unfair practice charge (Chicago Sun-Times)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mediation Scheduled for October 15 and 24

Mediation between the CSU and CSUEU has been scheduled for Monday, October 15, and if necessary, Wednesday, October 24. The sessions will take place in Sacramento.

Need a refresher on impasse and remediation? CSUEU has a page of frequently asked questions about impasse and mediation.

The CSU and CSUEU have been at impasse since the afternoon of the first day of bargaining, September 6. The CSU declared impasse and walked out after just a few minutes of hearing CSUEU's concerns regarding the first CSU proposal.

General Council Coverage Roundup

Still craving General Council (GC) news? You can still read the GC blog, listen to the GC podcasts, or read PDF versions of the GC Times:

The CSEA officer election was written up in the Sacramento Bee:
SEIU pick wins CSEA election (Sacramento Bee)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mercer Report, or Vision from the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

The Mercer Report, cited by the California State University to justify its recent increases in CSU executive pay, uses flawed methodology which the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) has abandoned as defective. If you've viewed either the short summary or the slightly longer presentation on the Mercer Report, you know that Mercer refuses to disclose the data used in its study, meaning the analysis and conclusions cannot be verified. Mercer uses the CPEC list of institutions for comparison, but since only incomplete data is available for those institutions, it is not possible to compare actual compensation. Instead Mercer and the CSU focus on base salaries alone and essentially disregard the rest of the very generous CSU executive compensation package. CPEC itself no longer does executive compensation reports because of the defects in this approach.

The California Faculty Association (CFA) has prepared a concise report of the problems with the Mercer Report and the CSU's reliance on it:
Questionable "Mercer Report" Used to Justify Generous Raises for CSU Executives (CFA) [PDF]
The executives who got these raises seem to have an awful lot of problems:
A Summary of the CFA's Investigation of CSU Executives Waste, Fraud, and Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars (CFA)

Secret data, using invalid methodology, leading to a conclusion which can't be checked? Chancellor Reed might as well have cited a vision from the Flying Spaghetti Monster as justification for those lavish executive raises.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Taxpayers Sue CSU Over Executive Pay Raises

Two taxpayers who graduated from CSU San Bernardino have filed suit against the CSU and Chancellor Reed, challenging the recent executive pay increases. The suit argues that the retroactive pay increases are unconstitutional and an illegal gift of public funds, and seeks to have the money returned.

California Faculty Association President Lillian Taiz has an article in the California Progress Report on the executive pay raises, the lawsuit, and AB 1413:

The plan to raise executive pay by 40% over the next four years and the move to make it retroactive so that executives already earning over a quarter of a million dollars a year is just another example of a CSU Administration that is running the CSU more like Enron than a public institution. Plain and simple – the CSU Administration doesn’t make decisions based on what is best for students and faculty, they make decisions that benefit themselves financially.

Anyone who has picked up a newspaper over the past several years is likely to be well versed in the laundry list of executive abuses and scandals that have plagued the CSU system. The Administration handed out millions of dollars in six-figure deals for “no show” consulting gigs and for departing executives (transition pay). One campus president took a job in Paris while another system executive went to a new position in Atlanta. Between them they pocketed over $330,000.

Media coverage of the lawsuit:

More article and opinion pieces on the recent executive pay hike and legislation:

CSUEU Committee Appointments

Last night the CSUEU Board of Directors approved the CSUEU committee nominations which require their concurrence.

List of CSUEU Committee Appointments

What Do All Those CSUEU Committees Actually Do? (Unit 9 News)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Parking Alert for GC Delegates

An early arrival at the San Jose Marriott reports there is no self-parking at all at the Marriott hotel, where CSUEU GC delegates are staying. The Marriott has valet parking only. The Marriott chain's web site states valet parking is $25/day. There are two nearby parking options:

  1. A public lot diagonally across the intersection from the hotel, on the NE corner of San Carlos and Market St. This lot is not open 24 hours.
  2. The Convention Center garage, which is 1/2 block south of the hotel on Market Street. If you park there, you walk through the Convention Center to get to the hotel. Follow the signs to the Convention Center lobby, then to the Marriott hotel. You will pass the GC check-in booth on the way. For this parking, you pay at a machine when you leave, and there is no attendant. According to their literature, you can pay at the machine inside the Convention Center with cash or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), or at the machine at the exit gate with a credit card. You have 15 minutes to exit after you pay. The Convention Center garage is open 24 hours.
The Convention Center web site has this to say about Convention Center parking:
Parking is available in the main Convention Center garage located at 408 South Almaden Blvd. or 350 South Market Street. The current rate is $1.00 per 20 minutes up to $18.00 per day maximum. After 6:00 pm and on weekends the rate is .50 per 20 minutes up to a $18.00 per day maximum.
The Convention Center offers this map showing local parking options (PDF). San Jose has an entire web site devoted to downtown San Jose parking.

Bottom line? If you'll be coming and going, you may be better off with the higher-priced valet parking at the hotel.

Other recent GC posts:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

SB 190 and AB 1413: Tell the Governor to Sign!

This message was sent out today by Pat Gantt:

Dear CSUEU Board member and activist:

Today I attended a press conference by Senator Leland Yee and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino. The purpose of the press conference was to urge Governor Schwarzenegger to sign SB 190 and AB 1413. The labor community and the students turned out in support of both measures. I was among the following people expressing support for the bills and urging the governor to sign them into law:

  • Courtney Weaver - UC Student Association
  • Derick Lennox - Associated Students of UC-Davis
  • Roberto Torres - California State Student Association
  • Lillian Taiz - President, California Faculty Association
  • Gale Price, Executive Treasurer, AFSCME, Local 3299
  • Joe Kiskis, Vice President, Council of UC faculty Associations
  • Jon Skiles, Executive Board, State Employee’s Trades Council
  • Jim Ewert, California Newspaper Publishers Association

It is crucial that each of you and your friends take the time to contact the Governor and voice support for SB 190 and AB 1413 and bring accountability into the administrations of public higher education. Here is the contact information:

  • Use the governor's web site to send him an email:
  • Call his office at: 916-445-2841
  • Send him a FAX at: 916-445-4633

Please share this information with members and co-workers.

In Union,

Pat Gantt, President

The following websites have more information:
Wanted: Charles Reed (CSUEU)
SB 190 (CSUEU)
AB 1413 (CSUEU)
Sign AB 1413 (CFA)
Senator Leland Yee’s Press release on Executive Compensation

Black Friday Is Coming - Are You Ready?

Are you ready for Black Friday?

Chapter 316, San Luis Obispo, has kindly shared a new flyer promoting Black Friday. For those of you just joining us, Black Friday is the follow-up to Black Tuesday, the day the CSU Board of Trustees' Collective Bargaining Committee met. The Black Friday campaign declares this Friday and every Friday a day of mourning until the CSU agrees to a contract with reasonable compensation increases. The CSU counts on employees to pay little attention to bargaining. Wearing black on Fridays is one simple action employees can take to show the CSU we're not forgetting our stalled contract negotiations, or the CSU's lousy offers.

The flyer can be used by any chapter, as is. If your chapter makes your own version, let us know, and we'll post yours here too.

Monday, October 1, 2007

GC Clothing: All Is Revealed!

For any GC delegates who haven't seen this yet:

From: Ramos, Dayna
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2007 4:23 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: What Colors/Clothes to Wear at GC

This e-mail is being sent to all CSUEU Chapter Presidents, CSUEU Executive Committee and CSUEU staff who will be attending GC. Presidents, please send an e-mail blast or verbal communication that our 3 CSUEU GC shirts will be:

  1. Black & Electric Blue Unisex Camp/Bowling Shirt
  2. Black Men’s Polo and Black Ladies ¾ Sleeve “CSUEU Lobby Day” Logo Shirts
  3. Gray with Navy trim (around arm & neck) unisex ringer tee
This will give you a good idea what clothing to bring with you to GC. You could wear a black or electric blue tank/t-shirt under the camp/bowling shirt. You can’t go wrong having basic black pants on hand and Monday will most likely be our casual day with the ringer tee (and you’ll be traveling back home) so you might want to be comfortable and wear jeans or navy pants.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Save Time: Travel Info for GC Delegates

GC delegates: are you ready?

We've saved you some work by putting together a collection of useful material for GC delegates and their families. We've tracked down printable state and regional maps, weather, a custom map showing locations of the convention center and hotels, directions, event calendars, hotel web sites and their rewards programs, local stores (including perennial favorites Target and Trader Joe's), children's activities, museums, downtown and regional attractions, parks and hiking, and lots of other good stuff.

The CSEA General Council page is still the place to go for delegate guides, proposed bylaws changes, travel claim information, and all those official things.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chapter 304 Action: Contract Distribution, Picnic

Contract handout:
Recently, Chapter 304 (Sonoma) officers had a pile of printed contracts. "Hmm," they thought, "what to do?" Bring them to chapter meetings, sure. Give some to each steward to have on hand, sure. Make sure new employees had them, sure. Yet, somehow, those tried and true approaches just weren't enough on their own. Reliable and useful, but not... festive.

So at lunchtime, President Mike Hearty , Vice President Leeanne Bowes, and Chief Steward Liona Spring headed outside and stationed themselves at a high-traffic spot on campus, near the clock tower. Whenever a bargaining unit employee passed by, an officer chatted briefly with the person and offered him or her a contract. It didn't take long to use up their supply, since employees were happy to get their hands on a copy.

No tables, no schedules, no permits, no flyers, and no announcements to write. They just showed up, put a friendly face on the union, reminded employees that the union's working for them, and made a difference by distributing useful information. How's that for an easy and worthwhile chapter event?

Chapter picnic:
Chapter 304's annual picnic is today. Their special guests this year are:

  • California Assemblyman Jared Huffman
  • CSUEU President Pat Gantt
  • CSUEU Chief of Staff Phil Coonley
About two hundred employees are expected, to hear from the guests, eat, and enter the drawings for what is described as "a pile" of gift card prizes.

What is your chapter up to? Email us, or leave a note in the comments.

Classification Committee Appointments

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, has announced appointments to the CSUEU Classification Committee. He notes that this was the most popular committee request, with over a dozen people volunteering for it.

  • Curtis Baker, BU 5 Designee (Chapter 324 - Channel Islands)
  • Lynn Barba, BU 2 Designee (Chapter 317 - Fullerton)
  • Nancy Kobata, At Large member (Chapter 309 - Fresno)
  • Tessie Reese, At Large member (Chapter 318 - San Diego)
  • Rocky Sanchez, BU 7 Designee (Chapter 319 - Pomona)
  • Jerry Saner, At Large member (Chapter 301 - Humboldt)
  • Rocky Waters, BU 9 Designee (Chapter 301 - Humboldt)
  • Dennis Dillon, Vice President of Representation (Chapter 312 - Northridge)
The three at-large members are appointed with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, to be sought at the next Board meeting on October 4.

See the previous overview of CSUEU Committees for descriptions of the various committees' tasks and composition.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

President's Trustees Report from Pat Gantt

CSUEU President Pat Gantt sent this out last night. Links have been modified for readability in this format:

Dear CSUEU Board members,

It has been a several days since the Trustee’s meeting and I have collected some of my notes to share with you along with some other information.

Trustees Meeting

It was an interesting meeting to say the least. Our speakers on Tuesday addressed the Collective Bargaining committee on the issues of our contract and the need for all us to have competitive salaries. I presented to Chancellor Reed a letter that had two years of In Range Progression (IRP) Data attached and showed that only 6% of CSUEU represented employees received IRPs. The CSU must do better than that. The letter and the data from two years are attached to this email. Have you applied for an In Range Progression? Been thinking about it? Do it and help another 20 people.

In my final comments that day I also mentioned that the Executive salaries increases were ill timed and frankly stinks at a time where the CSU proposed to reduce our GSI by 1%. Other speakers, Sharon Cunningham, Lynn Barba, Rich McGee and Mary Granger each made some compelling statements from members or first hand experience. Some of the highlight of their comments:

A 15 year Sac State full time employee’s children qualify for free lunches at school.

An employee at CSUSB attended an evening convocation merely to eat dinner because they had not enough money left for groceries that week due to other expenses. If you would like more detail, our trusty Unit 9 reporter, Rich McGee has a blow by blow account:
Free School Lunches and Empty Refrigerators: CSU Staff Struggle Under Pay Gap (Unit 9 News)

While we spoke there were CSUEU members from the Chancellor’s Office, Long Beach and Dominguez Hills chapters that demonstrated outsides against the executive raises and what they are proposing with our compensation. A special thanks to CSUEU chapter presidents Susan Kirby, Richard Duarte and Mary Granger for mobilizing their members. It was also reported that somehow the spreadsheet showing the executive increases found its way into the bathroom stalls in the Chancellor’s Office as reading material. Chancellor’s Office Human Resources appears to have raised a concern regarding the distribution. I guess there was just no room on the bulletin boards that day. Good job!


In the area of the budget the Trustees and the Chancellor thanked labor for help with protecting the CSU budget. The increases in the executive salaries and the status of CSUEU bargaining may be better measures of their thanks.


There are two bills that are sitting on the Governor’s desk that the Chancellor’s Office made some remarks about with some concern. Both bills are aimed at the CSU system and were supported by CSUEU. The bills are:

SB 190 - Yee

AB1413 - Portantino

SB 190 deals with Executive compensation and may explain why the Chancellor was in such a hurry this year on the Presidential salary increases. It passed out of the Senate and Assembly with bi-partisan support.

AB 1413 deals with the structure of the trustees and the ex-officio trustees and passed along party lines in both the assembly and the senate. We will be sending out more information on what to do on these bills in another email. Senator Yee’s staff has contacted us on a possible press conference in the next week or ten days.

Executive pay

Passed the raises, but not without some discussion and dissention by Lieutenant Governor Garamendi. Trustees Garamendi and Ricardo Icaza, president of a southern California retail clerks union voted no to the raises. This was the first time in a long time that any trustees voted against any action. There presence and vote is a direct result of the email campaign we launched on the issue. Please double check the CSUEU website for other articles on the executive salary issue.

The CSU, Northridge student paper has a pretty good story on the plenary comments even though they listed me as a professor of Biology. ( Hey, I better check my paycheck again)

CSU Trustees approve executive pay raises (Daily Sundial at CSU Northridge)

It was a busy week and we got more media attention than we have in a long time. Together we made an impact at the campus and system level. Stay tuned.

In Union,

Pat Gantt

Documents sent with this email were:
In-Range Progression Report Card (Letter from Pat Gantt to Reed)
In-Range Progression 2005-2006 distribution (Excel spreadsheet)
In-Range Progression 2006-2007 distribution (Excel spreadsheet)