Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bargaining Locations for September 6, 7, 14

We have locations identified for September bargaining:

Thursday, September 6, 2007
10 to 5 (may go later)
CSU Dominguez Hills
Welch Hall, Room D-442

Friday, September 7, 2007
9 to noon
CSU Dominguez Hills
Welch Hall, Room D-442

Friday, September 14, 2007 (if necessary)
10 to 5
CSU Long Beach
Room to be determined

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bargaining Dates Set

The CSU and CSUEU have agreed to meet on September 6, 7, and 14, 2007, for reopener bargaining. Due to difficulties scheduling rooms at the Chancellor's Office, the September 6-7 sessions are likely to take place on a campus yet to be determined.

Some background on this round of bargaining, from Vice President for Representation Dennis Dillon:

Gov. Schwarzenegger signed the 2008 state budget into law Friday, leaving intact the 4% "Compact" funding increase for CSU. The signed budget does not fund the 1% above the Chancellor’s Compact. As a consequence, CSUEU will be returning to the bargaining table next month in reopener bargaining for represented staff salaries based on the provisions of the MOU.

CSUEU, along with other unions, negotiated contract language for salary increases in 2007/2008 that was dependent on not only the Chancellor's “Compact” with the Governor, but also required an additional 1% increase to the CSU budget to fund a total compensation package of 5.25%. The legislative budget conference committee has approved a budget that, so far, includes support for the compact, but DOES NOT include an additional 1% for salary augmentation for CSU staff.

Because the CSU has not been funded that additional 1%, and consequently does not have the funding for the negotiated salary increases for 2007/2008, the bargaining team has put together another proposal that would achieve the same goal. This proposal moves funding for market equity adjustments into general salary increases so that all employees would benefit equally. This means that a 4.25% compensation pool would allow for a GSI of 3.6%, and an SSI of 1%. The Rural Healthcare stipend would still increase by another $250 per year in affected areas. By moving the market salary adjustment funds into GSI, we would retain a 3.6% increase in GSI and a 1% increase in SSI, for a total of a 4.6% salary increase for most CSUEU employees.

Steward Training Before GC: Bakersfield and San Diego

Memo sent yesterday from headquarters:

Please notify your chapters -- NO MORE steward training will be scheduled until after General Council. Here are the dates that have been verified through headquarters and with available staff as OK:
Bakersfield - September 7 and 8
San Diego - September 28 and 29.

We do not have any additional dates or resources available until after General Council.

Virginia Watts

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

CalPERS Retiree Data Breach


Red-faced officials at the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) are sending out letters of apology to about 445,000 state retirees after inadvertently printing their Social Security numbers on brochures announcing an upcoming election at the state pension fund.

On the plus side, it has apparently finally occurred to them that it might be a problem to use SSN's as people's primary identifiers:
"We are also doing a review of how we collect our data and how we store it and how we use it," Macht said. The review includes looking at how to create a unique identifier for individuals that would eliminate the need for using Social Security numbers, she said.
Oops! California state pension fund admits breach of retiree data (Computerworld)

Budget Notice From Pat Gantt to Board of Directors

Here's the notice Pat Gantt sent to the Board of Directors yesterday about the state budget:

TO: CSUEU Board Members
From: Pat Gantt
Sent: Tue 8/21/2007 3:46 PM

Dear CSUEU Board Members:

The Senate passed a budget on a 27-12 vote with Senators Ackerman and Maldonado joining the Democrats for the two-thirds vote needed for passage. (California is only 1 of three states in the nation that have the two-thirds requirement).

The Senate also passed a series of trailer bills all of which were previously approved by the Assembly. The Governor has indicated that he will veto approximately $700 million in the budget to ensure that the 2007-08 budget has “no net operating deficit”; however, there are indications that the CSU funding will not be part of those reductions.

The responses and feedback from CSUEU members and other CSU constituent groups helped preserve the funding for the CSU this budget year from further erosion proposed by some legislators. We wait anxiously for the Governor’s signature on the passed budget so we can start working on the next years budget.

In Union,
Pat Gantt

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What Do Those CSUEU Committees Actually Do?

We recently carried a notice that CSUEU is looking for people to sit on some standing committees. Here's an overview of the committees mentioned.

Most of this information is taken straight from the CSUEU Policy File. You can download a PDF copy at At this writing, the copy there is the draft copy, but we are assured by Jay Jimenez that you can rely on it with respect to content.

General Background
Standing committees are established by the policy file, which also describes their functions and how often they must meet. Ad-hoc committees are created as needed by the President, subject to confirmation of the Board of Directors at its next meeting.

The President and Vice President for Organizing are ex-officio members of all committees. The Vice Presidents of Organizing, Finance, and Representation are chairs of their respective committees.

If you're interested in the work of a committee, go to a meeting and see what happens. They all have open meetings, with rare exceptions as described in the policy file, and usually meet at the Board of Directors meetings. New people are always welcomed.

Finance Committee
These are the folks who spend long hours working out the numbers to give the Board of Directors all those different budget scenarios. Appointed by the VP for Finance, this committee meets at least three times a year. Its charge: "The primary responsibility of the committee is to advise the Executive Committee and Board of Directors on all matters relating to the ability of the CSU CSUEU to fund programs and objectives recommended and/or approved by the Executive Committee or Board of Directors. Between sessions of the Board of Directors the Finance Committee shall prepare the proposed budget for the CSUEU and provide ongoing fiscal oversight.
The Finance Committee shall be responsible for:
(a) Preparing and presenting the CSUEU budget;
(b) On-going review of the CSUEU budget and making recommendations as appropriate;
(c) Aiding the Vice President for Finance in the performance of his/her duties;
(d) Recommend deferral of specific programs and objectives;
(e) Make recommendations to the Board of Directors on financial matters referred to the committee;
(f) Make recommendations to the Executive Officer Committee and Board of Directors on policy sections which relate to the financial operation of the CSUEU; and
(g) Development and implementation of training for Chapter Officers and Treasurers."

Bylaws and Policy File Committee

Appointed by the President, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, this committee must meet at least twice a year. Its charge: "The basic responsibility of the Policy File Committee is to protect the integrity of the CSUEU by serving as a forum for discussion of all matters that relate to the governing principles of the CSUEU.
(a) Between sessions of the Board of Directors, the Bylaws and Policy File Committee shall serve the Executive Officer Committee and shall be responsible for the review of and recommending action on Bylaws, Policy File and procedures of the CSUEU.
(b) Independently reviews all actions of the Board of Directors, the Executive Officer Committee, and the Chapters for conformance with the Policy File, and bring to the attention of the appropriate body any actions found not to be in conformance therewith.
(c) Upon request of the Executive Officer Committee or the President, interprets unclear or ambiguous portions of the Policy File and, along with any such interpretation, makes recommendations as appropriate.
(d) Review recommendations for changes to the CSUEU Bylaws and Policy File;
(1) Place them in appropriate language and format;
(2) Submit recommendations as an agenda item, at the next Board of Directors meeting;
(3) Review the CSUEU corporate documents for accuracy and making recommendations for their useful revision;
(4) Take the actions of the Board of Directors and write them in appropriate Bylaws and Policy File form; and
(5) Review Chapter Bylaws. "

Legislative Committee
This committee and its chair are appointed by the President with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, and meets at least twice a year. This committee is the source for our appointment(s) to the CSEA Legislative Committee. Its charge: "to develop the legislative program of the CSU CSUEU. The CSUEU’s legislative program must include items mandated by the General Council, the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors on matters within their jurisdiction. The CSUEU’s legislative program may contain other items recommended by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee.
The Legislative Committee shall be responsible for:
(a) Recommending appropriate legislation to the Board of Directors that will advance the interests of the CSUEU;
(b) Receiving actions of the Board of Directors and preparing them in appropriate legislative form;
(c) Submitting the CSUEU’s legislative agenda to the Association’s Governmental Affairs Committee for action;
(d) Monitoring other legislation that has potential impact on the CSUEU;
(e) Supporting the legislative stance adopted by the Association; and
(f) Legislative Committee is responsible for developing legislative and political action training policy."

Membership Dues Committee
Section 202.01 of the policy file allows members undergoing certain hardships to request that their dues be reduced temporarily to $8 per month. Composed of one member from each bargaining unit, with alternates, this committee is appointed by the President and meets at least twice a year. Its charge is to "review and act upon requests for temporary dues reduction according to provisions of the CSUEU Policy File."

Communications Committee
Appointed by the President, this committee must meet at least twice per year. Its charge: "The CSUEU Communications Committee will oversee mass communications to all represented employees.
(a) The Committee will produce at least two statewide newsletters to represented employees each year.
(b) The Committee will oversee the periodic distribution of mass electronic communications to all represented employees.
(c) The Committee will maintain control of editorial supervision and content for mass communication to all represented members.
(d) The Communication Committee is responsible for developing communications training policy."

Statewide Organizing Committee
Chaired by the VP for Organizing, this committee consists of three members from the Board of Directors and five at-large members, all of whom are appointed by the VP for Organizing, and meets at least twice a year. Its charge:
"(a) The Statewide Organizing Committee will oversee the organizing programs for all employees in the CSUEU. It will provide assistance and counseling to each campus in the development of a campus organizing committee.
(b) The Committee shall develop, implement and evaluate an annual organizing program to increase and maintain membership in all bargaining units for the CSUEU.
(c) The Committee shall seek input from the Chapters and Bargaining Unit Councils as to specific needs or issues.
(d) Vice President for Organizing and the Statewide Organizing Committee are responsible for developing organizing training policy."

Classification Committee
These are the folks who do so much of the research and figuring-out for us when we deal with the CSU regarding classification modifications. BUC Chairs or their designees (often Vice Chairs) are committee members, along with three at-large members appointed by the President with the concurrence of the Board of Directors. The committee meets at least twice a year.
Its charge:
"(a) Reviewing CSU classification revisions, new or old;
(b) Surveying employees regarding classification needs or impacts;
(c) Coordinating pre-bargaining research efforts among affected classifications in preparation for meet and discuss, and meet and confer sessions relating to classification standards, and/or changes to existing standards; and
(d) Reporting back to the Bargaining Unit Councils in preparation for bargaining and coordinating bargaining unit efforts with the Vice President for Representation."

State Budget Passed

The legislature has finally passed a budget:
Lawmakers break budget gridlock (Sacramento Bee)
State Senate approves new budget (San Francisco Chronicle)
After long standoff, California lawmakers pass $145-billion budget (LA Times)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Volunteers Sought for CSUEU Standing Committees

If you have chapter activists who are interested in serving on a CSUEU standing committee, now's the time to send their names to the statewide officers. The standing committees are:
Membership Dues
Policy File

Members of these committees are financed to attend their committee meetings, which typically take place at the CSUEU Board of Directors meetings, on the Friday before the Saturday/Sunday Board of Directors meeting. There is no chapter expense unless the chapter chooses to finance the committee member to stay a little longer in order to attend the Board of Directors meeting.

The statewide officers are:
Pat Gantt (President): pgantt at
Ronnie Grant (Vice President for Organizing): ronnie at
Lori Williams (Vice President for Finance): lwilliam at
Dennis Dillon (Vice President for Representation): ddillon at

Phillip Coonley: New CSUEU Chief of Staff

This announcement has been sent out today, from Virginia Watts:

CSUEU Board of Directors and Staff:

I am very pleased to announce that Phillip Coonley will be serving as the CSUEU Chief of Staff effective September 5, 2007. Phillip is well known to many of you as a Labor Relations Representative, currently serving Sonoma and San Jose. He also brings his expertise as an attorney to the position.

I look forward to working with Phillip during the month of September, and then retiring on September 30.

Virginia Watts
Administrator, CSU Employees Union

LSS Conference Call Report

Teven Laxer is a Senior Labor Relations Representative with CSUEU and works in the Sacramento office.
Here's his summary of yesterday's conference call:

This is a brief report of the conference call today between CSUEU, CSU and PERB regarding the upcoming Unit Modification hearing on the placement of Library Services Specialists in BU 9.

  • There will be two days of hearing
    Day One - Chancellor's Office, Long Beach
    Day Two - Sacramento PERB office

  • We are looking at two days in October. Possible dates include October 15-17-18-24-25-30.

  • PERB is interested in testimony in support of documents already in evidence as follows:
    • What is the composition of Unit 9? What kind of work is performed?
    • Testimony supporting contention that work performed by LAs has evolved from "BU 7 work" to "BU 9 work."
    • Testimony describing the work performed by Admin Specialist/Analyst, Info Tech Consultant, and Visual Resources Specialist

    After the conference call, I spent some time discussing details with Sharyn Abernatha of the CSU. Sharyn will be responsible for finding classification expert witnesses (like Gina) who will testify about the makeup of BU 9. The CSU also intends to present some additional testimony about why they now believe the LSS class should now be in BU 9, rather than BU 7. Sharyn and I will be looking at the transcript of the first LA hearing to see what testimony should be supplemented. Sharyn plans to bring at least one Library director to testify.

  • CSUEU is looking for the best witnesses in these areas:
    • Library Assistants who can describe specific changes in their work assignments over the years showing that LSS work has become more "technical" and less "clerical." - probably 2 or 3 LAs at most.
    • Library Assistants who have promoted into Unit 9 classes, but are actually performing what will become "LSS work."
    • Incumbents in classes such as A/AS, ITC and visual resource specialist who can articulately describe their background, credentials, experience and job duties and responsibilities.
PERB would like to set the two hearing dates by the end of this week. Please let me know if you would like to be a witness at the hearing and what dates work best for you. If there are other people you would like to recommend, please send me their name(s) and email address(es) as soon as possible. In addition, if you have a recommendation for a Library Director who could best support the placement of LSS into BU 9, please send me their name, campus and email address.

Please contact Teven only if you would like to be a witness or recommend someone else as a witness. General questions should be directed to your Bargaining Unit Rep or the Chair and Vice Chair. Teven can be reached at Tevenl at remove

Monday, August 13, 2007

CSUEU Administrator/Chief of Staff job posting

Ever wondered what CSUEU's job postings and job descriptions look like? Here's one which was put out as part of our recent search for a new administrator. This post is from the Union Jobs Clearinghouse site; it looks as though there was one on which has already been taken down.


California State University Employees Union (CSUEU)
1129 10th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814


The CSUEU, SEIU Local 2579, an affiliate of California State Employees Association (CSEA), is the exclusive representative for 16,000 employees in the California State University System (CSU). CSUEU represents a diverse workforce, including more than 200 classifications working in administrative, health care, technical, and facilities support positions. The CSU includes 23 campuses, from Humboldt to San Diego, and the Chancellor's Office.

The CSUEU Administrator/Chief of Staff is responsible for the supervision and direction of all staff in the implementation of the policies and programs of CSUEU. The current staffing includes administrative support staff, senior labor relations representatives and an attorney in CSUEU headquarters in Sacramento, and an additional 10 field staff assigned to campuses throughout California

Duties include:

  • Managing, directing and supervising all staff assigned to CSUEU.
  • Supervising all CSUEU programs pertaining to collective bargaining, organizing, representation, research, communications, legal services, legislative programs, financial and administrative support
  • Building positive, productive and cooperative relationships with elected CSUEU leaders and members, CSEA Central Support managers and other labor organizations
  • Implementing and supporting programs and services determined by the CSUEU Board of Directors and/or the CSUEU Executive Officer Committee
  • Monitoring and assuring compliance with current budgeting and financial management procedures as determined by the CSUEU Board, the Vice President for Finance, and the CSEA Chief Financial Officer ($5 million+ budget)
  • Working out of Sacramento and traveling/attending board meetings, and other meetings as required


Education: Graduation from a 4 year university

Experience: A minimum of three (3) years of experience in administration and supervision within organized labor in a management position


  • Ability to speak and write effectively
  • Familiarity with common software programs (Microsoft) and electronic mail
  • A working knowledge of spreadsheets and the ability to analyze budgets
    Ability to assist leadership with the development/implementation of long-term goals
  • Ability to communicate and interact effectively with a diverse staff and membership

Education: Graduate degree in related field


  • Familiarity with both public and private sector labor law
  • Experience in a higher education environment
  • Demonstrated success in public and private sector organizing campaigns
  • Proven leadership in management and direction of a diverse organization

Dependent on Experience

Exceptional Benefits Package

Cover letter and résumé should be sent to:

Pam Smolich
CSEA HR Director
1108 "O" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 326-4221
(916) 326-4215 (fax)

San Diego State Criticized Over Expansion Plans

San Diego State is drawing fire over its growth plans, which include a hotel and faculty and staff housing:

Critics of San Diego State University's expansion plans say the university is underestimating the impact of the project on traffic, neighborhoods and the environment.

The city of San Diego, Alvarado Hospital and a community council have already filed lawsuits over the expansion, which is slated for a vote by the California State University trustees Sept. 18.

Critics say SDSU expansion plan fails to address impacts (San Francisco Chronicle)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

PeopleSoft = No Pay for Arizona State Employees

The move to PeopleSoft at Arizona State has left hundreds of employees high and dry with smaller or empty paychecks. Employees are bouncing checks and having to scramble for loans to pay bills.

Arizona State University's new PeopleSoft payroll software has shorted the paychecks of hundreds of employees since it was put into operation last month, forcing some employees to seek emergency loans to make ends meet.

More than 700 of the university's 15,000 faculty and staff members received less money than they should have, including some people who didn't receive any pay at all.

Leah Hardesty, media-relations officer for the university, said the software was installed on July 1. Because of a combination of technical and user errors, she said, payroll glitches have plagued the system for the past two pay periods.

The University's response has been underwhelming:

Jay Reinke, a painter for the university, said he had just come back from vacation to find his paycheck was made out for $0.00. He said it took a week before he got all the money he was owed. "They couldn't even tell me what was going on," he said.

Thomas Mendenhall, another painter at the university, said he ended up bouncing five checks when he too was paid $0.00. His paycheck is usually deposited automatically in his bank account.


It took about a week before the university paid him, he said, and even then he received less than he was owed. "I am going to take legal action," Mr. Mendenhall said. "The timing was horrible. The response was horrible."

The university says it will reimburse employees for late fees and overdraft fees, but is making no such promises regarding interest on loans the employees had to take out.

This article in the Chronicle for Higher Education will be available for up to five days:
New Payroll Software at Arizona State U. Shorts Hundreds of Employees (Chronicle for Higher Education)

Subscribers to the Chronicle may read the article here:
New Payroll Software at Arizona State U. Shorts Hundreds of Employees (Subscribers only - Chronicle for Higher Education)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Sonoma Campus In the News

1. Sonoma State, Rohnert Park at odds over sewage plan (Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

The City of Rohnert Park is raising a red flag over Sonoma State University’s plan to build a new, 700-bed student housing development without increasing its city sewer service.
2. Sonoma State University – Costly Musical Dream (SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle)
Sonoma State University's longtime president is under attack by faculty members for his seemingly single-minded quest to build a world-class music center, a dream critics say is siphoning money and staff time away from the campus' day-to-day academic needs.

Local 1000 Dues Go Up 50-100%

The article cites a 50% dues increase, but because of the changes in dues caps, employees at the higher end of the pay scale could be facing dues increases of up to 100%.

Paycheck Shock: Local 1000 Dues Go Up 50 Percent (Capitol Weekly)

Library Services Specialists Bulletin

[This information was distributed at the Bargaining Unit Council meeting on August 4, 2007.]

The Public Employees Relations Board [PERB] has determined that it is in the best interests of all parties to conduct a formal hearing on the joint Unit Modification petition filed by CSUEU and CSU to place the Library Service Specialist classification series into Bargaining Unit 9.

Pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement entered into by CSU, APC and CSUEU in June 2007:

  • CSUEU and CSU filed a new Unit Modification Petition which seeks to place the LSS classification in Bargaining Unit 9.
  • APC agreed not to contest this Unit Modification Petition.
  • CSUEU and CSU requested that PERB hold a hearing on the Unit Modification Petition and issue a decision giving their reasons for the placement of the LSS classifiction in BU 9.
  • Subject to final determination by PERB, incumbent Library Assistants shall be transferred/transitioned/reclassified from BU 7 to the appropriate classification in BU9.
  • Incumbent Lead Library Assistants will have the option of being reclassified into the appropriate LSS classification or remaining in their current classification.
  • As Lead Library Assistant classifications are vacated, new hires shall be placed in the appropriate LSS classification in the bargaining unit determined to be appropriate by PERB.
  • CSU withdrew their Unit Modification petition which sought to place the LSS classification in BU 7. APC withdrew their Unit Modification petition which sought to place the LSS classification in BU 4. Therefore, the only petition before PERB is now the CSUEU/CSU petition to place the LSS classification in BU 9.

A pre-conference call between PERB, CSU and CSUEU will be held in mid-August to determine the hearing schedule, as well as what additional information is needed to supplement the existing record and how many witnesses may be called. APC told PERB that "they didn't need to be on this conference call." At this point, we envision two days of hearings – one day in Sacramento and one day in Los Angeles.

CSUEU will continue to keep you informed throughout this Unit Modification process.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Unit 9 Election Results

Bargaining Unit Council elections were held Sunday, August 5, 2007, at the Westin San Francisco Airport in Millbrae, California. Elected were:

Rich McGee, Chair (San Bernardino)
Rocky Waters, Vice Chair (Humboldt)
Laura Ann Bishop, at-large member (Bakersfield)
Matthew Black, at-large member (Long Beach)
Liz Breach, at-large member (Fullerton)
Felix Cortez-Littlefield, at-large member (San Luis Obispo)
Joseph Dobzynski, at-large member (Channel Islands)
Duane Rueb
, at-large member (Sacramento)

Congratulations to the new BUC members!