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: http://gov.ca.gov/interact
  • 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: http://gov.ca.gov/interact
  • 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.