Thursday, January 31, 2008

Legislators Press Trustees to Act

Legislators in yesterday's confirmation hearing for two CSU Trustees expressed dissatisfaction with the Trustees' passive approach to CSU problems:

Pressing his case against Fresno State President John Welty, state Sen. Dean Florez on Wednesday threatened to seek the ouster of two CSU trustees unless they committed to giving Welty more scrutiny.

Welty, who has come under fire for his handling of three recent sexual discrimination lawsuits against the university, was a major topic of discussion in Wednesday's confirmation hearing for California State University trustees Pete Mehas of Fresno and Roberta Achtenberg of San Francisco.

Senator Florez wants the Trustees to examine Welty's performance before his scheduled September review. Chancellor Reed sees no reason to rush and prefers to wait for the legal appeals. It's not clear why a campus president's performance review would have more to do with how much the campus can get away with in court than what the campus actually did under the president's leadership.


SEIU Convention: Delegate Selection and Operation

These are extracts from the SEIU Constitution and Bylaws regarding the selection of delegates for and operation of the SEIU International Convention. For the complete rules, see the Constitution and Bylaws. Occasional emphasis added by Unit 9 News editor for quick scanning.

Article IV

International conventions

Section 1. The Convention of this International Union shall meet every four years and shall convene at such time and place as the International Executive Board may determine upon the recommendation of the International President.


Eligibility of delegates - Additional delegates
Section 3. The International Convention shall consist of duly elected delegates from their Local Unions, and none but delegates duly elected in accordance with all applicable statutes and the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws shall be eligible to represent any Local Union at the International Convention or be entitled to vote except that all full-time International officers shall by virtue of their office be delegates with a voice but no vote to any Convention which is held during their term of office. All officers of a Local Union elected in conformity with all applicable statutes shall by virtue of such election be considered to be eligible delegates to any International Convention which may take place during their term of office. If at the time of the receipt of the Convention call it shall appear that such number of elected officers is less than the number of delegates to which the Local Union will be entitled at an International Convention, then arrangements may be made at the option of the Local Executive Board for nomination and secret ballot election, if required, of an additional number of eligible members as Convention delegates. Nominees for such position, if unopposed, shall be deemed elected without necessity for further procedures. The Local Union must designate in its Constitution and Bylaws the order in which the officers would be designated as delegates and alternates if less than all the officers are entitled to go to the Convention as delegates, provided that the chief executive officer of the Local Union shall, if otherwise eligible, be deemed entitled even in the event the Local Union fails to so designate. Any Local Union may by provision in its Local Constitution and Bylaws dispense with the foregoing provision that officers of the Local Union be ex officio delegates to the International Convention and may provide for nomination and, if required, secret ballot election of such delegates. Further, subject to applicable statutes, the International Executive Board may establish representation rules for delegates from groups of associate members or other special categories of membership or locals, which shall be set forth in the notice of Convention Call for the International or Special Convention. In no event shall the basis of representation for such groups be greater in numbers than the formula set forth in Section 4 below. Any voting rights extended to such delegates must comply with applicable law.

Convention representation and voting rights - Exclusions
Section 4. The basis of representation shall be one delegate for 500 members or less, and one additional delegate for every additional 500 members or major fraction thereof up to 5,000 members, and then one additional delegate for every additional 1,000 members or major fraction thereof. A determination to be represented by less than a full complement of delegates shall not affect the Local Union’s eligible votes. The Executive Board of a Local Union shall determine the number of delegates which shall represent it at the Convention. For the purpose of voting, the computation of membership for a Local Union shall not include life members, retired members paying less than the full dues required for working members of their Local Union, associate members or agency fee payers.


Good standing requirement
Section 7(b). For a Local Union to be entitled to representation at the Convention, all moneys due the International Union, whether by per capita tax or otherwise, and due to any affiliated bodies, whether by per capita tax or otherwise, and all moneys due for any pension or welfare funds provided for in this Constitution, must be paid at least 15 days prior to the opening of the Convention.


Computation of voting strength
Section 12. The number of votes which each Local Union shall be entitled to vote in the Convention shall be determined by averaging the 12 most recent regular monthly per capita tax payments for members which are received by the International Union on or before December 31 of the year immediately preceding the calendar year in which the Convention is held. In the case of a newly chartered local without a twelve month payment period before December 31, the number of votes shall be determined by averaging the most recent regular monthly per capita tax payments for members received by the International before the Convention, up to a maximum of twelve months. The computation of voting strength shall not include associate members, life members or agency fee payers. Where there are two or more delegates in attendance from one Local Union, the vote shall be divided equally between them.


Convention resolutions
Section 14. All Resolutions to be acted upon by the Convention proposed by a Local Union must be submitted in writing to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the Convention and unless so submitted may not be considered by the Convention except on unanimous consent of the delegates present. Resolutions may be presented to the Convention by the International Executive Board at any time during the Convention without requiring unanimous consent.

Convention quorum

Section 15. Delegates representing one-fourth of the votes entitled to be cast at the Convention shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Delegate Selection, Planning for SEIU Convention

SEIU holds its 2008 SEIU International Convention on May 30 - June 4, 2008, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, provided a scanned image PDF of the paper mailing he received about this. Below are some highlights from the mailing.

From the 2-page memorandum by Anna Burger, SEIU Secretary Treasurer, dated December 21, 2007:

As the convention approaches, please remember that the number of eligible delegates a local union is entitled to have seated at the convention is based on the average of the twelve most recent per capita tax payments received on or before December 31, 2007.


In addition, please be mindful of the election requirement for delegates to the Convention. These elections must be conducted by a secret ballot vote of the members under the U.S. Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).


Pre-Convention Townhall Meetings

In preparation for the SEIU 2008 Convention, a series of SEIU Pre-Convention Townhall Meetings will be held to review the overall Convention program and the vision and plans for each of the divisions. The working schedule for the townhall meetings is as follows:
  • Monday, February 25 Seattle, WA
  • Tuesday, February 26 Los Angeles, CA
  • Thursday, February 28 Chicago, IL
  • Monday, March 3 New York, NY
  • Thursday, March 6 Boston, MA
  • Saturday, March 8 Denver, CO [also, other SW sites via video-conference]
  • Monday, March 10 San Juan, Puerto Rico
Local unions are invited to send up to seven of their top leaders to a townhall meeting. Local unions can select any one (but only one) of the townhall meetings with the exception of Denver and Puero Rico. The Denver townhall meeting will be limited to locals in the South/Southwest; Puerto Rico is limited to Puerto Rico locals.
From the "Key SEIU 2008 Convention Planning Dates for Local Unions":
Preliminary Plans as of 12/18/07 - Dates and Events Subject to Change

January 23-27International Executive Board, Los Angeles
Early FebruaryConvention Call Distributed
Convention Website Launches, Online Registration Opens
February/MarchRegional Pre-Convention Townhall Meetings
Monday, February 25 Seattle, WA
Tuesday, February 26 Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, February 28 Chicago, IL
Monday, March 3 New York, NY
Thursday, March 6 Boston, MA
Saturday, March 8 Denver, CO [also, other SW sites via video-conference]
Monday, March 10 San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 25Requested Date for all Locals to Ensure the Secretary-Treasurer has Received Resolutions and Amendments (to ensure ability to translate, etc.)
March 30-31Executive Committee Meeting
May 2Executive Committee, NYC
Online Registration Ends
May 3Constitutional Deadline for Receipt by the International Secretary-Treasurer of All Resolutions and Amendments from Local Unions
May 3-4International Executive Board, NYC
May 29International Executive Board, San Juan, PR


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SEIU International Convention 4 Months Away

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, sent this message about the 2008 SEIU International Convention. The Convention is May 30, - June 4, 2008, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

From: Ronnie L. Grant
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 1:10 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Background information re SEIU convention

(To: CSUEU Board of Directors;
Cc: CSUEU Staff)

Attached please find some background information on the upcoming SEIU International Convention which will be held in San Juan, PR. Nancy's estimate is that CSUEU will receive 13 delegates total. The officers of a local union are automatic delegates. If CSUEU wishes to send any delegates, they must be funded from our 2008 budget. We are not required to send all our alloted delegates, and it may be very cost-effective to send less than the full 13.

In last weekend's Executive Officer Committee, I suggested that we allow any member to nominate themselves for SEIU delegate and that the election be held during the Board meeting in March, and the electorate consists of the Board of Directors.

I apologize for the scanned PDF; I only received a paper copy.


First mailing for 2008 SEIU International Convention [image PDF]

Governor Opposes Prop. 92: Message from Pat Gantt

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, sent this message out last night:

From: Gantt, Pat
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 9:02 PM
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 92

Dear CSUEU Board members, Activists and CSUEU Staff,

It looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger even recognizes the flaws of Prop. 92 in this press release:

January 29, 2008
Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 92
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced his opposition to the community college initiative, saying it would worsen the state's budget problems.
"California's budget system is dysfunctional and in serious need of reform," Schwarzenegger said in a statement released by his political organization. "Year after year funding for education, health care, public safety and other important programs is threatened because of fluctuating tax revenue and auto-pilot spending. Proposition 92 will only worsen the problem."
Schwarzenegger said Proposition 92 would lock in nearly a billion dollars in mandated spending over the next three years without any way to pay for it.
Proposition 92 would make several changes to state law affecting state funding, student fees and governance. It would give community college organizations more voting power on the California Community Colleges board of governors and grant the board full power over administrative expenses, such as making appointments and setting salaries for executive officers.
The measure also proposes to lower student fees from $20 per unit to $15, meaning a full-time student would pay $450 per academic year instead of the current $600.
Posted by Judy Lin on January 29, 2008 03:29 PM

Here is another article from the California Progress Report:

Here is who is also opposed to Prop. 92:

VOTE NO on Prop. 92

Pat Gantt, President

Related links:

Joint Statement from CSU Unions and Chancellor

The California State University sent out a message this morning from the Chancellor and the heads of all of the CSU unions:

January 30, 2008

TO: All CSU Employees

Charles B. Reed, CSU Chancellor
Lillian Taiz, president, California Faculty Association
Pat Gantt, president, CSU Employees Union
Floyd Anscombe, president, Union of American Physicians and Dentists
James Banks, president, United Auto Workers
John Connor, business manager, State Employees Trade Council
Charles Goetzl, president, Academic Professionals of California
Sgt. Jim Procida, president, State University Police Association

RE: CSU Budget

As we begin a new year at the California State University, it is clear that 2008 will present significant budget challenges for the CSU system. Faced with a growing $14.5 billion state budget deficit, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a $312.9 million cut to the CSU budget approved by the board of trustees for the 2008-09 fiscal year. The proposed budget fails to fund access for 10,000 students and puts at risk our ability to provide quality education for the nearly 450,000 students already enrolled.

In the face of these proposed budget reductions, the CSU community – faculty, students, staff, alumni, administrators and the Board of Trustees – have agreed to work together to advocate that the legislature and the Governor consider alternative solutions. We are all alarmed by the $386.1 million reduction to the CSU budget consisting of the Governor’s unallocated cut of $312.9 million and the $73.2 million necessary to avoid a 10 percent student fee increase in the 2008-09 academic year.

This funding reduction comes only three years after our budget was reduced by over $500 million during the 2002-03 and 2004-05 fiscal years, which led to significantly reduced student access, as well as a dramatic increase in student fees. History will likely be repeated if the Governor’s proposed CSU budget reductions are sustained by the legislature.

Some policymakers believe that we should “live within our means” without new taxes and that resources to fund public services should be generated by a stronger California economy. As you know, the CSU is California’s economic engine, strengthening the economy by graduating 90,000 students into the state’s workforce every year.

We play a major role in the state’s workforce in the areas of nursing, teaching, agriculture, business, public administration, and engineering. The CSU returns $4.41 to California’s economy annually for every $1 invested by the state. Given the state’s General Fund condition, we believe investing in the CSU is a smart solution to address the state’s fiscal deficit.

Working together, the CSU community is urging the legislature and the Governor to support alternative options to maintain the state’s investment in California’s economic engine -- the CSU. We are also asking the legislature and the Governor to find other sources of revenue – other than higher fees for our students and their families – as a way to support the CSU budget. There needs to be a more balanced budget approach that considers the CSU as a valuable investment in the future economy of California.

We would like to ask all members of the CSU community to help us advocate for the California State University by writing to your legislators, talking with your friends, and making your voice heard about the importance of restoring our budget and protecting the state’s investment in higher education. As the budget process proceeds, we will be asking you to join us in our efforts to ensure that the CSU gets the budget our students and California deserves.

CSEA January 27 Board Meeting Report

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, sent this out today:

From: Gantt, Pat
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:37 AM
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: CSEA Board of Directors Report-Jan.27, 2008

Dear CSUEU Board Members:

I have drafted a synopsis of the recent CSEA Board meeting for you. The new structure of the board is as follows:
3 Statewide CSEA Officers
3 Officers from the CSUEU
3 Officers from Local 1000
3 Officers from ACSS
3 Officers from the CSEA Retirees

CSEA Board of Director’s Report

The CSEA Board of Directors met on Sunday, January 27th in Sacramento. The meeting covered a number of agenda items.
The first important action was to commend Barbara LaPlante, President of CSEA Retirees, for over 16 years on the CSEA board and 30 years of activity. Barbara LaPlante joined CSEA in 1970. She worked for California State University in Hayward before retiring in 1984. LaPlante served as Deputy Director for the Retired Division Council in 1997, and was elected to what was then known as Director in 1998. When the Retired Division incorporated in 2005, her title changed to President. She is not running for re-election as the Retiree President so this was her last meeting. She was presented with a plaque, a bouquet of flowers, and a standing ovation.

President Dave Hart in his Presidents report re-affirmed that Lee King was still the CSEA General Manager and will continue in that role. (Previous announcements on changes with the General Manager were premature.) The Board also dealt with a series of issues some of which included:

  • Funding for the Foundation Disaster Relief Fund
  • Restatement of the CSEA retirement plan
  • Amendments to the CSEA Retirement Plan
  • Authorizing the change in bank account signature to the new Officers
  • Changing to CITI Bank as Trustee of the CSEA Plan-Savings of $100K
  • Approved Region Budgets
  • Approved Addendum to Local 1000 Service agreement
  • Changed the 2009 General Council to Los Angeles on Sept. 6, 7 and 8th.
    (Logistical problems in Sacramento made that site a bigger problem than San Jose as there would have been the need to use at least 5 hotels to lodge delegates and only one was within walking distance of the Convention Center. Local 1000 helped mitigate the cancellation costs by using one hotel for another event.)
The Board also took the following action on two propositions on the February 5th ballot.

CSEA Board of Directors unanimously recommends:
  • NO on Proposition 92 -- would put community college spending on autopilot without accountability.
  • YES on Proposition 93 -- would modify current legislative current term limits and allow greater continuity in Sacramento.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this report or the CSEA Board meeting please let me know. The Board is working well together and was able to sort through some tough issues.

In Union,
Pat Gantt, President

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lobby Day: March 3-4, 2008

Lobby Day information was sent out recently, with a very short deadline for response (this Friday, February 1, 2008). Here is the message, sent as an email attachment to chapter presidents:

January 25, 2008

Dear Chapter Presidents,

I’m Vicky McLeod, Chair of the Legislative Committee and on behalf of the committee we encourage and welcome your attendance at Lobby Day 2008.

Monday, 3/3/08
Tuesday, 3/4/08

FUNDED: Chapter president and one participant from each campus. A campus can send more participants at campus expense.

Lobby Day training will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, 3/3, so we are aware that people will arrive Sunday evening. Also, all Legislator visits will be by walk-in to allow everyone to visit Senate and Assembly and to attend hearing and committee meetings throughout the day with no strict timeframe.

The reservation form will be emailed January 25th to all chapter presidents. Forward the registration form to the appropriate individual(s) on your campus and submit by the deadline. It is important to complete and submit the registration form by February 1st to headquarters since there will be no exceptions for late registration forms. All reservations must be made by completing the registration form and submitting to headquarters. I will continue to send more information as Lobby Day approaches.

I have included some websites to review at your leisure.
Official California Legislative Information
California State Assembly
California State Senate
Bill Information

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The committee and I look forward to seeing you and others at Lobby Day 2008.


Vicky McLeod, Chair
Legislative Committee
Cal Poly Pomona
The hotel for Lobby Day 2008 is the Sheraton Grand, located at 1230 J Street, Sacramento. The room rate is $159 single/double.


About Closed Sessions for CSUEU Meetings

Here's the section of the CSUEU Policy File which discusses closed sessions:

401.02 Closed Session Mandatory

Bodies of the CSUEU must meet in closed session to consider the following:

(a) Litigation matters;

(b) Matters involving privileged relations such as attorney-client or doctor-patient; and

(c) The employment, suspension or dismissal of a CSUEU employee.

401.03 Closed Session Optional

Bodies of the CSUEU may meet in closed session to consider the following:

(a) Discussion of bargaining strategy;

(b) Personnel matters, including grievance appeals and member disciplinary actions;

(c) Representation appeals; and

(d) Legislative matters.

401.04 Holding Closed Sessions

(a) Attendance at closed sessions shall be limited to: the elected or appointed member(s) of the appropriate CSUEU body holding the meeting; members of the Board of Directors; and staff and other individuals who have pertinent information and whose presence is determined to be necessary by the presiding officer, subject to disaffirmation by the body.

(b) Closed sessions, when held as a part of regular meetings, should be scheduled for an announced time certain. Announcement of the closed session and its purpose must be made to the members in attendance, if held during a regular meeting. All Board of Directors and Bargaining Unit Council closed sessions must be reported in the minutes of the next regular meeting, and shall include a list of actions taken.

(c) A meeting, except a Chapter’s Steward Council, shall conduct business in closed session or return to open session only by motion passed by a majority of the body. The body may not suspend this rule.

(d) A Chapter’s Steward Council shall always meet in closed session, and shall discuss only items listed in sections 401.02 and 401.03, above.

401.05 Reporting and Minutes Of Closed Sessions

(a) All closed sessions must be reported in the minutes of the next regular meeting and shall include a list of actions taken.

(b) The minutes or record of closed sessions shall indicate when and for what purpose the closed sessions were held, and shall further state that no other matters were considered.

Board of Directors Meets By Phone Thursday

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, sent this notice out via email yesterday:

From: Ronnie L. Grant
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 1:48 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Notice of Board Meeting: 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2008
Importance: High

(To: CSUEU Board of Directors)
(cc: CSUEU Staff; CSEA President)

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Board of Directors of the California State University Employees Union will hold a special meeting by telephone conference call at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, 2008.

The subjects will be follow-up regarding Chapter 321-San Marcos and information on CSUEU's delegates to the 2008 SEIU International Convention. Pursuant to CSUEU Policy File section 401.03(b), this meeting will be closed and attendance will be limited to Board members
or their alternates.

An agenda and the telephone number to call will be sent shortly. If you do not receive this information by 5 p.m. tomorrow, please call 866-763-1452, extension 0.

If you have any questions, please contact Pat at [phone number removed by Unit 9 News Editor].

In Solidarity,


Monday, January 28, 2008

Workplace Self-Defense: Verbal Intimidation

CSU employees are all too familiar with workplace bullies. Jay Morrissey's piece on fighting back against verbal intimidation sorts out several types of verbal attacks, and gives some practical advice on dealing with this kind of bully. His "verbal judo" tone is a little strong in spots, but then, we're not talking about how to respond to playful little kittens.

Morrissey describes how a coworker takes the wind out of a bully's sails by being the grownup:

As the manager elevated his voice to declare dominance, my work friend simply said:

I understand the concern. Though I do think you’re being very emotional right now. Let’s talk about this once you’ve had a chance to calm down.

The anger in the manager’s eyes grew ten-fold. In a desperate attempt to appear dominant, the manager further raised his voice and responded:

No! We’re talking about this now!

To which my colleague stood up, and responded softly:

I will talk to you, but I will not let you shout at me. You are my boss and I respect you, but you are not my mother.

I think that coworker of his is now my hero.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Agreement on In-Range Progression

Here's the text of CSUEU's announcement today of an agreement on In-Range Progression (IRP) with the CSU:

  • $1.6 million (the equivalent of .25% General Salary Increase) shall be used for In-Range Progressions (IRPs) from system-wide funds.
  • 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 2007/08. As of January 2008, campuses have already spent $1.2 million on IRPs from campus funds.
  • Campuses will be encouraged to spend additional campus funds for IRPs.
  • IRPs are increases to an employee’s base pay.
  • The Chancellor’s Office will not direct campuses to target specific classifications for IRPs.
  • Any funds unspent at the end of FY 2007/08 shall roll over into FY 2008/09.
  • Systemwide-funded IRPs awarded in FY 2007/08 shall be retroactive to January 1, 2008.
  • Employees whose IRP requests were denied during calendar year 2007 can resubmit an IRP request. Campuses need not conduct an additional review and may use documentation already provided.
  • The granting of a systemwide-funded IRP may put an employee at or above the SSI maximum of his/her salary range, but may not put the employee above the salary range maximum.
  • If a systemwide-funded IRP puts an employee at or above the SSI maximum and the employee has already been awarded an SSI, the IRP shall be effective the beginning of the pay period following the effective date of the SSI.
  • For tracking purposes, if an IRP is awarded using both systemwide funds and campus funds, the systemwide funded IRP shall be retroactive to January 1, 2008, and the campus-funded IRP may be effective at the beginning of a pay period from February through June 2008.
  • Any unspent systemwide IRP funds shall be rolled over to FY 2008/09.
  • IRP decisions are not subject to the grievance procedure or the complaint procedure.
  • Eligible employees at or above the SSI maximum as of July 1, 2007, shall receive a bonus of $700, to be paid no later than February 29, 2008.
  • If an employee received less than a 1% SSI during FY 2007/08 because he/she reached the SSI maximum, the employee shall also receive the $700 bonus.
  • Any unspent one-time bonus money shall be referred to a Labor Management Committee.
  • Individual or group bonuses may now be awarded to recognize additional workload as well as exceptional performance.
  • CSUEU and CSU agree to begin meeting to address compensation for FY 2008/09.
Unfortunately CSUEU has not made the text of the agreement itself available; all we have seen is a scanned image. We apologize for this and are trying to get a proper text copy so that all represented employees can read the agreement.
And yes, Unit 9 News is fully aware of the irony of an organization including an anti-discrimination statement in its job postings while simultaneously choosing to discriminate in its communications with represented employees. We have no explanation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Senior Communications Specialist Job Posting

Last fall the CSUEU Board of Directors approved the hiring of a communications specialist. The job has been posted in multiple locations. Here's a copy of the position announcement:


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.

Duties include:

  • under the direction of the Chief of Staff of CSUEU, incumbent will be responsible for developing and implementing internal and external communication plans in support of CSUEU collective bargaining, organizing, policy and political campaigns
  • developing internal communications that inform, persuade and mobilize CSUEU members.
  • Building positive, productive and cooperative relationships with elected CSUEU leaders and members, and other labor organizations
  • Writes, edits and designs regular leaflets and newsletters on important worksite issues.
  • Provides campaign communications support.
  • Works with staff to provide campaign support including messaging, communications plans, timely materials, website copy, etc.
  • Contributes to website, special projects and other communications needs.
  • Helps produce brochures, member materials, posters and other materials or communications needs.
Education: Graduation from a 4-year university

Experience: Four (4) years of experience in a relevant field of communications or two (2) years of experience as a CSEA Communications Specialist.

Desirable Skills:
  1. Demonstrated record of planning and implementing integrated internal and external communications strategies.
  2. Excellent written and organizational skills.
  3. Knowledge of and experience in media relations.
  4. Experience in union and/or political communications.
  5. Experience as a member of the working press or in a public affairs agency.
  6. Deep-rooted commitment to fairness and justice for working people.
  7. Ability to thrive in a collaborative, multi-player environment and to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously.
  8. Experience in a higher education environment
  9. Willingness to work evenings and weekends on occasion.
  10. Resident of Sacramento area is preferred, but not required.
$4914-6584, based on experience

Exceptional Benefits Package, pursuant to negotiated agreement with staff union.
Cover letter and resume should be sent to:

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

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


CSUEU is an affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or disability. CSUEU works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces zero tolerance policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

Senior Communications Specialist posting on California Labor Federation site [PDF]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Budget Message from Pat Gantt

This message was sent out by CSUEU President Pat Gantt yesterday afternoon:

January 17, 2008

Dear CSUEU Board members, CSUEU Staff and activists,

This week has continued to yield a variety of responses to the Governor's proposed state budget. One of the first responses by the CSU was to cut off freshman fall 2008 enrollment on February 1, 2008. The CSU already has over 10,000 full time students that are over the enrollment target and not funded in the current state budget. It will be interesting to see how the legislature reacts to this action.
You can read more about it in the Sacramento Bee Article:

The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) is also critical of the Governor’s budget plan. It published an overview of the Governor’s budget that is a preliminary analysis. There will be an in depth analysis released mid-February that will go into greater detail on the impacts of the Governor’s budget.,1,3236554.story

The Chancellor called a meeting this week with all unions and the senior management of Finance and Human Resources in the Chancellor’s Office. Since the CSU is not a target of mid-year cuts which is the focus of the special session we all watching the process carefully until the middle of February, which is the deadline for the special session on the fiscal emergency. That special session will also give an early indication of how the Legislature may deal with the full 2008/09 state budget beyond the mid year cuts. The trustees will not take any action on student fees until their March meeting. This will give some time to see what may unfold early in the budget process.

The campuses are currently going through a budget review process and preliminary reports from some chapter presidents are that some of the CSU campuses may be able to absorb the cuts on a one year basis without layoffs or position losses with the current budget proposal. This may be due to some of the contingency reserves that all campuses must carry. The ability of a campus to absorb a budget cuts without loss of staff positions is unique to each campus. The larger campuses may be better able to do this than the smaller ones. Campuses that have had budget issues in recent years due to enrollment problems may have special challenges with new enrollment targets and budget cuts. If there are layoffs on a campus, the CSUEU and the affected permanent employees must be notified at least 60 days in advance. Any layoffs for the 2008/09 fiscal year which starts July 1 would need a notice issued in early May. Each chapter is encouraged to attend the campus budget committee meetings to see how their campus reviews the impact of the proposed budget.

Here are the talking points:

  • The proposed budget cuts will impact student access to the California State University since not all qualified students will be admitted.
  • The CSU has asked for revenue to increase enrollment by 2.5% or 10,000 students for 2008/09. This was not included in the Governor’s budget proposal.
  • That means that 10,000 qualified students will no have the opportunity to attend a CSU because we will not be able to offer them a slot at any CSU campus
  • As a major supplier of graduates into the state’s workforce, budget cuts to the CSU will have an impact on key industries in California.
  • CSU graduates nearly 90,000 students into the state’s workforce each year
  • We supply the majority of the workforce in key industries including nursing, teaching, agriculture, business, public administration and technology.
  • For every dollar the state invests in the CSU, $4.41 is generated in economic activity.
  • The unions are working with the CSU to develop a strategy to protect the CSU budget.
  • We will be calling our members to action to discuss with their local legislators the importance of a continued investment in the CSU to California’s long term financial health.
  • The proposed budget cuts will impact the long term prospects of increasing the college-going rates of underserved communities in California.
  • The pipeline of students in K-12 is two-third students of color, and it is critical to the state’s future that more students from underserved communities attend college.
  • The CSU has experienced an increase in enrollment of first-time freshman from underserved communities over the past few years as a result of outreach efforts in underserved communities.
These are the preliminary talking points in the broadest sense possible. We will have more talking points as the budget impacts develop and we see how the campuses react. While we are concerned about the depth of the proposed cuts, it is not a time to panic but to watch carefully. There will be questions on the 2008/09 compensation. The Governor has suspended the Higher Education Compact this year. That compact was the basis that every CSU union based its compensation related sections upon. The compensation related issues in all contracts will not be addressed until the CSU knows what it has for a final budget signed by the Governor. No one really knows as the state budget has missed its deadline more times than it has made it. We will be developing some Frequently Asked Questions related to the budget over the next few weeks to assist chapters and member in addressing concerns.

We will be meeting with our governmental affairs person tomorrow to discuss the budget and our reaction to it and will follow up with another report next week.

If you wish to read the Governor’s budget, CSU Section:

In Union,
Pat Gantt, President

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What Does the PERB LSS Decision Mean?

With the objection period over, what happens now? The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) decision was to become effective if there were no objections by January 16, but that decision alone doesn't wave a magic wand over Library Assistants (LA's).

The PERB decision places the (unpopulated) Library Services Specialist (LSS) series into Bargaining Unit 9. It does not, by itself, transform any employees into LSS's. CSU and CSUEU will have to meet and confer over the implementation of the LSS series. Those meet and confer sessions have not yet been scheduled.

So, LA's did not wake up this morning in a new classification. For the time being, LA's remain in their current classifications within Bargaining Unit 7.

Previous posts about the LSS series:

Proposition 92: "Bad Idea"

The Ventura County Star publishes an opinion piece today about proposition 92, acknowledging the value of the community college system while decrying "the pursuit of another special niche in the budget" and knocking the "misleading" arguments of the initiative's proponents.

But the real stinker here is that the initiative disconnects yet another spending formula from accountability for how the system spends the money, and out of reach of the Legislature. It does nothing to encourage the system to increase its low completion rates or otherwise reward success.


Proposition 92 is part of what's now a long line of ballot-box budgeting initiatives, most of them pushed by interest groups trying to guarantee themselves a piece of the budget, in most cases without additional revenues to cover the cost or concern about the effects on other programs.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Recent Budget Coverage

Some recent budget stories, in case you haven't gotten enough:

CSU is cutting off admissions early:
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed this week instructed all 23 campus presidents, including Sacramento's Alexander Gonzalez, to close admissions early regardless of whether the campus has met attendance targets.
CSUS moves up fall deadline (Sacramento Bee)

Use Holiday Informal Time Off by June 30

A reminder from the informative Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing:

If you did not take the Governor's informal time off in December 2007, you may use it until 6/30/08. See HR2007-18.
From the HR memo:
In celebration of the 2007 holiday season, the Governor has authorized informal time off for the day before the Christmas holiday or the day before the New Year’s Day holiday.


Employees required to work these days, or who would be scheduled to work but are on vacation, sick leave, or CTO may be granted the equivalent informal time off prior to June 30, 2008. This time shall not be considered CTO and is not compensable in cash.
HR 2007-18 (CSU)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Proposition 92 Vote Three Weeks Away

Californians vote on Proposition 92, the community college funding initiative, in three weeks. The measure would lock in $300 million in new funding for the state's community colleges without providing a funding source. That would expose the CSU to even deeper cuts, as one of only 4 areas of the state budget without legally mandated minimum funding.

As the Los Angeles Times puts it:

Community colleges certainly need more money, but Proposition 92 would lock the state into spending hundreds of millions of additional dollars that it doesn't have. Lawmakers would have no choice but to rob other higher education programs to meet the new spending commitment. This initiative represents the worst form of ballot-box budgeting, and voters should reject it.
Inside Higher Ed sums up supporters and opponents of the measure:
California’s controversial Proposition 92 has pitted the various components of California’s higher education system against one another. Among its supporters are the Community College League of California and community college chancellors, presidents and trustees. Among its opponents are the California State University and University of California Systems, and the powerful California Teachers Association. (Although CTA’s statewide affiliate, the Community College Association, broke from its parent organization to support the initiative). The debate has largely denigrated into a turf war: “Proposition 92 if passed could result in unintended problems that will negatively impact the CSU and threaten funding for other critical California programs,” CSU says in its statement. “Proposition 92 requires more state funding and reduces student fees for one segment of higher education without regard to the needs of all of higher education. Since it does not create or identify any new revenue sources, unprotected state programs such as UC and CSU would be competing for a smaller share of available General Funds,” UC’s regents said in theirs.
In the Inside Higher Ed story, Patrick Murphy of the University of San Francisco points out supporters' bad timing:
“The timing probably couldn’t have been worse. They’re coming out now where the governor just said we’ve got a $14 billion deficit and we’re going to cut everything 10 percent – it really looks like [they’re saying] ‘We’re going to get ours.”

New Unpaid Military Spouse/Domestic Partner Leave

From an information-rich email by Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing:

AB 392 (Stats. 2007 Chap. 361) provides for up to 10 days of unpaid leave for an employee who is the spouse/domestic partner of military personnel while that military personnel is on leave from a period of deployment, so both the employee and the military spouse/domestic partner can be on leave together.

Apparently, you do not have to exhaust your paid leave first: "The leave provisions of AB 392 shall not affect or prevent the CSU from allowing a qualified employee to take a leave to which the employee is otherwise entitled. Therefore, an employee who qualifies for such leave is eligible to utilize his/her available vacation leave credits, CTO or personal holiday at his/her request. However, if the employee chooses not to access his/her available leave credits, the leave should be documented via the 634 absence form with a note stating "Spouse/DP Military Leave.""

I recommend reading the whole HR 2007-19 memo.
From the summary portion of HR 2007-19:
Recently, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill (AB) 392 (Chapter 361), requiring employers to grant an unpaid leave of absence of up to ten (10) days to an employee who works at least an average of twenty (20) hours per week and also is the spouse or registered domestic partner of a qualified member of the military on leave from deployment. AB 392 is effective immediately, and is applicable to the California State University (CSU).

CSEA General Manager Change and Staff Organization

From an information-rich email by Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing:

In October, CSEA President Dave Hart appointed Janis Mickel Szichak to replace Lee King as CSEA's General Manager.

Lee continues serving CSEA as Chief Financial Officer.
If you're wondering how CSEA staff are organized, here's a handy flow chart for you:
CSEA staff structure [PDF]

CSEA is the California State Employees Association; CSUEU is an affiliate of CSEA.

Unit 9 Classification Affected by Minimum Wage Hike

Ronnie Grant, Vice President for Organizing, points out:

Three of our CSUEU trainee classifications had their salaries increased along with the minimum wage.
One of the classifications, Technician Trainee, is in Bargaining Unit 9.


Monday, January 14, 2008

CSEA Board Meets by Phone Tonight

Here's some information on upcoming CSUEU, CSEA, and SEIU meetings, from an email sent out this afternoon by Ronnie Grant, Vice President for Organizing:

Dave Hart has called a special meeting of the CSEA Board of Directors for tonight (1/14) at 5:30 p.m. by telephone conference call. The only agenda item is adoption of a resolution to change the location of the 2009 General Council from the Sacramento Convention Center to the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles. CSEA estimates a $25,540 cost savings by moving the location, mostly due to the elimination of $21,120 in shuttle bus expense and complementary meeting space from the Westin.

The agenda and backup material is attached.

Future meetings:

  • CSUEU Communications Committee: today, 1/14, CSUEU's 10th St office
  • CSU Board of Trustees meeting: Tue-Wed 1/22 and 1/23, Chancellor's Office, 401 Golden Shore, Long Beach
  • CSUEU Finance Committee: Fri 1/25, CSUEU's 10th St office
  • CSUEU Executive Officer Committee: Sat 1/26, CSUEU's 10th St office
  • CSEA Board regular meeting: Sunday 1/27, Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento
  • Meeting with CSUEU Executive Officers and SEIU Area Director re obtaining SEIU resources for contract campaign: Wed 2/6 SEIU's Oakland office
  • SEIU State Council: Mon-Tue 2/11 and 2/12, Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento
Note that CSEA should be mailing every Chapter President an agenda for the 1/27 meeting. I got my copy today. If you are a Chapter President and do not receive an agenda by this Friday, email me so I may investigate. In accordance with the CSEA Policy File, the agenda should also be posted at:

Note: the agenda and backup material mentioned were missing from the forwarded copy. We will try to get a copy and post them. At this writing, they do not appear to be on the CSEA web site.

Chapter 318: New President

CSUEU Chapter 318, San Diego, has a new president. Daniel P. Clavin, formerly chapter vice president, became chapter president when previous president Willie Freeman retired on December 31, 2007.

CSU Official: Budget Proposal Would Mean Reopening Contracts

From an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Claudia Keith, assistant vice chancellor for public affairs for the CSU system, said the budget proposal could mean cuts to classes and could affect employee compensation.

“Bottom line, we would have to reopen all of our labor union contracts, including the one with faculty,” she said.
Governor's budget would be a major setback for schools (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Board of Trustees Meeting January 22-23

The CSU Board of Trustees will meet at the Chancellor's Office in Long Beach on January 22-23, 2008. The complete meeting schedule and agendas are available on the Board of Trustees web page.

Alisandra Brewer, at-large member of Bargaining Unit Council 9, will address the Trustees for Unit 9.

A summary of the meeting schedule:

  • Closed sessions are scheduled Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. until 1:15 p.m.
  • Committee on Collective Bargaining, open session at 1:15 p.m.
  • Other Committee meetings are scheduled Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning
  • Board of Trustees plenary session scheduled for 10:15 a.m. Wednesday
Tidbits from the agendas:
  • The CSU's planned response to the recent state audit of executive compensation practices is on pages 2-11 of this Board of Trustees agenda [PDF]. For those not familiar with Board of Trustees sessions, the CSU's proposals are typically approved by the Board.
  • Proposed audit areas for 2008 include Information Security, Hazardous Materials, and Public Safety (pages 16-20 of the Committee on Audit agenda document [PDF]).
  • Karen Y. Zamarripa, Assistant Vice Chancellor Advocacy & Institutional Relations, will present a proposed legislative program for 2008. Proposed legislation topics for 2008 include authorizing the CSU to offer Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degrees, adoption of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) governing investment and expenditure of charitable funds, and a proposal to "require the CSU to work with interested parties to develop a methodology for use of total compensation with the same compensation elements analysis for executives and faculty." It is not clear why the CSU would need legislation passed before it could attempt accurate comparisons for executive compensation. See the Committee on Governmental Relations agenda [PDF] for more details.
  • The CSU's "Legislative Days" are April 28. We are not sure why they are "days" happening on one day, but that's what the agenda says.
  • The annual gift report. Campus highlights will be available after the presentation at An overview is in the Committee on Institutional Advancement agenda [PDF].
  • The Board will be asked "to authorize the issuance of Systemwide Revenue Bonds and the issuance of interim financing under the CSU’s commercial paper program in an aggregate amount not-to-exceed $171,795,000, to provide funds for seven campus and auxiliary projects/refundings." See the Committee on Finance agenda for details [PDF].
  • Minutes for the previous meeting in November are included in this meeting's various agenda documents, for the approval of the Board. These can provide an interesting recap of a meeting, but unfortunately may not be accurate or complete reflections of public comment.
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.

CSUEU Press Release on Governor's Budget Proposal

Here is the text of the CSUEU press release about Governor Schwarzenegger's budget proposal:

CSUEU Press Release
January 11, 2008

Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed to cut $312.9 million from the California State University system. This latest blow to the CSU budget follows the half billion dollars cut in 2002. The governor has abandoned the Higher Education Compact. Compensation increases in every CSU union contract are at risk.

If adopted, this budget would force program cutbacks for more than our more than 400,000 students and bar access to 11,000 new students.

The Governor’s budget also assumes at least another 10% student fee increase—the 6th in the last seven years; as well as increased class sizes, and reduced class offerings. California’s students and their families will once again be paying more for less.

Aside from their effect on the university and those it services, these cuts would be a terrible blow to California’s economy. And the governor’s proposed budget fails to address the fundamental flaw in the whole process – the lack of sufficient revenue to provide the services which the people of California need and deserve.

The CSU is an avenue into the middle class for hundreds of thousands of people who can earn more, participate in California’s economy at a higher level and, from the view of state revenues, comprise a larger, stronger tax base.

This is just the beginning of the budget cycle. There are going to be months of legislative hearings before a final deal is cut. We will be working closely with the entire CSU community, and with our allies in the CSEA to protect the mission of CSU. And with members standing up – at their own campuses, and by communicating with their own state legislators – we believe that we can protect our contracts and stop this downward spiral which will, if allowed to continue, destroy the premier higher educational system we have all worked so hard to build.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Data Breach at Stanislaus Dining Vendor

Credit and debit card information appears to have been stolen from a dining services vendor at CSU Stanislaus. The Modesto Bee reports:

Credit card numbers, cardholder names and expiration dates were exposed, leaving hundreds, possibly thousands, of university students, staff and guests open to identity theft, with victims reporting fake charges on their cards, officials said Friday.
Victims report fraudulent off-campus transactions on cards used in campus dining facilities. Credit and debit card transactions have been suspended in the affected dining locations. The vendor, Sodexho, says it's cooperating with investigators but is unconvinced their systems are involved.

The Bee notes this isn't the first data security breach at Stanislaus:
Stanislaus State has had security breaches in the past. The most recent was the 2005 hacking into a file server in the financial services office in which 877 student workers' names and Social Security numbers were accessed. Also in 2005, nearly 1,300 former and current employees had their names, addresses and Social Security numbers and those of their dependents put into an Internet cache system, Olsen said.
IDs stolen through Stan State eateries (Modesto Bee)
CSU Stanislaus issues alert about potential data breach (CSU Stanislaus)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Stewards: Be Ready for Questions

Some news coverage of the state budget crunch has raised the spectre of CSU staff cuts. As far as we know, CSUEU has not received any notice of layoffs. That won't stop employees from wondering, though, and if you're a steward some of them will probably ask you about it.

Here's the main thing you need to know: Notice of any layoffs must be made directly to CSUEU headquarters first, before the CSU does anything else. Individual affected employees would then receive notice a minimum of 60 days (for permanent employees) or 45 days (for probationary and temporary employees) before the effective date of any layoffs.

The contract language about notice reads:

24.2 When the CSU determines that there is a need for implementation of any procedures outlined in this Article, the CSU agrees to immediately notify the Union. The Union may submit a written request to the Office of the Chancellor to meet and confer with the Union on the bargaining unit impact.
Note that the CSU must formally notice CSUEU headquarters -- not an employee, not a steward, not the chapter. If a campus manager is talking about layoffs, report that immediately to all of these people (at least):
  • Your chapter LRR
  • Chair(s) of the affected bargaining unit(s)
  • Vice President for Representation Dennis Dillon.
Further reading for the detail-hungry:

Coverage of Governor's Budget Proposal

Here's a roundup of coverage of Governor Schwarzenegger's budget proposal, for readers who just can't get enough.

From the media:

From the state:
From employee organizations:

CFA Blasts Governor's Budget Proposal

The California Faculty Association (CFA), which represents CSU faculty, describes the governor's budget plan as "sleight of hand" in the latest CFA Headlines:

Gov. Schwarzenegger presented to the public his plan for the 2008/09 state budget today, and it includes a deep $312.9 million cut in the CSU.

The plan on paper is a sleight of hand, adding up the money promised in the funding Compact, assuming 8500 more full-time-equivalent students, subtracting 10% and layering on a steep student fee hike.

Bottom line, the only new money is from fee increases and student enrollment is supposed to increase. The CSU administration announced today the plan means turning away 10,000 eligible incoming students.
Expect a joint statement from CSUEU and other CSU groups:
At a CSU budget advisory meeting this morning prior to the governor’s announcement, many groups in the CSU community agreed to issue a joint statement on the budget cuts. The groups include CFA, the CSU administration, the California State Student Association, the CSU Employees Union, Academic Professional of California and others.
CFA says the cuts are short-sighted and only add to the still-unrepaired damage from earlier funding cuts:
Today the Governor cut a staggering $312.9 million from the California State University system. This latest blow to the CSU budget follows the half billion dollars in cuts that the system suffered just a few years ago. The university has never recovered from these earlier cuts.

If adopted, this budget will be a serious set back for the California State University. Budget cuts of this magnitude will harm our more than 400,000 students while at the same time eliminating access to the university by 10,000 new students, according to the CSU administration.

The Governor’s budget also assumes another 10% student fee increase—the 6th in the last seven years; and since the cuts will translate into course reductions, increased class sizes, and longer times to graduation, California’s students and their families will once again be paying more and getting even less.

The loss, in the end, would not only be dollars, but the loss of the hope and optimism about the future that is an intrinsic trait of a society committed to broad educational opportunity.
From the budget background section of the CFA document:
  • The California State University is already under-funded—the university system endured a disproportionate impact of the last fiscal crisis beginning in 2002. Over two years, $500 million were cut, leaving a deep funding hole that was never restored.
  • At that time, the CSU turned away eligible students, cut classes, and increased class size, all of which resulted in longer times to graduation. Most importantly, these cuts threatened the faculty’s ability to offer quality education.
  • In inflation-adjusted dollars, the CSU budget today remains below the 2002 level.
  • The “Compact” funding, adopted with a handshake between the CSU chancellor and governor in 2004, was promised to provide minimum funding the CSU needs to meet students’ needs.
CFA Headlines 10 January 2008 (California Faculty Association) [PDF]

Thursday, January 10, 2008

CSU in the Governor's 2008-09 Budget Proposal

The higher education section of Governor Schwarzenegger's 2008-09 budget proposal is summarized on his site. Here are the sections related to the CSU:

The Governor's Budget provides close to $11.7 billion from the General Fund alone for Higher Education in 2008-09. The proposed workload budget reflects total funding of $21.7 billion, including $15.1 billion General Fund and Proposition 98 sources for all major segments of Higher Education (excluding infrastructure and stem cell research), which reflects an increase of $1.6 billion ($1.3 billion General Fund and Proposition 98 sources) above the revised 2007-08 budget. These amounts represent an 8 percent total funding increase, including a 9.2 percent increase in General Fund and Proposition 98 sources above the revised 2007-08 budget. The major workload adjustments for 2008-09 include the following for each segment.

The proposed budget was constructed first by computing the workload budget funding level. From the workload budget, adjustments are made to reflect specific policy adjustments and reductions, including budget-balancing reductions.

Proposed Workload Budget

University of California and California State University

For the UC and the CSU, the workload budget is based on the Higher Education Compact (Compact) that was initiated in 2004. The Compact provides a six-year resource plan to address annual base budget increases including general support increases of up to 5 percent, enrollment growth of 2.5 percent, student fee increases that may not exceed 10 percent, and other key program elements through 2010-11. In exchange for this fiscal stability, the UC and the CSU committed to preserving and improving student and institutional performance in numerous program areas including program efficiency, utilization of system wide resources and student-level outcomes. The resources provided through the Compact enable the UC and the CSU to accomplish their missions outlined in the Master Plan for Higher Education.

California State University

  • $116.8 million increase (4 percent) for basic budget support consistent with the Compact.
  • $29.2 million increase (1 percent) for core instructional needs including library material replacements, deferred maintenance and instructional equipment consistent with the Compact.
  • $70.1 million increase (2.5 percent) for enrollment growth consistent with the Compact. This would fund an additional 8,572 state-supported students.
  • $109.8 million increase in fee revenue associated with the Trustees planned 10 percent mandatory fee increase for undergraduate, graduate and teacher credential candidates. One-third of the revenue generated by the fee increases would be set aside for financial aid.
  • $124,000 increase (4 percent) for the Capitol Fellows Program consistent with the Compact.
  • $8.6 million reduction to continue the decrease in retirement costs in the current year.
  • $4.9 million reduction in lease purchase payments.

Addressing California's Teacher and Nursing Shortages

  • The Governor's Budget proposes an ongoing $2.7 million for CSU and $1.1 million for UC for the Science and Math Teacher Initiative. This effort provides additional funding to the CSU and UC to address the shortage of high-quality math and science teachers in our public schools. The CSU has committed to doubling its annual production of science and math teacher candidates to a total of approximately 1,500 and the UC has committed to quadruple its production to a total of 1,000 by 2010-11.
  • $22.2 million ongoing for CCC, $6.3 million for CSU and $1.7 million for UC for the Nursing Initiative. This initiative provides additional funding to expand enrollments at the CCC, CSU and UC in order to meet the state's clinical nursing shortages.
Proposed Budget Balancing Reductions
Total budget-balancing reductions for the Higher Education segments amount to $1.1 billion in 2008-09. Of this amount, $649.4 million is for General Fund programs and $483.5 million is for Community College Proposition 98 local assistance programs.
  • $312.9 million for the California State University. Of this amount, $43.2 million is allocated to the Institutional Support program (which includes campus administration and the Chancellor's Office) and the remainder is unallocated to allow the CSU Trustees the maximum flexibility to meet the reduction in a way that minimizes the adverse impacts to core instructional programs. It is anticipated that the Trustees will address this reduction through a combination of fee increases, limitations on enrollment levels, increased efficiency and reductions to other existing programs, including student services, academic support and public services.
Note that the references to increases are relative to the revised 2007-08 budget. If you want numbers, use the the Department of Finance links below.

Budget links:

Snippets from Governor's Budget Press Conference

The governor said during his press conference that "We have told every one of the agencies that we want to make an across the board cut of 10%." For those who didn't have a chance to watch or listen, here are a few tidbits from his press conference this morning:

  • "First my new budget will reduce almost every state program by 10% or as close as possible. In a fiscal emergency special session of the legislature that I am calling today, I am proposing to start many of those cuts this fiscal year, 2007-2008. That includes eliminating cost of living adjustments and reducing a portion of the appropriation to schools that are above Proposition 98 guarantee."
  • "I can see every single person hurt by these cuts, and I understand how difficult they will be for many many people."
  • "Ten percent across the board is already tough but it at least spreads the pain equally and evenly and protects vital services."
  • "We're spending 400-600 million dollars more a month than we're taking in."
  • "Anything you didn't like about the budget it was [Mike Genest's] fault, and all the good stuff was me."
  • Regarding the 10% across the board cuts, "I say that was the fair way to do it."
  • Asked about news reports that California will close 1 in 5 state parks, the governor talked about general budget issues but did not answer the question.
  • Asked about the discrepancy between opposing tax increases and simultaneously raising fees that look a lot like taxes, the governor acknowledged that "we promised the California people that we would not raise taxes," and then talked about the recent fires and how we need to support firefighters. He did not address any distinction between imposing fees and imposing taxes.
Video of the press conference is available online at the Governor's budget page, or you can read a transcript of today's budget speech.

Governor's 2008-09 Budget Proposal

Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a fiscal emergency for 2007-08 and called the legislature to meet in extraordinary session to address the emergency.

The governor also released his 2008-09 state budget proposal. Here's the Higher Education section of the governor's press release:

The Governor's 2008-09 budget proposal provides $21.7 billion for Higher Education priorities, an increase of $1.6 billion above the revised 2007-08 budget. Highlights include:
  • University of California (UC): $5.5 billion ($3.2 billion General Fund), a net increase of $81.3 million compared to the revised 2007-08 budget.
  • California State University: $4.4 billion ($2.9 billion General Fund), a net increase of $35.1 million compared to the revised 2007-08 budget.
  • California Community Colleges: $9.1 billion ($6.6 billion from General Fund and Proposition 98), an increase of $146.5 million ($144.1 million General Fund and Proposition 98) above the revised 2007-08 budget.
  • California Student Aid Commission: $921.3 million ($890.5 million General Fund), an increase of $47.6 million General Fund above the revised 2007-08 budget.
  • Higher Education Initiatives: Includes $5 million from the Public Transportation Account for UC's Institute of Transportation Studies to develop integrated land use and transportation models that can measure the impact of actions by local governments on greenhouse gas emissions; and continued funding for initiatives to boost career technical education, help at risk community college students and address shortages of science and math teachers and nurses.
  • $1.8 million General Fund to establish an education benefit program for members of the California National Guard. Learn more about this proposal at


Prop 92 Message from Pat Gantt

Pat Gantt, President of California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), sent this message out to CSUEU officers this week:

Dear CSUEU Board of Directors and Legislative Committee:

It is a new year and we already have to focus on a proposition that could harm us. On February 5th there is a ballot measure known as Proposition 92 that is aimed at giving more funding for the Community Colleges from the General fund. You were given some talking points before on this issue when we as a board voted to oppose it.

I took that oppose position to the December SEIU State council meeting and was successful in SEIU adopting an oppose position also. This took a lot of convincing from me and CFA who also spoke out against the measure as well as Local 1000. There are a few large SEIU locals who represent community college staff who raised their concerns and wanted a neutral position.

I have attached a press release that was sent out from the No on Prop 92 coalition. Please also check out the web site for more information:
No on Proposition 92

Please share this information with your members and in your chapter meetings this month.

In union,
Pat Gantt, President

SEIU Local 2579 Announces Opposition to Proposition 92 (Californians for Fair Education Funding, No on Proposition 92)
SEIU Local 2579 Announces Opposition to Proposition 92 [Word format]

Prop 92 Tidbit: Fees Already Waived for Low Income Students

It's not clear who needs the 25% community college fee reduction imposed by Proposition 92. The ballot summary says "This fee reduction would have no direct impact on needy students because fees are already waived for all students who demonstrate financial need."

A little more detail:

About one-quarter of all CCC students do not pay any educational fees. This is because current law waives the fees for resident students who demonstrate financial need. Most of these students are low- to middle-income. Generally, a community college student living at home, with a younger sibling and married parents, could have annual family income up to roughly $65,000 and still qualify for a fee waiver.
While CSU and UC student fees continue to climb, the reduced fees would be locked in for community college students:
If the measure passes, it is likely that fees would remain at or near $15 per unit for many years. This is because at this level the Legislature could only increase the fee if per capita personal income exceeded 6.7 percent in any given year. (This has occurred just once in the past 20 years.)
Summary of Proposition 92 (Legislative Analyst)

Unused Sick Leave Goes Away When You Quit

Question from a represented employee:
Is it possible to convert my accumulated sick leave into service credit?

Answer (courtesy of Vice President for Representation Dennis Dillon):
Sick leave is a benefit that the employer provides. If an employee quits or is fired it disappears. If an employee is vested and retires under CalPERS their sick leave will convert into service credit. The employee would need to check with CalPERS for details.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ballot Initiative Threatens CSU and UC

Proposition 92 is the Community College funding initiative which appears on the February 5th ballot. It cuts fees by 25% and adds about $300 million in new funding for the Community College system, without providing a new source of revenue. That would leave the California State University vulnerable as one of only four places left to cut in the state budget.

The CSU and UC officially oppose the initiative. The SEIU California State Council opposes Proposition 92 with this statement:

We stand in support of California community colleges and their vital role in educating Californians. However, this proposition robs $70 million a year from our public schools to pay for community colleges, when both need more money. It is opposed by teachers and working families.
The Sacramento Bee writes:
Maybe the most blatant element of the initiative is that its funding growth formula would be decoupled from growth in community college enrollment – as it is now – and instead tied (again in convoluted ways) to the number of Californians in the college-going ages and to the state's unemployment rate. As a consequence, in the words of the legislative analyst, "there would be no direct relationship between required (community college) funding levels and actual student enrollment."

Pat Gantt Message About Governor's State of the State

Pat Gantt, President of California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), sent this message out to CSUEU officers this morning:

Dear CSUEU Board Members:

State of the State

Last night I listened intently to the Governor’s State of the State address for hints at what may happen to the CSU in the Governor’s Budget that will be released on January 10th. What I heard was a call to cut spending and not increase taxes. Obviously, the Governor was trying to reach out to conservatives that still hold tightly to the no tax pledge. The speech had little something everybody could like and he even referenced Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

The Governor did not overtly mention his idea for an insurance assessment to fund firefighting. Cutting firefighting in across the board cuts would not be acceptable due to the fires California experienced this last year and the call for more fire protection. So, the Governor is clearly using some cost shifting techniques to help on the revenue side. I will report more when the state budget is released and can identify direct impacts to the CSU and how the Chancellor and Trustees will react.

Please make an effort over the next 6 months to attend your campus budget committee meetings and observe how your campus deals with any budget impacts.

I have pasted below some articles that give a more complete overview of the state of the state speech:

Sacramento Bee: Analysis: Deficit shoves strategy to the right
Los Angeles Times: 'Wolf is back' at state budget door
Los Angeles Times: Gov. urges insurance assessment to fund firefighting

In Union,
Pat Gantt, President

The Governor's Budget Plans

Governor Schwarzenegger used his State of the State address to propose a state constitutional amendment he calls the Budget Stabilization Act, which would enable the executive branch to cut state spending on its own authority without having to go back to the legislature. As the Sacramento Bee describes it:

The governor's plan would trigger automatic cuts if the Department of Finance determines the state is facing a deficit in November, January or June of each year. If the deficit is 1 percent or less, state agencies would have to cut costs by 2 percent. If the deficit is more than 1 percent, agencies would have to cut by 5 percent.

Based on advice he received from President Clinton, who used a similar mechanism in Arkansas, Schwarzenegger has proposed that the Legislature establish a list of cuts in advance that the state would have to install anytime it incurs a deficit.

The governor plans to declare a fiscal emergency on Thursday, and unveil a more detailed budget plan then. While the governor has said he won't raise taxes, the Los Angeles Times reports he plans to impose new fees on residential and business insurance bills to raise money for firefighting:
The plan, which the insurance industry has agreed to support, would cost California property owners and renters $12.50 for every $1,000 in insurance premiums, for a projected $125 million.
The administration describes the levy as a fee and not a tax. A tax would require approval from a two-thirds majority in the legislature, while a fee only requires majority approval.
The charge would be added to an existing 2.35% premium tax on property insurance policies. That tax, which is not earmarked for any particular program, generated $216 million for the state budget in 2006, according to the Department of Insurance.
The governor has indicated he will propose across-the-board cuts; we will know more after his proposal tomorrow. The CSU has not fared well in previous budget crises. From CFA's news release:
During the previous budget crisis, the CSU was cut by a half billion dollars. The state universities never recovered that lost funding so in inflation-adjusted dollars, the CSU budget remains below the 2002 level. As a result, the CSU turned away eligible students, cut classes, and increased class size, all of which resulted in longer times to graduation. Most importantly, these cuts threatened the faculty’s ability to offer quality education.