Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CFA Releases Report on CSU's Economic Impact

The California Faculty Association (CFA) has released a report by Blue Sky Consulting Group on the CSU's impact on the state's economy. CFA says the report finds that the Governor's proposed budget cuts to the CSU will have long term negative impact on the state's fiscal health.

From the CFA press release:

"Examining the Fiscal, Economic, and Social Impacts of the California State University," prepared by Tim Gage, Matt Newman and Trisha McMahon of Blue Sky Consulting Group, takes 21 in-depth studies of higher education and applies them to the largest public four-year university system in the nation, the California State University.

The report card? The California State University gets A's for effort on behalf of the economy and people of California. It excels at granting large numbers of four-year degrees in fields vital to California's innovative economy, for yearly contributions to regional economies, and for getting degrees into the hands of people who in other states would never get them.

But the governor's proposed budget gets low marks. His plan to cut $386 million from the CSU in 2008/09 would mean unsatisfactory progress, and could mean California becomes a drop-out from its world-class standing among leading, and successful, economies.

Communications Specialist Hired

Phillip Coonley, CSUEU Chief of Staff, says our Communications Specialist will start May 19th:

To: CSUEU Board of Directors and Staff


I am pleased to announce the appointment of John Watson to the new Communications Specialist position. John comes to us with extensive public relations and media relations expertise and is very excited to become part of our team. He will begin May 19, and you will be seeing an immediate impact to our communications program, including, but not limited to:
  • Weekly e-mail blasts.
  • More frequently updated web content.
  • Centralization of e-mail addresses.
He will be working with the communications committee on both short and long-range strategic planning. We plan on using his media relations expertise to get our name into the public eye and educate the public on the importance of our work.

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

Monday, April 28, 2008

SJSU President Finalists Meet Campus Next Week

The three candidates for president of San José State University will meet the campus community next week, on May 6, 7, and 8. Open forums will be held each day from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Engineering Room 189. One candidate, Eduardo M. Ochoa, is currently Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Sonoma; the other two are from outside the CSU system.

The CSU says [t]he CSU Board of Trustees will interview the three finalists on May 12 and name the new San José State president later that week. The trustees will set the president’s salary at a subsequent board meeting. The CSU Board of Trustees meets on May 13 and 14, with a two-month gap before its next scheduled meeting on July 15.

Among the personal characteristics listed in the position statement: The president should … have a sense of humor.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

CalPERS Losing Chief Investment Officer

California Public Employees’ Retirement System's (CalPERS) Chief Investment Officer, Russell Read, has announced his resignation effective June 30, 2008. The CalPERS press release states Read is resigning to pursue his long-standing interest in environmental and cleantech investing.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Read's position will be filled on an interim basis by Anne Stausboll, currently the chief investment operating officer of CalPERS. No time line was given for permanently replacing Read, whose annual salary is listed at $555,360.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chancellor Says No Layoffs?

Sacramento State's student newspaper, the State Hornet, has published an opinion piece describing a conversation between Hornet editors and two CSU officials, Chancellor Charles Reed and Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez. The bulk of the article is about campus happenings and budget lobbying, with admiring references to the executives' demeanor.

Three paragraphs from the end it gets interesting:

Reed assured the Hornet that the CSU system would not layoff employees if there were budget cuts, however, vacant positions would not be filled due to the lack of funds. …

Reed did say that future contracts would need to be renegotiated if the CSU budget was slashed.

LSS Letters Sent to Library Assistants

CSUEU has sent letters to Library Assistants regarding the upcoming bargaining for the implementation of the Library Services Specialists (LSS) classification. The letters sent to non-members included a postscript inviting them to join the union. Here's the text of the letter:

Hello CSU Library Assistants/Library Services Specialists!

As you may already know, on January 24, 2008, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled that the proposed classification of Library Services Specialist (LSS) should be placed in Bargaining Unit (BU) 9.

The next step is for CSUEU and CSU to negotiate over the impact of the placement of the LSS classification in BU 9. Typically, there is a three-step process involved with creation of a new classification or the revision of an existing classification:

  • Develop classification standards - ACCOMPLISHED
  • Seek approval of the Public Employment Relations Board for the placement of the new/revised classifications in the appropriate bargaining unit - ACCOMPLISHED
  • Bargain with the CSU over the impact of the new/revised classifications – IN PROCESS

CSUEU has assembled a great Bargaining Team to carry your message: Pat Gantt, CSUEU President; Dennis Dillion, VP for Representation; Annel Martin, Chair of Unit 7; Rich McGee, Chair of Unit 9; Rocky Waters, Vice Chair of Unit 9; Joan Kennedy, LA III (SLO); Jennifer O’Neal-Watts, LA III (Sacramento); Joseph Corica, LA III (East Bay); Christine Thomas, LA IV (Pomona); and Chief Negotiator Teven Laxer (CSUEU staff). Our first meeting has been scheduled for May 6 & 7 2008, in Long Beach.

The CSUEU bargaining team will negotiate with the CSU over the impact of the new series. The issues to be negotiated include the salary ranges for the new LSS series and the placement of incumbent Library Assistants within those salary ranges. We are hopeful that salary adjustments will be negotiated to benefit ALL employees in this new classification. We believe our members deserve more than the status quo for this significant transition from BU 7 to BU 9.

We wanted you all to be informed as to the process that lies ahead of us this year. With this terrific Bargaining Team we have on hand, rest assured that your issues will be addressed confidently and efficiently.

Included with this letter is a list of FAQ’s that may answer some of your questions. If not, please contact one of the members of this spirited Bargaining Team!

In addition, we are compiling information on Library Assistant salaries in institutions comparable to the CSU. If you would like to help, send Chief Negotiator Teven Laxer: the name of the employer, the position advertised, the CSU equivalent, the advertised salary range, and date of the announcement. If any of you have contacts in outside libraries, and are able to get specific information on incumbents, try to find out how many Library Assistants are employed, by position, and what the salary ranges, average and median salaries are for each position. If you can think of other information we should be seeking prior to our May meeting, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President
Joan Kennedy, Library Assistant III
Dennis Dillion, VP for Representation
Jennifer O’Neal-Watts, Library Assistant III
Annel Martin, Chair of Unit 7
Joseph Corica, Library Assistant III
Rich McGee, Chair of Unit 9
Christine Thomas, Library Assistant IV
Rocky Waters, Vice Chair of Unit 9
Teven Laxer, Chief Negotiator

A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list was included; see the link below for the full text.

Note: CSUEU does not receive automatic address updates from the CSU. If your address changes, you should notify CSUEU as well as CSU so you don't miss out on any exciting union mail. You can change your address online with CSUEU's change of address form, or by sending a letter to:
1108 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Attn: Membership


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Students Rally Against CSU Budget Cuts

Students from around the state rallied at the state capitol yesterday, urging the governor and legislature to find a budget solution without draconian cuts to higher education. Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi told students to tell the legislature: Kick us out, we'll vote you out.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said raising taxes was the answer:

"This is not a complicated problem," Perata said. "We need to raise taxes to continue educating Californians. It's no more complicated than that. A small increase in taxes will guarantee you the right to an education and it will guarantee me that there will be people around to pay Social Security taxes when I'm collecting it."
Ventura County Star

Students also picketed the governor's Los Angeles office.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Senior Labor Relations Representative Job Posting

Here's the text of a recent CSUEU job posting for a Senior Labor Relations Representative (SLRR) on Union Jobs Clearinghouse:


The California State University Employees Union, a CSEA Affiliate, has an opening for a Senior Labor Relations Representative. The primary duties of this position are performing the most difficult and complex labor relations functions, organizing and analyzing research data, exercising independent judgment in the implementation of major programs within CSUEU, and providing recommendations to carry out the objectives of the CSUEU. This position will also include statewide responsibilities, evening and weekend work, and direct member representation. The successful candidate must have a two year degree and a minimum of one year of experience in representation for employer/employee relations. Possession of valid California driver's license and automobile is required.

Please send your résumé to with salary requirements and availability.

Excellent medical dental, vision, and pension benefits are offered with this position!

Here's the posting from Career Builder:

Description: Labor Relations Representative

The California State University Employees Union, a CSEA Affiliate, has an opening for a Senior Labor Relations Representative.

The primary duties of the Labor Relations Rep are:
  • Performing the most difficult and complex labor relations functions Organizing and analyzing research data
  • Exercising independent judgment in the implementation of major programs within CSUEU
  • Providing recommendations to carry out the objectives of the CSUEU
  • Negotiating CSEA bargaining unit contracts, including meet and confers and/or resolution of contract disputes
  • Statistical as well as additional research
  • Exercising independant judgment in the implementation of major programs within the Association
  • Preparing and recommending programs to carry out the objectives of the Association

Requirements: Labor Relations Representative

The Requirements for the Labor Relations Representative will also include:

  • Statewide responsibilities
  • Evening and weekend work
  • Direct member representation

The successful candidate must have:

  • A two year degree and a minimum of one year of experience in representation for employer/employee relations.
  • 4 years of experience in representation in employer/employee relations
  • Possession of valid California driver’s license and automobile is required.

Benefits Include:
Excellent medical dental, vision, and pension benefits are offered with this position!

This position is open because one of CSUEU's two SLRR's resigned recently to become Director of Labor Relations at CSU Chico.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Restraining Order Against SEIU Stalkers; SEIU Protesters Attack at Labor Conference

Nurses from California have obtained a restraining order against Service Employees International Union (SEIU) after being stalked and harassed at their homes. This follows a weekend incident where SEIU protesters got physical in their effort to disrupt a labor conference, injuring one retiree badly enough to send her to the hospital.

Restraining Order Against SEIU to Protect Nurses

In a California Progress Report piece, California Nurses Association (CNA) President Deborah Burger provided examples of the intimidation which drove CNA to requesting the restraining order:

Thursday afternoon, CNA/NNOC Board member Margie Keenan, RN was home alone when she peered out her window to see four SEIU staff. When they saw her they started "screaming and trying to scare me" Kennan explained. She later learned that SEIU staff had first gone to her nursing unit in a Long Beach, Ca. hospital trying to find her.

A second CNA/NNOC Board member Debbie Cuaresma, RN found five young SEIU staff show up at her house taunting and yelling first at her, then at her daughter. "I am appalled that five bullies would come to my house with cameras and hurl abuse at my daughter. I believe this to be nothing less than a violation of my family's privacy," she says.

Burger sees SEIU's recent actions as a continuation of a pattern of SEIU's paternalistic attitude toward a predominantly female workforce, citing the recent case in Ohio as one example. The Ohio episode involved a backroom deal SEIU signed with a Catholic hospital chain ... under which the employer filed for an election without a single signed union card from RNs or other employees and even barring the employees from discussing the vote. The employer and SEIU cancelled the election when their shoddy deal was exposed and it was apparent they had only minimal support from those employees SEIU was purporting to represent.

Burger condemns SEIU's strategy of trading concessions for organizing rights, arguing the deals work against the interests of health care workers and the patients they care for:

  • Under a 2003 pact in California, SEIU agreed to oppose legislation requiring nursing homes to provide enough staff to keep patients safe and healthy, and to not report health care violations to state regulators except in extreme cases when required by law.
  • Five years later, according to a report cited in the Los Angeles Times this week, despite increased state funding for nursing homes, the direct result of SEIU lobbying, nursing homes are spending less in California on direct patient care, and reports of patient mistreatment have shot up.
  • Similarly, in partnership with hospital corporations, SEIU lobbied in California against the RN-to-patient minimum ratio law, and worked to erode the law after it was enacted.
  • In New York, SEIU joined with the Greater New York Hospital Association in supporting the closure of more than a dozen hospitals and nursing homes, proudly issuing a joint statement that "We are surely the only hospital association and health-care workers union in the history of the United States to support a process that could lead to the downsizing of our own industry."

SEIU Violence at Labor Notes Conference

On Saturday, hundreds of SEIU protesters broke into the 2008 Labor Notes Conference banquet in Dearborn, Michigan, sending at least one retired auto industry worker, Dianne Feeley, to the hospital with a head wound. SEIU boasts in a press release of sending over 800 SEIU members to disrupt the dinner, omitting apologies for or even mention of the violence, and characterizes the melee as [standing] up for the future of the labor movement.

The Labor Notes article on the incident notes that SEIU is not the first union to protest at the event, but they were the only one, in 29 years, to storm [the] conference, or assault the brothers and sisters who attend it. The Labor Notes report says:

It is important to note that SEIU’s planned disruption would have frightened and intimidated hundreds of union members who are not party to their dispute with CNA. In the crowded banquet hall, in which there was barely room between tables; in the panic people undoubtedly would have been injured. As it was, the entire waitstaff, members of UNITE HERE Local 24, fled. We are grateful to the conference-goers whose quick thinking managed to keep the protest contained.

The eyewitness accounts are frightening, describing SEIU protesters knocking people to the ground and trampling them, hitting people with their signs, and shouting and banging on the doors with fists and signs.

CSUEU is SEIU Local 2579.


CSEA Board Meeting Results

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, reports on last weekend's CSEA Board of Directors meeting:

Last weekend, Pat, myself and Dennis (sitting for Lori) attended the CSEA Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento. All items on the agenda were passed as printed.


I have attached the emergency items which were submitted after the cut-off time for printing and mailing of the CSEA agendas. All items were passed as printed except for FIS 6/08/2 (Grant), which was passed with an amendment to direct that environmental issues from installing the new press be resolved (a small pit in the ground floor of the Printing Services facility at 930 R St. needs to be excavated for installation of the new printing press).

Of particular note is item GA 4/08/2 (Gantt). This was passed, so CSEA now officially endorses and supports the Alliance for the California State University.

We link to a text copy of the emergency agenda items below, along with the original image PDF of the emergency items which accompanied Ronnie's email.


Friday, April 11, 2008

SEIU Members Sue SEIU Over Free Speech

Several healthcare workers who are members of United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) have sued Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in federal court for violations of their federal rights to speak freely and to participate in union activities. The suit alleges the workers have been subject to conduct by the SEIU designed to limit, inhibit and chill their exercise of their rights of free speech and equal participation as active members and advocates for democratic policies within their union and in retaliation for their intent to engage in such advocacy at the convention of the defendant SEIU on June 2-4, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

UHW is SEIU's fastest-growing local. Troubled by SEIU's top-down approach, the UHW Board has endorsed a Platform for Change which UHW delegates will take to the SEIU Convention in Puerto Rico. UHW members recently rallied at the Oakland and Los Angeles offices of SEIU, and picketed SEIU's Washington offices.

SEIU has lately taken what look to be the first steps toward placing UHW into trusteeship. As the San Francisco Bay Guardian put it, [SEIU President Andy] Stern operatives are using their money and organizing clout in a hard-hitting campaign — not to force an employer to the table or to toss out an anti-union politician, but to discredit another labor leader. Placing UHW in trusteeship would keep the elected UHW delegates out of the SEIU Convention in June. UHW will have one of the largest delegations at the Convention.

CSUEU is SEIU Local 2579.


Purchasing Power Program

Recently there's been some confusion and misinformation circulating about the Purchasing Power program, how it works, what it costs, and who benefits.

Purchasing Power is a program offered through CSEA Member Benefits. The program allows CSEA members to purchase computers and other electronics through payroll deduction. The payroll deduction is spread over 12 months, and requires no credit check. On a sample Dell system, the cost using Purchasing Power payroll deduction was about 13.7% higher than paying up front at the time of purchase.

For people who want to spread the cost of a purchase out over a year, and who either don't have low-interest credit available or prefer to keep it free for other things, this program can be a good option. As of this morning, 653 CSEA members have taken advantage of this member benefit. CSEA and its affiliates do not profit from this program.

Potential member benefit offerings are investigated by the CSEA Member Benefits Committee with the support of staff. The Member Benefits Committee is composed of volunteers from all the CSEA affiliates, and Committee meetings are open. Anyone interested in how member benefits are selected is encouraged to attend the meetings or contact members of the Committee. CSUEU members on the Member Benefits Committee are Peggy O'Neil-Rosales and Richard McGee.

CSUEU is an affiliate of CSEA; CSUEU members are CSEA members and are eligible for CSEA member benefit programs.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

CalPERS Investment Restriction Bill On Hold

AB 1967, which would prohibit CalPERS and CalSTRS investments in private equity companies whose other investors do not pass certain human rights treaties tests, was pulled from the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security hearing schedule yesterday by its author, Alberto Torrico (D-Fremont).

This followed an editorial in the Los Angeles Times by Governor Schwarzenegger subtitled California can't afford a symbolic divestment that won't affect human rights. The governor, who previously signed legislation blocking investment in Sudan and Iran, calls this proposal an ineffective way to demonstrate California's concern and says it would cause more problems than it purports to solve. Schwarzenegger points to the losses to California's retirement funds ($12 billion in 10 years to CalPERS alone), and says the resulting unfunded liabilities would require cutting other government services, such as public safety, health and human services and education.

KQED quotes the head of CalSTRS as saying If you are denied access, by law, to the best performing investment players, by definition you’re going to start putting your money in mediocre investments.

The bill analysis lists SEIU as the sponsor, with SEIU Local 1000 as the other supporter.

CSUEU is SEIU Local 2579; CSUEU members are SEIU members.


AB 2940 Moves to Appropriations

AB 2940 has passed the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security and been referred to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

AB 2940 would create the California Financial Advantage Account Program (CFAAP), administered by CalPERS, to provide retirement savings opportunities to California's private sector employees.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

AB 2940 Would Open CalPERS to Private Sector

Assembly Bill 2940, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, would open CalPERS to the private sector:

AB 2940 would allow Californians whose employers don't offer retirement savings plans to put money into the California Employee Savings Program.

Employers without retirement plans could also participate.

The retirement plan, unlike 401(k) plans, could be taken by the worker from job to job. If the plan is approved by the Internal Revenue Service, CalPERS would administer it with fees paid by the account holders, at no expense to taxpayers.

An income test originally in the bill is being removed. Today the bill goes before the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security. CalPERS is analyzing the bill and has not yet taken a position on it.


Pomona and Chico Rallies

Pomona and Chico wrapped up the statewide CSU budget rallies yesterday. Many thanks to Vicky McLeod from Chapter 319 (Pomona) and Scott Dickerson from Chapter 302 (Chico) for sharing the information below.


At yesterday's Cal Poly Pomona budget rally, CSUEU Chapter 319 President Deborah Campbell did an awesome job addressing the crowd, according to Chapter Vice President Vicky McLeod. Campbell described staff as the backbone of the university, focused on providing high quality support to students. While staff workload increases, pay continues to lag, with some employees working two jobs or relying on government assistance to make ends meet. She made a point of recognizing audience members in units 2, 5, 7, and 9, asking for a show of hands and garnering loud applause and yells. Campbell finished by joining other speakers in urging the audience to fill out the Alliance cards and get involved in the fight against massive CSU budget cuts.

Chapter officers Christine Thomas, Rocky Sanchez, Vaughn Lucas, Loretta Villanueva, Reggie Keys, and Vicky McLeod, along with chapter LRR Brenda Brown, worked the tables and walked around handing out and picking up Alliance pledge cards and other information. Other speakers at the event were campus President Michael Ortiz, Trustee Monville, Associated Students representatives, and representatives from Bargaining Units 1, 4, and 3.

Pomona coverage:
April 11 update:
Vicky McLeod kindly provided a link to this writeup on the Cal Poly Pomona site:
Nearly 1,000 Attend Budget Forum

The story features a nice photo of Chapter President Deborah Campbell, and a quote from her speech:
"Three years after barely recuperating from major cuts to the CSU budget, we are once again wrestling with a proposal that will cut deep into the fiber of each of our lives," she said. "We cannot sustain additional cuts, further staff reduction, or attempts to undermine our valuable, trained staff."


At Chico, Chapter 302 Unit 9 Representative Scott Dickerson reports that Chico State President Paul Zingg's passionate speech about working together to make a difference reflected an optimism not heard from a Chico State president in years. President Zingg offered a $250.00 personal check to Associated Students President Osazee Edebiri to help charter a bus for the April 21 California State Students Association march in Sacramento.

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, reminded the crowd of the harmful budget decisions made by Governor Schwarzenegger, which are now affecting the "discretionary funds" earmarked for the CSU.

Chico coverage:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Organizing Committee Agenda for May 2-3 Meeting

The statewide CSUEU Organizing Committee meets May 2-3 at Pomona. This is an open meeting; you do not have to be a Committee member to attend. (CSUEU Committee meetings are always open meetings, except in limited circumstances provided for in the policy file.)

Here's the text of the agenda sent out by the Committee Chair, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing Ronnie Grant:

CSUEU Statewide Organizing Committee Agenda

Friday, May 2, 2008: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 3, 2008: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Kellogg West Conference Center
at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
3801 W. Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768

  1. Call to Order Ronnie L. Grant
  2. Announcements and Introductions Committee members
  3. Approval of minutes Ronnie L. Grant
  4. Development of a 2009 contract campaign plan Committee members
  5. New Business

The CSUEU Statewide Organizing Committee consists of:
  • Ronnie L. Grant, Vice President for Organizing, Chair
  • Olga Camarillo, Organizing Committee Chair, Chapter 308
  • Adriana Petterz, Organizing Committee Chair, Chapter 315
  • Vera Vasquez, Organizing Committee Chair, Chapter 316
  • Deborah Campbell, President, Chapter 319
  • Charles Constantine, President, Chapter 323
  • Patrick N. Gantt, President, Ex-Officio
  • Brenda C. Brown, Labor Relations Representative, Staff Assigned
  • Michael Hejazi, Labor Relations Representative, Staff Assigned


Impasse for Unit 13 Bargaining

CSUEU and CSU have declared impasse in contract bargaining for Unit 13. Unit 13 consists of English Language Program Instructors at CSU Los Angeles. Here's the bargaining update from headquarters:

Impasse Declared in Negotiations
Mediation Scheduled in June

After nearly two years of bargaining, the CSU Employees Union and the CSU are still not in agreement over basic issues such as appointment, reappointment, hours of work, salary, paid leave, performance evaluations, leaves of absence, office space and instructional material.

The parties exchanged conceptual proposals over the last three months that we thought would bring us closer together. Unfortunately, that did not happen. CSU and CSUEU believe that the assistance of a neutral mediator would be helpful and productive. Mediation is scheduled for the following dates:

  • June 10 – 11
  • July 8 – 9
  • July 22 – 23

So far, we have reached agreement on the following articles:
  • 1 Recognition
  • 4 Effect of Agreement
  • 6 Concerted Activities
  • 11 Personnel Files
  • 12 Corrective Action
  • 23 Health and Safety
  • 25 Non-discrimination

We have not yet reached an agreement on the following articles:
  • 12 Definitions
  • 3 Management Rights
  • 5 Union Rights
  • 7 Grievance Procedure
  • 9 Employee Status
  • 10 Employee Performance
  • 13 Resignation
  • 14 Vacations/Holidays
  • 16 LOA without pay
  • 18 Hours of Work
  • 20 Salary
  • 21 Benefits
  • 22 Professional Development
  • 24 Layoff
  • 27 Labor-Mgt Committee
  • 28 Family Medical Leave
  • 30 Instructional Materials

The State Mediation and Conciliation Services Department has appointed Tony Butka to mediate between the sides and try to reach an agreement. A mediator cannot force a settlement on the parties. The mediator attempts to find areas of common agreement that can lead to a settlement. If the mediator is unable to persuade the parties to compromise, then a fact-finding panel is created.

During mediation, the parties are bound by rules of confidentiality. Your bargaining team will be able to give you a general idea about what issues we are dealing with, but we won’t be able to provide you with much detail. We will give you more information after our first mediation session.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Bakersfield Budget Rally: $386 Million Cut Means $1.7 Billion Loss

CSU Bakersfield held their campus budget rally yesterday. CSU Bakersfield president Horace Mitchell cited the 4:1 return on CSU funding to the state's economy and highlighted the corresponding impact of the proposed CSU cuts:

If you look at that in terms of the proposed cut of 386.1 million dollars, it means that there will be a corresponding loss to the economy of 1.7 billion dollars.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Audit: $742 Meal for Chancellor's Office

The Bureau of State Audits has released report I2008-1, titled Investigations of Improper Activities by State Employees: July 2007 Through December 2007. From the executive summary:

The California State University, Chancellor’s Office (university), wasted over $590 in state funds by allowing a manager to purchase an expensive meal for herself and five other university employees in violation of the university’s internal procedures governing reimbursement for travel expenses and meal allowances.
The actual cost of the meal, which took place at a Santa Monica restaurant after a meeting, was $742. The $592 cited in the report as waste was the amount over the $25 per person limit for dinner expenses. The meal was paid for with a university-issued credit card, and the expense was approved. The CSU later reversed that approval, recovered the entire amount of the dinner from the manager, and admonished the manager’s department supervisors to more closely scrutinize questionable charges and claims submitted by employees.


Unit 9 Arbitration: for Stewards

Headquarters has distributed copies of a stipulated arbitration award in a case involving a Unit 9 employee. The case involved an employee who was not reappointed after serving five years full time as a temporary employee with no break in service and no change in classification. Hubert Lloyd was the Labor Relations Representative on the case.

Chapter presidents and chief stewards were requested to share it with chapter stewards. Stewards who don't receive a copy of the case from their chapter may wish to contact their bargaining unit chair or vice chair for a copy instead.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Alliance Budget Presentation (PowerPoint)

Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, has sent out a copy of the PowerPoint presentation prepared by the Alliance for the CSU:

I have enclosed the Powerpoint presentation that is being used at the campus budget meetings. Feel free to show it in your chapter meetings also to assist in mobilizing the members and the public to advocate for a fully funded CSU budget.
Alliance for the CSU Budget Presentation [PowerPoint]

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

CalPERS Long-Term Care Open Enrollment

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) open enrollment period for the Long Term Care program begins today and runs through June 30, 2008. Three levels of plans, each with a choice of benefit levels, are available.

Extended family members, including spouses, parents, parents-in-law, and adult brothers and sisters, are eligible. The application kit details the options available under the plan; call (800) 338-2244 to receive one.

The CalPERS members' Long Term Care Program page offers a information guide and an online monthly rate calculator. (You will have to declare yourself a CSU employee before CalPERS will let you see the page.)

The CalPERS Long Term Care program is not-for-profit and self-funded.


Local 1000 Ordered to Repay Improperly Collected Fees

SEIU Local 1000 has been ordered to repay fees it collected from non-members without proper notice. From the Sacramento Bee:

Judge Morrison England, in a decision Thursday, ordered Service Employees International Union Local 1000 to send notices to the workers who opted out of union membership. The union must issue refunds, with interest, to those non-union members who object to the special assessment. The rebate would amount to $135 plus interest for a worker who made $4,500 a month in 2005.

The special fee raised $12 million to fight Schwarzenegger's agenda, about a quarter of which was paid by state workers who chose not to join the union.

The fee was imposed in 2005 to raise money for political activity, and had not been included in the annual Hudson notice* to non-members:

Federal case law has established that workers who opt out of union membership have a constitutional right to block the union from spending their dues to contribute to candidates or express political views.

In 2005, the union issued an annual notice describing how union dues would be spent in the coming year and giving non-union employees the chance to challenge being charged for activities not related to the union's costs of representing them in collective bargaining.

The notice did not mention the special assessment. But in July, the union proposed a fee of 0.25 percent, on top of the normal 1 percent of salary, to pay for television and radio advertising, direct mail and other actions to defeat the Schwarzenegger-backed initiatives. The fee was called "an Emergency Temporary Assessment to Build a Political Fight-Back Fund."

A Local 1000 spokesman was quoted as saying the ruling hurts free speech. Non-members in the affected bargaining units will now receive belated notice of the fee:

The union now has two months to send out a proper notification of the 2005 assessment. Workers who are not members of the union will then have 45 days to object to the fee and get refunds.

*Hudson notices are named after a 1986 case, Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, and are also called "agency fee notices." Notices are sent to non-members who are required to pay fees to the union. The notices explain the fees, break down chargeable and non-chargeable expenses, and describe how non-members can object to having their fees used for activities not related to collective bargaining. Objectors pay only the portion of the agency fee which is used for collective bargaining or related activities (germane expenses). Like Local 1000, CSUEU sends Hudson notices to non-members each year. If you're curious to see what one looks like, we link to the CFA Hudson notice below as an example. (CSUEU's and Local 1000's Hudson notices do not seem to be available online.)

SEIU Local 1000 represents about 90,000 state civil service workers in several different bargaining units. Local 1000, like CSUEU, is part of the California State Employees Association (CSEA).


Channel Islands Budget Rally

Thursday's budget rally at the Channel Islands campus was standing room only, with a turnout of 450 (out of a total of 4,225 total students, staff, and faculty). Campus president Richard Rush emphasized the impact of the proposed budget cuts on students. From the Ventura County Star:

"This budget denies access, denies opportunity and denies what we here at CSU Channel Islands focus on, which is student success," said President Richard Rush, one of the speakers. "This is not preparing us for the future. This is denying the future."
From the Pacific Coast Business Times:
"The CSU has still not recovered from previous budget cuts, and all of the gains that we have made to increase enrollment in recent years, particularly students from underserved communities, will be devastated by another round of severe budget cuts," Rush said.