Wednesday, May 21, 2008

LSS Bargaining Update

CSUEU and CSU bargained over the implementation of the Library Services Specialist (LSS) classification on May 6-7. Here's the bargaining report:

CSUEU Rejects CSU Roadmap

On May 7, 2008, the CSU Employees Union rejected the CSU roadmap proposal, in large part over compensation issues involving employees moving into the new LSS series. As an alternative, we presented our first counter-proposal to the CSU proposal of February 18, 2008.

It goes without saying that the union strongly believes that employees moving into the new LSS series should be adequately compensated for their skills, experience and education. Our counter-proposal provides that:
  • All library assistants (LAs) should update their position descriptions within 60 days.
  • Campuses conduct desk audits within 90 days of the receipt of the position descriptions.
  • The CSU shall consider an employee's job duties, skills, experience and educational background both for placement in the appropriate Library Services Specialist (LSS) classification and for setting of the appropriate salary rate for that classification.
  • The Salary Range Spread for the LSS classification shall be increased from 50% to 60%.
  • Lead Library Assistants have the option of moving into the appropriate LSS classification.
  • LAs and Lead LAs who move into the LSS classification shall receive at least 10% increases to their salary rates.
  • If a Lead Library Assistant elects to remain in a Lead LA classification, the position will be filled with the appropriate Unit 9 classification once the position is vacated.
  • There will be no changes to the status quo until bargaining over LSS implementation is completed.
CSUEU has rejected the CSU's roadmap because it completely omits salary increases, even for those LAs who have been working out of class for many years – which could be interpreted to mean that the CSU does not believe that employees moving into the new LSS series should be adequately compensated. After some discussion at the bargaining table, however, the CSU has acknowledged that those employees who are reclassified because they are performing out-of-class work should be appropriately compensated. The hitch: they have gone on record with their assertion – false from the CSUEU's perspective – that most of the LAs have not been working out-of-class. The next bargaining session is scheduled for August 2008.

Meanwhile, the extraordinary organizing efforts of students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni who are part of the Alliance for the CSU have started to pay off, as evidenced by the fact that in the May Revise Governor Schwarzenegger has just restored $97.6 million to the CSU budget. This is good news, but it still leaves the CSU budget with cuts of $288 million.

In this environment, it may be difficult to adequately compensate Library Services Specialists. Those cuts must be rescinded to protect the livelihoods of Library Services Specialists and indeed of all CSU employees.

What can you do?
  • Start preparing your revised position description based on the new LSS standards.
  • Request support from your chapter leadership in providing a position description workshop.
  • Enlist the support of your Library Dean/Library Director in communicating to the Chancellor's Office that LSSs need to be appropriately compensated.
  • Support the Alliance for the CSU and take part in its calls for action, including writing letters to your legislators and local newspaper editors.
  • Get educated about the budget process and about all the programs that are risk with this year's proposed cuts.

Warning: Expect the personal information you provide on the Alliance cards and web form to be provided to others without your knowledge or consent. When asked, the Alliance said they might release people's personal information – without notice – to the CSU administration, but stated they would not release it to anyone else, including unions. In fact it turns out the Alliance is releasing information to at least one union, CSUEU. The Alliance does not allow you to opt out of this information release. At this time, the Alliance does not post a privacy policy on their web site, or otherwise disclose how they will use your information.

If your chapter collects cards, or urges people to sign up on the Alliance web site, please warn people that their personal information may be released to others without notice. Employees should not provide any information they don't want given away to unknown third parties, including personal home or cell phone numbers, or personal email addresses. If you do fill out the Alliance card or web form, we suggest providing only your work contact information: campus mailing address, campus phone, and campus email address. An alternative would be for a group to select someone to act as a sacrifical lamb who will give up their personal information to the Alliance, and forward the action emails they receive from the Alliance to the rest of the group.


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