Friday, August 29, 2008

Pat Gantt About Alliance Action Alert

From Pat Gantt, CSUEU President, regarding last night's Alliance for the CSU Action Alert email:

TO: CSUEU Board, Legislative and Communication committees and CSUEU Assigned Staff

I am forwarding an email from the Alliance for the CSU that came in last night. Please share with our members and encourage they make a couple of phone calls. The talking points are in the message. The proposed budget the Senate will be voting on does not fund the CSU fully and any spending cap could harm future budgets.

Link

Alliance Action Alert: Action Needed Today

The Alliance for the CSU sent out this alert last night.

Editor's note: The legislative roster in this message is based on campus location, and should not be expected to identify which legislators represent you personally. If you're not sure of your district or legislators, you can look up your legislators based on your (residence, not mailing) ZIP code.

URGENT ACTION ALERT
STATE BUGET ACTION

It appears that the California State Legislature may be approaching a final budget vote before the weekend. Your urgent action is needed!

As you know, our efforts persuaded the Governor to restore nearly $100 million for the CSU into the May Revise but measures are now being considered by the legislature that could have a devastating effect on future CSU budgets.

Budget Caps, Program Cuts, Borrowing and a "now you see it now you don't" tax increase/decrease:

One option being discussed is a "rainy day fund" that would, in fact, serve as a defacto budget cap limiting the legislature's authority to make decisions like restoring funds to the CSU.

The guidelines for this reserve would severely limit the prospects of restoring CSU funding even to 2002 levels leaving our campuses locked into terrible budgets for years to come. We will not be the only ones harmed – K-12, the poor and uninsured and other public social services will suffer.

In addition to a budget cap, other budget "solutions" include deep programmatic cuts that would have a devastating effect on services to children, families and seniors.

Also in the works are borrowing schemes that, in the past, have contributed to the state's current problems and a temporary sales tax increase that doesn't address the long-term needs of the state.

Please take a moment to let the legislature know that a de facto spending limit will not only do long-term harm to K-16 education and other essential public services, but will limit our ability to restore prosperity to the state; devastating cuts to children, families and seniors are unacceptable and temporary revenue increases are shortsighted.

Below is a chart containing the members of the legislature by campus…CALL THEM TODAY AND TELL THEM TO:

1. VOTE AGAINST ANY INCREASED STATE RESERVE THAT WILL FURTHER DEFUND OUR SOCIAL PROGRAMS AND CONTINUE TO INADEQUATELY FUND PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION;

2. REJECT DEEP CUTS TO PROGRAMS AFFECTING CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND SENIORS; AND

3. REJECT TEMPORARY REVENUE INCREASES THAT DON'T ADDRESS THE LONG-TERM NEEDS OF CALIFORNIA.

LEGISLATIVE ROSTER
CampusAssembly/SenateNameDistrict/PartyPhone
BASFlorez, Dean16 - D916 651 4016
BASRunner, George17 - R916 651 4017
BAAFuller, Jean32 - R916 319 2032
CHSAanestad, Sam04 - R916 651 4004
CHAKeene, Rick03 - R916 319 2003
CHALa Malfa, Doug02 - R916 319 2002
CISKuehl, Sheila23 - D916 651 4023
CISMcClintock, Tom19 - R916 651 4019
CIABrownley, Julia41 - D916 319 2041
CIAStrickland, Audra37 - R916 319 2037
DHSOropeza, Jenny28 - D916 651 4028
DHSRidley-Thomas, Mark26 - D916 651 4026
DHSVincent, Edward25 - D916 651 4025
DHADymally, Mervyn52 - D916 319 2052
DHAFurutani, Warren55 - D916 319 2055
DHALieu, Ted53 - D916 319 2053
DHAPrice, Curren51 - D916 319 2051
EBSCorbett, Ellen10 - D916 651 4010
EBSPerata, Don09 - D916 651 4009
EBSTorlakson, Tom07 - D916 651 4007
EBAHancock, Loni14 - D916 319 2014
EBAHayashi, Mary18 - D916 319 2018
EBAHouston, Guy15 - R916 319 2015
EBASwanson, Sandre16 - D916 319 2016
EBATorrico, Alberto20 - D916 319 2020
FRSCogdill, Dave14 - R916 651 4014
FRAArambula, Juan31 - D916 319 2031
FRAParra, Nicole30 - D916 319 2030
FRAVillines, Michael29 - R916 319 2029
FUSAckerman, Dick33 - R916 651 4033
FUSCorrea, Lou34 - D916 651 4034
FUADeVore, Chuck70 - R916 319 2070
FUADuvall, Michael72 - R916 319 2072
FUASolorio, Jose69 - D916 319 2069
FUASpitzer, Todd71 - R916 319 2071
FUATran, Van68 - R916 319 2068
HUSWiggins, Patricia02 - D916 651 4002
HUABerg, Patty01 - D916 319 2001
LASCedillo, Gilbert22 - D916 651 4022
LASRomero, Gloria24 - D916 651 4024
LASScott, Jack21 - D916 651 4021
LAABass, Karen47 - D916 319 2047
LAADavis, Mike48 - D916 319 2048
LAADe La Torre, Hector50 - D916 319 2050
LAAde Leon, Kevin45 -D916 319 2045
LAAEng, Mike49 - D916 319 2049
LAANunez, Fabian46 - D916 319 2046
LAAPortantino, Anthony44 - D916 319 2044
LBSCalderon, Ronald30 - D916 651 4030
LBSHarman, Tom35 - R916 651 4035
LBSLowenthal, Alan27 - D916 651 4027
LBACalderon, Charles58 - D916 319 2058
LBAKarnette, Betty54 - D916 319 2054
LBAMendoza, Tony56 - D916 319 2056
LBASilva, Jim67 - R916 319 2067
MAADeSaulnier, Mark11 - D916 319 2011
MAAEvans, Noreen07 - D916 319 2007
MBSMaldonado, Abel15 - R916 651 4015
MBACaballero, Anna28 - D916 319 2028
MBALaird, John27 - D916 319 2027
NOSPadilla, Alex20 - D916 651 4020
NOAFeuer, Mike42 - D916 319 2042
NOAFuentes, Felipe39 - D916 319 2039
NOAKrekorian, Paul43 - D916 319 2043
NOALevine, Lloyd40 - D916 319 2040
NOARunner, Sharon36 - R916 319 2036
NOASmyth, Cameron38 - R916 319 2038
POSMargett, Bob29 - R916 651 4029
POSNegrete McLeod, Gloria32 - D916 651 4032
POAAdams, Anthony59 - R916 319 2059
POAHernandez, Ed57 - D916 319 2057
POAHuff, Bob60 - R916 319 2060
POASoto, Nell61 - D916 319 2061
SASCox, Dave01 - R916 651 4001
SASSteinberg, Darrell06 - D916 651 4006
SAAGaines, Ted04 - R916 319 2004
SAAJones, Dave09 - D916 319 2009
SAANakanishi, Alan10 - R916 319 2010
SAANiello, Roger05 - R916 319 2005
SAAWolk, Lois08 - D916 319 2008
SBSDutton, Bob31 - R916 651 4031
SBABenoit, John64 - R916 319 2064
SBACarter, Wilmer Amina62 - D916 319 2062
SBACook, Paul65 - R916 319 2065
SBAEmmerson, Bill63 - R916 319 2063
SBAGarcia, Bonnie80 - R916 319 2080
SBAMaze, Bill34 - R916 319 2034
SDSDucheny, Denise40 - D916 651 4040
SDSKehoe, Christine39 - D916 651 4039
SDAAnderson, Joel77 - R916 319 2077
SDAHorton, Shirley78 - R916 319 2078
SDAPlescia, George75 - R916 319 2075
SDASalas, Mary79 - D916 319 2079
SDASaldana, Lori76 - D916 319 2076
SFSMigden, Carole03 - D916 651 4003
SFSYee, Leland08 - D916 651 4008
SFALeno, Mark13 - D916 319 2013
SFAMa, Fiona12 - D916 319 2012
SFAMullin, Gene19 - D916 319 2019
SJSAlquist, Elaine13 - D916 651 4013
SJSSimitian, Joe11 - D916 651 4011
SJABeall, Jim24 - D916 319 2024
SJACoto, Joe23 - D916 319 2023
SJALieber, Sally22 - D916 319 2022
SJARuskin, Ira21 - D916 319 2021
SLOSAshburn, Roy18 - R916 651 4018
SLOABlakeslee, Sam33 - R916 319 2033
SLOANava, Pedro35 - D916 319 2035
SMSBattin, Jim37 - R916 651 4037
SMSHollingsworth, Dennis36 - R916 651 4036
SMSWyland, Mark38 - R916 651 4038
SMAGarrick, Martin74 - R916 319 2074
SMAJeffries, Kevin66 - R916 319 2066
SMAWalters, Mimi73 - R916 319 2073
SOAHuffman, Jared06 - D916 319 2006
STSDenham, Jeff12 - R916 651 4012
STSMachado, Mike05 - D916 651 4005
STAAghazarian, Greg26 - R916 319 2026
STABerryhill, Tom25 - R916 319 2025
STAGalgiani, Cathleen17 - D916 319 2017

Your immediate action is needed and appreciated.


Privacy Warning About Alliance Sign-Up

Expect the personal information you provide on the Alliance cards and web form to be provided to others without your knowledge or consent. The Alliance has said that they might release people's personal information – without notice or permission – to the CSU administration, and it turns out the Alliance has released information to at least one union and one outside marketing firm. The Alliance does not allow you to opt out of having your personal information released. As of this morning, the Alliance still does not publish a privacy policy on their web site, or otherwise disclose how they will use your information or to whom they will release it.

If your chapter collects cards, or urges people to sign up on the Alliance web site, please advise 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 home or personal cell phone numbers, or personal email addresses. 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 front-line contact, who provides his or her personal information to the Alliance and then forwards the action emails to the rest of the group.

The (small, low-contrast) "privacy policy" link in the footer of the Alliance Action Alert email goes to the outside marketing company's privacy policy, not that of the Alliance for the CSU.

We will post Alliance email messages here as we receive them.

Links

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Michael Garrity Appointed to BUC 9

Michael Garrity, Bargaining Unit Representative 9 (BUR 9) at Chapter 305 (San Francisco), is joining Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9).

Laura Ann Bishop, from Bakersfield, resigned her positions as chapter BUR 9 and at-large member of BUC 9. With the concurrence of the BUC, Chair Rich McGee appointed Michael Garrity to the vacant seat.

Michael is a programmer/analyst and has worked for Enrollment Services (née Admissions and Records) during his entire 28-plus years at San Francisco State University.

He became a union activist, in the words of Abe Osheroff, Because the bastards will never cease their evil and the decent human beings will never stop their struggle. He says I consider helping my fellow workers (I am also a Wobbly) a privilege. Being allowed to help those who struggle to overcome oppression is a gift of great humility and trust from the worker seeking assistance.

Links

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chapter Organizing Grants Distributed

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, announced yesterday that the chapter organizing grants have been distributed:

If your Chapter applied for and was awarded a Chapter organizing grant, I have been advised that checks have already been deposited into your account by CSEA or mailed to your Chapter for you to deposit in your local bank account.

Grant requests totalled $50,493, and grants awarded total $10,000 (the amount budgeted). All chapters which applied received a grant. Chapters receiving grants are:

  • 301 Humboldt
  • 302 Chico
  • 303 Sacramento
  • 304 Sonoma
  • 305 San Francisco
  • 308 Stanislaus
  • 309 Fresno
  • 310 Bakersfield
  • 311 Los Angeles
  • 312 Northridge
  • 315 Long Beach
  • 316 San Luis Obispo
  • 319 Pomona
  • 321 San Marcos
  • 324 Channel Islands

Staff Update: Michael Hejazi

Phillip Coonley, CSUEU Chief of Staff, sent this announcement out yesterday afternoon:

TO: CSUEU BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND STAFF

I am writing to report that, despite our best efforts, we will not be able to keep Michael Hejazi in the US past September 19th.

Michael has been a huge asset to our organization. He has done everything asked of him and more. He has shown professionalism, diligence and responsiveness during his tenure at CSUEU and we will miss him greatly. I will be granting him a 6 month leave of absence so that in the unlikely event he is able to secure another visa, he can return to the CSUEU and continue to provide representation for our members.

My intention is to immediately post a one year temporary LRR position. I will use this position primarily to cover Monterey, San Jose and Sonoma.

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Union Plus Scholarship Applications Coming September 8

Union Plus offers scholarships for union members, their spouses, and dependent children attending higher education. Awards range from $500 to $4,000. Eligible schooling includes university, college, trade school or technical college, and graduate students are eligible. Applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor.

Applications will be available online beginning September 8, 2008. The application deadline is January 31, 2009.

You don't have to use any other Union Plus programs or products to be eligible for these scholarships.

CSUEU is SEIU Local 2579. As of this writing, CSUEU does not have its own listing in the Union Plus menus, so select SEIU as your union affiliation.

Links

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Layoff By Any Other Name

Just because a manager doesn't want to call it a layoff doesn't mean it isn't one.

A Hypothetical Example

Let's say, hypothetically, that a manager is shutting down a particular workgroup and eliminating the positions in that group. Let's further say, hypothetically, that the manager wants to get rid of the employees in the group without calling it a layoff.

Instead, the manager tells his employees that, even though their current positions are about to be eliminated, he's done them a big favor and found them temporary jobs elsewhere. The jobs may be in Foundation (where employees are unrepresented, with no contract and no one to speak for them), or they may be temporary positions within the bargaining unit, where the employee can be let go with little notice. They might even be permanent positions, but with a lower classification, pay rate, or time base.

Of course, the manager doesn't tell the employees he's trying to trick them into quitting their jobs, giving up their rights and benefits for nothing. He definitely doesn't tell employees about their rights under the layoff provisions of the contract, and the campus doesn't notify the union of a layoff.

When a steward gets wind of this, and starts asking questions, the manager insists it isn't a layoff, and that the employees are voluntarily choosing to leave their jobs and move to other positions.

A Camouflaged Layoff Is Still a Layoff

Guess what? It's still a layoff. The manager is trying con the employees into quitting their jobs, so that they lose all their rights, and he doesn't have to deal with union representatives who know the employees' rights. Removing an employee from stateside service this way equals a layoff, no matter how a campus tries to disguise it.

If a situation like this develops on your campus, contact your LRR and the bargaining team immediately. (If only one bargaining unit is involved, you can contact Dennis and the Chair and Vice Chair of the bargaining unit, rather than the whole team.) If you're not sure, err on the side of caution and sound the alarm sooner rather than later. The bargaining team will never mind hearing about a developing situation on your campus, but you could do real damage by waiting until the layoffs-by-another-name are already happening just because you're not sure.

The January article about layoffs has a quick overview of what all union officers and stewards should know.

Links

Monday, August 18, 2008

Technology Executives Urge Budget Support for Higher Education

In today's San Francisco Chronicle, two technology company executives urge support for higher education in the state budget:

As business leaders, we understand that investing in higher education is just as vital as investing in the latest equipment and technology. Our public colleges and universities are the foundation of California's business model, its blueprint for economic growth, its strategic plan for global market share. The world is networked, and our public universities are at the hub of those connections embedded throughout our offices, our homes and virtually every aspect of our daily life. Keeping those connections healthy and vigorous requires the full participation and engagement of the community - from all the people of California.

That's why we're urging the governor and our state legislators to continue fueling California's economic engine by making strong, sustained investments in higher education in this year's budget. These choices will make all the difference for California's future.

The authors are Kim Polese, CEO of SpikeSource, and Jerry Fiddler, chairman of Solazyme. SpikeSource sells software development tools. Solazyme describes itself as a synthetic biology company that unleashes the power of marine microbes to create clean and scalable solutions for the renewable energy, industrial chemical, and specialty ingredient markets.

Links:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

CSU Fired High-Level Whistleblowers Block and Verellen

Three CSU Chancellor's Office employees, including Joel Block and Paul Verellen, were forced out of their jobs after questioning the way Chancellor Charles Reed hired and paid a high-profile labor consulting firm, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The CSU hired Georgia consulting firm C. Richard Barnes & Associates, LLC, in a series of no-bid contracts to assist with labor issues including negotiations and arbitrations. The contracts began in November 2005 and run through the end of the year, for a total of about $2.45 million. The contracts far exceed the amount allowed for no-bid contracts.

Paul Verellen called the arrangement a sweetheart contract and has filed a complaint with the Bureau of State Audits. Joel Block says Barnes & Associates were not qualified. Block was fired after contacting a member of the Board of Trustees with his concerns. Verellen and Block both worked in Labor Relations at the Chancellor's Office. CSUEU has dealt with both of them in various contexts, including contract negotiations with Block.

Chancellor Charles Reed says he got tired of all of the labor-relations problems and asked somebody who the very best labor person was, and that led him to Barnes & Associates. The first contract signed with the firm was under the $50,000 cap for contracts awarded without competitive bids. After that, the size of the contracts climbed, but the no-bid approach didn't change:

Six weeks later, on Dec. 29, 2005, the CSU procurement director signed a $496,000 contract for Barnes' next phase. That was followed by a $610,500 contract extension in September 2006 and a $1.3 million extension in April 2007. All were handed to Barnes without competing bids, documents show.

Legal and policy requirements were brushed aside:

Under state law and CSU policy, university officials must produce a written justification prior to issuing a no-bid contract or deciding not to request proposals from potential bidders.

In January 2008, the CSU's chief of procurements acknowledged violating the requirements, and created a retroactive justification for the no-bid contract.

The article notes:

A related CSU policy requires officials to evaluate at least three other vendors and explain why they were rejected before awarding a no-bid contract. The Chronicle review of documents found no record that other vendors had been considered. There is no shortage of such consultants. Professional directories list scores of labor-relations experts with experience in dispute resolution, management representation and higher education.

Payments made under the contract include consulting fees of $4,000-$5,000 per day, first-class travel, valet laundry service, limousine service, and expensive dinners for up to four guests, and entertainment expenses - at times without any notation of who was being entertained or the purported business purpose.

State Senator Leland Yee said All of this undermines the integrity of our government and how dollars should be used efficiently and effectively.

The California Whistleblower Protection Act states The Legislature finds and declares that state employees should be free to report waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or threat to public health without fear of retribution. The Legislature further finds and declares that public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people's business.

Links

Update

The Chronicle for Higher Education has picked up the story:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Alliance Action Alert for August 15

The Alliance for the CSU sent out this action alert yesterday, about ACA (Assembly Constitutional Amendment) 19. ACA 19 failed in committee by a vote of 15 to 10. We reproduce the email alert here for your information only; the action called for is not needed now (though a thank you to members who voted No couldn't hurt).
Note: We've made one addition to the message: in the list of committee members to contact, we've included a column showing how each one voted.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Assembly Speaker Karen Bass plans to force a budget vote tomorrow, Sunday. The Assembly's web site states the Assembly has adjourned until Sunday, August 17, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. or upon call of the Speaker.

The Bee also reports that Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata said his chamber would hold a vote 'probably Sunday,' though he grew more tentative about those plans late Thursday. As of this writing, the Senate Daily File shows nothing scheduled until Monday.

ACTION ALERT
CA STATE ASSEMBLY TO ADDRESS BUDGET

The Assembly is preparing to act on the final budget for Fiscal Year 2008-09 and your urgent phone calls are needed-- TODAY!

As you know we were able to get an additional $100 million into the Governor's January budget but the "HARD SPENDING CAP" ACA19 (Villines)" that is being considered by the Assembly Budget Committee could have a devastating effect on future CSU budgets.

A mandatory spending limit or larger state reserve means that there will be no hope in future years of restoring CSU funding even to 2002 levels leaving our campuses locked into terrible budgets for years to come. We will not be the only ones harmed-K-12, the poor and uninsured and other public social services will suffer.

Please take a moment to let the legislature know that a mandatory spending limit or larger state reserve will not only do long term harm to education and other essential public services but it will limit our ability to restore prosperity to the state.

CALL THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY AND TELL THEM TO:

  1. VOTE AGAINST ACA19; AND
  2. VOTE AGAINST ANY INCREASED STATE RESERVE THAT WILL FURTHER DEFUND OUR SOCIAL PROGRAMS AND CONTINUE TO INADEQUATELY FUND PUBLIC HIGHER ED

[Editor's note: We've added a column showing how each member of the committee voted. A means the member was absent, abstaining, or not voting.]

MemberAreaPhone NumberVote
Roger Niello (R-05)Sacramento(916) 319-2005Aye
Juan Arambula (D-31)Central Valley(916) 319-2031No
Jim Beall (D-24)San Jose(916) 319-2024No
John Benoit (R-64)Riverside(916) 319-2064Aye
Patty Berg (D-01)Humbolt, Sonoma(916) 319-2001No
Sam Blakeslee (R-33)San Luis Obispo(916) 319-2033
Julia Brownley (D-41)LA(916) 319-2041No
Paul Cook (R-65)Riverside, San Bernardino(916) 319-2065Aye
Hector De La Torre (D-50)LA(916) 319-2050No
Chuck Devore (R-70)Orange County(916) 319-2070Aye
Mike Duvall (R-72)Orange County(916) 319-2072Aye
Bill Emmerson (R-63)Riverside, San Bernardino(916) 319-2063Aye
Noreen Evans (D-07)Sonoma(916) 319-2007
Mike Feuer (D-42)LA(916) 319-2042No
Jean Fuller (R-32)Central Valley(916) 319-2032Aye
Mary Hayashi (D-18)Bay Area(916) 319-2018No
Ed Hernandez (D-57)LA(916) 319-2057No
Bob Huff (R-60)Riverside, San Bernardino(916) 319-2060Aye
Dave Jones (D-09)Sacramento(916) 319-2009No
Paul Krekorian (D-43)LA(916) 319-2043No
Bill Maze (R-34)Central Valley(916) 319-2034Aye
Gene Mullin (D-19)Bay Area(916) 319-2019No
Ira Ruskin (D-21)Bay Area(916) 319-2021No
Jim Silva (R-67)Orange County(916) 319-2067Aye
Sandre Swanson (D-16)Bay Area(916) 319-2016No
Lois Wolk (D-08)Sacramento(916) 319-2008No

Your immediate action is needed and appreciated.

Links

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Governor Sues to Force Pay Cuts

Governor Schwarzenegger has sued State Controller John Chiang to try to force the Controller to cut state employee's pay to minimum wage. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Chiang vowed to defy the Republican governor's pay instructions asking that 150,000 state employees receive the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour and 30,000 managers and supervisors receive a salary equal to $11.38 per hour until a state budget is enacted.

The governor's position is that the state constitution and government code do not allow the state to pay employees their salaries without a budget in place.

Chiang disputes the governor's legal interpretation. He also has said it would take a minimum of six months to reduce pay to the federal minimum wage because of an outdated computer system and numerous individual deductions for each employee.

"Rather than focus on building consensus for a budget that addresses California's long-term fiscal problems, the governor seems adamant on picking a fight over whether state employees are entitled to the wages they have worked for and earned," Chiang said in a statement. "I am confident the court will share my concerns that it will be infeasible for the existing payroll system to reduce the wages of more than 180,000 public servants down to the federal minimum wage in such a short time."

CSU has said the CSU is not affected by the governor's order, and that CSU employee pay is not at risk.

Links