Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bargaining Process Information from Pat Gantt

CSUEU President Pat Gantt sent out some information about the bargaining process this morning:

Dear CSUEU Board Members and CSUEU Assigned Staff,

The Bargaining Unit Council meetings this week are just the beginning of the process to identify issues and potential changes in the contract. The full board will have input as per our practice at the Board meeting in November. The drafting of proposals will also include a comprehensive bargaining survey this fall that will help us refine the proposals and make sure that we are capturing all the interests from the membership.

On a related note, now that the state budget is signed, we anticipate that the CSU Chancellor’s office will give us some formal notice that the funding for the CSU fell below the compact and the level of needed to fully fund our contract for this year. When we get this notice we will share it with you.

In Union,

Pat Gantt


Monday, September 29, 2008

Reminder: Send Contract Ideas Now

Reminder: Full contract bargaining is approaching, and now is the time to send in your bargaining ideas.

All of the Bargaining Unit Councils (BUCs) will be meeting October 1-2 to work on our next full contract bargaining proposal. If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions about the contract, please send them in now.

You don't need to have a perfectly-worded proposal – just try to explain what's missing or what the problem is, as specifically as you're able. If you can include examples of a specific situation or case, that's helpful too, but not required.

Please don't assume someone else will send in your idea, or will see the same aspect of the problem that you do. The more feedback we get from the chapters, the better our proposal will be. We'd rather hear a half-formed idea (X is a problem because of Y, but I'm not sure how to fix it because the only solutions/language I thought of would just make the problem worse…) than nothing at all. And we'd certainly rather hear the same suggestion multiple times than miss out.

  • What's wrong with the contract?
  • What language is ambiguous?
  • What section is hard to understand or interpret consistently?
  • What assumptions are made which shouldn't be?
  • What language is keeping you from filing grievances you should be able to file?
  • What language is making it hard for you to win grievances?
  • What's missing?
  • What's in there and shouldn't be anymore?

Please email your suggestions from off campus, using your off campus email account to Rich McGee, BUC 9 Chair, at bargainingideas2008@unit9news.org. (Note: this email address is temporary, and will go away at the end of November.) If you'd like to copy your chapter officers (at their off-campus email accounts), please do so.

Agenda for BUC 9 Meeting October 1-2

Here is the agenda for the upcoming Bargaining Unit Council (BUC) 9 meeting. All BUC's are meeting in Sacramento on the same dates to discuss bargaining.

Bargaining Unit Council 9 Meeting

October 1-2, 2008
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza


  1. Roll call
  2. At-large vacancy
  3. Bargaining proposals and strategy (closed session)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

IRP Information Request Side Letter: Text Available

The text of the side letter on In-Range Progression (IRP) information requests, signed September 17, 2008, is now available. This was converted from the image PDF originally distributed.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Side Letter on IRP Information Requests

This morning Teven Laxer, Senior Labor Relations Representative at CSUEU headquarters, announced an agreement on the information requests for the FY 2007 In-Range Progression (IRP) requests:

I am happy to announce that we have an agreement on the IRP information requests for FY 2007.

Please see attached. If you have any questions, let me know.

We expect to receive data on systemwide funded IRPs soon, and then on campus-funded IRPs.

Eventually, we will receive logs on those IRPs denied.

(This email was sent to state-wide officers, chapter presidents and vice-presidents, chief stewards, organizing chairs, bargaining unit councils and staff)

The only copy we have of the final agreement is the image PDF linked below. We hope to have text available within a day or so.

Though the announcement was made on Talk Like a Pirate Day, the agreement itself is dated 2 days ago, and has no holiday-inspired language in it. But that's no reason you yourself can't infuse your everyday conversations with romance and danger, as Dave Barry put it.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Updates: BUC Meetings, CSEA Board, CSU Technical Letters

Excerpts from a recent update by Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing:

All-BUC meeting October 1 and 2

All bargaining unit councils are meeting starting at 10 a.m. on October 1 at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento until 3 p.m. on October 2. I have not seen an agenda yet, but I suspect that this all-BUC meeting will discuss and formulate some initial strategy and potential bargaining proposals.

Only BUC members and statewide officers are funded. Because bargaining strategy is likely to be discussed, portions of the meeting may be closed to the general membership.

CSEA Board meetings

The CSEA Board will be meeting at 10 a.m. on 9/27 at the Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. An executive session will be held at 4 p.m. on 9/26 and a closed planning retreat will be held earlier on Friday.

I have been advised that agenda packets have been sent to Printing Services late last week. Each Chapter President should receive one at your home address in CSEA's records.

CSEA has scheduled a special closed CSEA Board meeting via conference call on 9/17 at 11 a.m. to discuss a personnel matter.

Look for an upcoming CSUEU Board conference call

A special meeting of the CSUEU Board of Directors will likely take place via conference call within the next 4-6 weeks. Our Board needs to adopt positions on candidates and ballot measures before the November election. When a date is set, Board members will be notified.

Recent CSU technical memorandums

The Chancellor's office has released several new systemwide memorandums to campuses:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

SEIU Resources Diverted by Corruption, Fighting Dissent

Internal SEIU Problems Distracting from Election Work

The San Francisco Bay Guardian reports that SEIU's efforts in the November election are hampered by corruption and internal struggles:

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and its 2 million members helped Obama defeat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Its ground operation and bulging political war chest are crucial to Democratic Party hopes in November, both in the presidential election and congressional races. But a recent corruption scandal and an ongoing internal dispute that threatens to blow up in the coming weeks could undermine the union's political influence at the worst possible time.

"If SEIU didn't have to deal with this distraction, it would be able to do more to influence the election," Dan Clawson, a labor scholar and professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, told the Guardian.

CSUEU is SEIU local 2579.

Compressed Background: Corruption and Disputes?

These are very abbreviated summaries of the corruption (ULTCW, SEIU 6434) and internal disputes (UHW) mentioned in the Guardian article:

SEIU Local 6434, also known as United Long-Term Care Workers (ULTCW), made hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable expenditures of union funds, including payments to relatives and friends of its president. The Los Angeles-based local has been placed into trusteeship and all officers removed. Federal investigations are underway.

SEIU 6434 represents caregivers who tend to the elderly and infirm, typically making around $9 an hour. Local 6434 is one of the SEIU mega-locals created when previously independent locals were merged by SEIU President Andy Stern, who then appointed new officers.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West (UHW) has filed charges against Stern and SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, alleging a campaign of retaliation against UHW that is designed to silence the voices of members and elected union leaders who have opposed Stern and Burger's policies, and intimidate those who might also speak out.

Stern wants to move 65,000 workers currently represented by Oakland-based UHW out of UHW and into Local 6434, despite objections from affected members and UHW leadership. UHW says this is punishment for its objection to a concessionary 'Alliance' deal with nursing home operators that is favored by SEIU and Local 6434. SEIU has moved to place UHW into trusteeship, which would allow Stern to remove the elected officers and appoint his own replacements.

United Long-Term Care Workers, SEIU 6434: Spending, Elections, Intimidation

The article which began the Los Angeles Times series on SEIU Local 6434 (Union, charity paid thousands to firms owned by official's relatives) laid out the local's spending habits:

California's largest union local and a related charity have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to firms owned by the wife and mother-in-law of the labor organization's president, documents and interviews show.

The Los Angeles-based union, which represents low-wage caregivers, also spent nearly $300,000 last year on a Four Seasons Resorts golf tournament, a Beverly Hills cigar club, restaurants such as Morton's steakhouse and a consulting contract with the William Morris Agency, the Hollywood talent shop, records show.

[…] In its Labor Department filings, the local, headed by Tyrone Freeman, has reported more liabilities than assets for each of the last three years.

Freeman, who leads the United Long-Term Care Workers, said he and his union have done nothing wrong. "Every expenditure has been in the context of fighting poverty," he said.

Later articles in the series put a face on the membership whose dues funded Local 6434's spending, detailed a growing collection of federal investigations into the union local's conduct, and reported that SEIU finally put the local into trusteeship and removed some staff:

Update added 4:30 p.m.: SEIU accuses local union leader of misusing funds
The Los Angeles Times reports this afternoon that SEIU is accusing SEIU Local 6434 president Tyrone Freeman of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars in an alleged corruption scheme and is firing Freeman's top aide and other local staffers. The article says the internal investigation turned up new allegations that Freeman spent union funds on his Hawaiian wedding and improperly paid himself stipends through an affiliated local and a housing corporation. The internal review was headed by former state Attorney General John Van de Kamp.

SEIU President Andy Stern Seeks Ethics Advice

SEIU President Andy Stern said he would contact 2 outside groups, the Association for Union Democracy and Teamsters for a Democratic Union, for advice on an ethics code. The leaders of those groups were skeptical of Andy Stern's proposals and said the SEIU had not advised them that they would be recruited for such a role.

"Why does he need a new code of ethics?" said Herman Benson, founder of the Assn. for Union Democracy. "People didn't know that what they were doing was wrong? It's preposterous."

In SEIU needs more democracy not more codes, Benson writes:

We are confronted here essentially by the outright misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars of union money to enrich union leaders and their friends and family. Does a bank need an ethical practices code to inform tellers that it's wrong to steal money from the till? Is it necessary now to remind SEIU officers that they must not steal, and that we really, really mean it?

Benson founded the Association for Union Democracy, a pro-labor, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the principles and practices of democratic trade unionism in the North American labor movement.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Staff Contract Available

United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2350 represents staff who work for CSEA and its affiliates, including CSUEU. CSUEU Chief of Staff Phillip Coonley has provided a PDF copy of the CSEA/UAW agreement to the CSUEU Board of Directors.


Governor Vetoes Legislature's Budget Bill

After warning the legislature yesterday their budget proposal was without meaningful budget reform, Governor Schwarzenegger announced this afternoon he would veto the legislature's proposal. Legislative leaders have said they'd attempt to override if the governor didn't sign. An override of the governor's veto requires a two-thirds majority, the same needed to pass a budget.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

"People aren't getting paid, hospitals are in danger of closing, but I will not sign a get out of town budget...that punishes taxpayers," Schwarzenegger said.

If lawmakers vote to override the veto, Schwarzenegger said, he will veto all the bills awaiting action on his desk.

The Sacramento Bee described the weekend budget deal as being rushed to a vote with little or no opportunity for the public to obtain and analyze the hundreds of pages containing the budget proposal and about two dozen trailer bills to implement it and said it addresses the state's $15.2 billion deficit largely by advancing revenues to be collected in future years, employing accounting maneuvers, and shifting or borrowing money from other state funds. The Los Angeles Times reports that among the add-ons to the budget package were a bill exempting high-tech companies from some labor rules, which both houses approved.

Reaction from outside the legislature to the proposal had been largely negative. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer said the legislature's budget proposal gives gimmicks a bad name. In an editorial the Sacramento Bee wrote: If this is the best the Legislature could do, California voters should be wondering what their lawmakers have been up to all summer.

Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters called the proposal easily the worst budget in memory. Last month a business group called the Bay Area Council called for a state constitutional convention, arguing it's the only realistic way to address the state's perennial budget mess because so much of the problem is in the state constitution itself:

California's system of taxation and spending is almost entirely hardwired into the Constitution. It produces wildly fluctuating revenue booms and busts that put state services on a cruel feast-or-famine roller coaster that drags the poor, the elderly, children and even the business community along for the painful ride. Similarly, local funding is hogtied to the state's, forcing our cities and counties to suffer as well from outdated laws in the Constitution. California's bureaucratic red tape is legendary, reflecting nothing of our 21st century economy, culture and society.

That is because so many state agencies, boards and commissions have been placed forever in our Constitution. Texas actually has a Sunset Commission in which nearly all of its 150 agencies are automatically abolished after 12 years, unless legislation is enacted to continue them. Alas, our state Constitution prevents this, too. California's Constitution was always meant to be a living document that could adjust to the times. The time has come to make serious adjustments. As Jefferson would remind us, this is not just a right, it is a patriot's solemn duty.

In a separate news story in today's San Francisco Chronicle, Bill Lockyer was quoted as saying We need radical reform of the state Constitution. I hope this tragedy will provide that.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Job Posting for Temporary LRR Position

Here is the job posting for the temporary Labor Relations Representative (LRR) to backfill for Michael Hejazi, who will be going on leave:


The California State University Employees Union, a CSEA Affiliate, has a one year temporary opening for a Labor Relations Representative ($56,000 - $75,000). This position is responsible for organizing university employees, representing CSU members and the Association in employer/employee relations and training university employees in labor relations functions. This position will require frequent travel within California and evening/weekend work.

The successful candidate will be an energetic individual with a four year degree, a minimum of one year of experience in representation for employer/employee relations, excellent interpersonal skills, and a strong belief in labor. Possession of valid California driver's license and automobile is required. Relocation assistance will be considered.

Please submit your résumé with salary requirements to careers@calcsea.org for consideration. Due to the volume of responses, only the top candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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


Staff Update: Temp Job Posted, Work Assigned

A staffing update from Phillip Coonley, CSUEU Chief of Staff:

TO: CSUEU Board of Directors and Staff:

As you know, Michael Hejazi will be returning to Canada at the end of next week (September 19, 2008). He has been granted a one year Leave of Absence to go back to Canada; we anticipate his return to CSUEU in 9-12 months.

In the meantime, we have advertised his position (as a temporary position) and are currently vetting applications. Until we have secured a full-time employee to fill his slot, we are happy to announce that Russel Kilday-Hicks has agreed to fill in. Some cases (Arbitration, PERB, SPB) will be distributed amongst current staff as well.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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

Russell Kilday-Hicks is president of CSUEU Chapter 305 (San Francisco).


Monday, September 8, 2008

LSS August 19-21 Bargaining Update

The CSUEU LSS (Library Services Specialist) bargaining team met with the CSU on August 19-21, to continue negotiations over the implementation of the LSS classification. Here is the bargaining report:

State Budget Crisis Hobbles Negotiations Over Implementation Of LSS Classification

CSUEU and CSU met August 19 through 21, 2008 as part of ongoing contract negotiations. CSU management made it clear that the lack of funds in the state budget compels them to shelve indefinitely any discussion of raising the pay for all incumbent Library Assistants (LAs) and Lead Library Assistants who are being reclassified.

Over the past decade, several major CSU classifications have been revised, reorganized or created, including information technology workers, administrative support staff and administrative analysts. In all of these reclassifications, market salary increases came out of overall compensation dollars that had been bargained between CSUEU and CSU.

Were it not for the major issue of compensation, the parties would be reasonably close to an agreement on the logistics of moving from the Library Assistant classification series to the Library Services Specialist classification (LSS), a transition long in the works and the subject of many prior LSS Bulletins.

Aside from the salary question, progress continues on plans for the transition, including how the classification will be moved over and how long the transition will take. During these discussions, progress was also made on the question of salary spread: CSUEU and CSU reached an agreement on increasing the salary spread from the lowest salary rate to the highest salary from 50% to 60%.

An important part of CSUEU's proposal of August 21, 2008, is the creation of a five-member Classification Appeals Panel. Under this plan, any denials of reclasses will be submitted to a classifier selected from this panel. Other key components of CSUEU's August 21 proposal:

  • Library assistants who have not updated their position description within the last year will be urged to do so within 60 days of an agreement.
  • Appropriate administrators will compare the duties of incumbent employees to the LSS Classification and Qualifications Standards (CQS). In cases where the administrator believes that an employee is misclassified, that administrator will submit a reclassification request to HR by November 30, 2008.
  • Employees who believe they are misclassified and whose administrator doesn't request a review for them by November 30, 2008, may submit reclassification requests between November 30 and March 31, 2009.
  • The CSU will consider an employee's job duties, skills, experience and educational background both for placement in the appropriate LSS classification and for setting the appropriate salary rate for that classification.
  • Lead LAs have the option of moving into the appropriate LSS classification.
  • LAs and Lead LAs who move into the LSS classification will receive at least 7.5 percent increases to their salary rates over the next three years.
  • LSSs who perform lead duties will be paid at least five percent more than the employees they lead.
  • If a Lead LA elects to remain in his or her current 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 the LSS implementation is completed.

The CSU will respond to the union's latest proposal by the time of the next bargaining session, which is scheduled for October, 2008. CSUEU will continue to keep you informed.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Board of Trustees Meeting September 16-17

The California State University Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, September 16-17, 2008.

On Tuesday the Trustees will begin with closed sessions to discuss litigation and collective bargaining. Tuesday's open sessions are estimated to begin at 10:45 a.m. with the open portion of the Committee on Collective Bargaining. The remaining committee meetings take up the rest of the day and most of Wednesday morning. The Committee of the Whole is estimated to begin at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, and the plenary session of the Board of Trustees is estimated to follow at 11:15 a.m.

Other than the first meeting of the day (10:00 a.m. Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. Wednesday), start times are always estimates based on guesses about how long each session will take.

Agenda Highlights

  • Closed session for litigation (Vivas v. CSU, et al., and Landvalue 77, et al. v. CSU, et al.) and Executive Personnel Matters.
  • The Information Security audit is a review of the systems in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and access/availability of information including systems to limit collection of information, control access to data and assure that individuals with access to data do not utilize the data for unauthorized purposes, encrypt data in storage and transmission, and implement physical and logical security measures for all sources. The table below shows the status of the Information Security audit at each of the selected campuses, according to Attchment A of the published agenda. (Committee on Audit Agenda [PDF])
    CampusInformation Security Audit Status
    ChicoReport Writing in Progress
    FullertonAudit Complete
    NorthridgeField Work in Progress
    PomonaAudit Incomplete (awaiting formal exit conference and/or campus response)
    San DiegoReport Writing in Progress
    San JoseField Work in Progress
    SonomaAudit Incomplete (awaiting formal exit conference and/or campus response)
    StanislausReport Writing in Progress
    Editor's note: At this writing, the Fullerton audit does not appear to be published in the audit reports section of the Chancellor's Office web site, though it is listed as complete. If we're reading the audit process description right, this implies that the chancellor still must accept the report, and the final report must be individually bound and forwarded to the campus president/vice chancellor-in-charge before it becomes public.
  • 2008-09 Support Budget Overview: In short, while the governor's May revise put back $97.6 million of the previously proposed $312.9 million CSU funding gap, that proposal still leaves the CSU approximately $215 million below workload needs. The various proposals and adjustments since then have focused on other areas of the state budget, not the CSU. The presentation included in the agenda concludes the level of funding proposed for CSU in the May Revision (and confirmed by the "August Revision" and the legislative budget conference committee plan) remains at risk. (Commitee on Finance Agenda [PDF])
  • 2009-2010 Support Budget: The agenda item notes that even the most optimistic scenario points to continuing fiscal difficulty. See agenda item 2 for the numbers. Short version: a minimum of $333.4 million from the state's General Fund to fully fund the current provisions of the Compact and an additional $155.9 million for funding priorities 'above the Compact.' (Commitee on Finance Agenda [PDF])
  • CSU Investments Report: SWIFT is the CSU Systemwide Investment Fund-Trust. As of June 30, 2008, the CSU had $1.688 billion invested in SWIFT. The SWIFT provided a return of 4.54% during the 12 months ended June 30, 2008. The CSU also has $41.7 million invested in Surplus Money Investment Fund (SMIF), a vehicle used by the State Treasurer to invest state funds in a short-term pool and approximately $34,000 in Local Agency Investment Fund (LAIF), a vehicle used by the State Treasurer to invest local agency funds. (Item 4, Commitee on Finance Agenda [PDF])
  • Systemwide Revenue Bonds and interim financing in an aggregate amount not-to-exceed $283,685,000. Projects listed for this are:
    • Fullerton Student Housing and Food Service, Phases III and IV ($172,905,000)
    • Humboldt Student Housing Replacement and Addition, Phase I ($49,425,000)
    • Sacramento Recreation Wellness Center, Phase II ($58,165,000)
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
      Cal Poly Corporation - The Technology Park Pilot Building Project (apparently $283,685,000, though an outside firm is still preparing the resolutions to be presented for the Trustees to approve)
    (Commitee on Finance Agenda [PDF])
  • 2008-2009 Capital Outlay Program Additions:
    • California State University, Fullerton Parking Structure 4, Phase 1 ($35,783,000)
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Technology Park Pilot Building ($6,300,000)
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Simpson Strong-Tie Building ($3,000,000)
    (Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings, and Grounds agenda [PDF])
  • Land aquisitions for Channel Islands, San Diego, and San Bernardino campuses. The CSU San Bernardino acquisition includes an easement to provide access to the development site, planned to include 980 residential units arranged in sixteen neighborhoods.
  • November ballot initiatives summary: The CSU does not appear to plan to take positions on any of the 12 initiatives, but it's worth a read if you're starting to wonder what's on the ballot besides Proposition 8. It begins on page 14 of the PDF agenda document. (Item 2, Committee on Governmental Relations Agenda [PDF])

About Trustees Meetings

For the most part, the discussion happens in the Committee meetings, and then the full Board meets in plenary session and approves whatever is before it. The Board seldom says no to internal (Trustee- or CSU-generated) agenda items.

The open sessions are open to anyone at all, and there is no sign-in or identification requirement. You can just sit in the audience and watch if you're interested.

The (as yet unapproved) minutes of the previous meetings are in the agendas for the current meetings.

Anyone can address the Board of Trustees, 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.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

CSU Grad Chosen to Head CalPERS Health Plan Administration

California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has chosen a CSU graduate, Ellen Badley, as Chief of the Office of Health Plan Administration. CalPERS states:

As Chief of the Office of Health Plan Administration, Badley will oversee the research and development of new products and alternative approaches to health care, and facilitate the negotiation of annual premiums. She will also direct contracting efforts with the System's two Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans (Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California), three self-funded Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans – PERS Select, PERS Choice and PERSCare, and three affiliated Association plans for California public safety officers. In addition, she will oversee the CalPERS Long-Term Care Program.

Badley has a bachelor's degree in business administration from California State University, Fresno, and a master's degree in Health Administration from the University of Southern California.

CalPERS administers health insurance and other benefits for state employees, including CSU employees represented by CSUEU.


Budget News Roundup (Also, Take Your Break)

Not getting enough budget news, or you took a break during the long weekend? You're in luck: you can catch up quickly on recent news reports, right here. (One-line version: still no state budget, latest budget ever, big deficits, disagreements, general dissatisfaction.)

Budget standoff delays billions in state payments (Sacramento Bee):

State Controller John Chiang on Tuesday said he will be unable to make $7.6 billion in payments to schools, state vendors and others in September if a state budget is not approved this month.

Dan Walters: All 3 budgets would create future deficits (Sacramento Bee):

There are three versions of the budget on the table, plus countless variations. Schwarzenegger's – his third of the year – would raise sales taxes and other revenues by about $5 billion a year, but only for three years. The Democrats would raise taxes on high-income individuals by $8-plus billion a year. A new Republican version would eschew new taxes, cut spending more and borrow about $2 billion that would be "securitized" by diversions from the state lottery.

Wilson slams Schwarzenegger proposal for temporary sales tax hike (Sacramento Bee):

Wilson said he opposes the tax increase because he believes the state engaged in too much deficit spending under his successor, Gov. Gray Davis, and has not cut programs enough since then. […] Wilson said the current budget deficit is not nearly as large a burden as he had to deal with in 1991, when he said the state was in a worse economic downturn and the budget gap grew to one-third of the state's general fund.

California legislators set record for budget delay (Sacramento Bee)

State lawmakers break record for late budget (San Francisco Chronicle):

The Legislature has broken its dubious record for approving the budget late, a result of failing to break an impasse in negotiations that reached 62 days Sunday.

The Assembly and Senate wrapped up their legislative sessions Sunday after debating and voting on more than 100 bills, but none of them was related to solving the state's $17.2 billion budget gap. The gap includes $2 billion in reserves.

Legislature passes bills, but not a budget (Sacramento Bee):

Wrapping up hundreds of bills in the past week, California lawmakers finished their legislative session Sunday, but for the first time ever they did not pass a budget – and there is no deal in sight.

It may all come down to a whole lot of borrowing – again (Sacramento Bee):

[Legislators] are privately discussing taking as much as $2.5 billion from cities, counties and transportation projects this year, despite voter-approved rules that require repayment within three years, with interest.


"It's a legal approach, but from a financial and political standpoint, it's totally irresponsible," said Paul McIntosh, executive director of the California State Association of Counties.

Cities and counties, he said, may have to pay as much as 19 percent interest on bank loans to cover their losses. All of it would have to be made up by the state.

Remember to Take Your Break

Well, that was a bit discouraging. Maybe on your break you should cheer yourself by planning for Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th will be here before you know it!), or with a visit to LOLcats, Cute Overload, or GraphJam. Or even a stroll outside, where we hear there are sunshine, trees, and singing birds to be found.

From Article 18 of the current contract:

18.22 An employee shall be allowed rest periods each workday of fifteen (15) minutes for each four (4) hours worked. Rest period schedules shall be determined by the appropriate administrator in accordance with the operational needs of the department. Rest periods shall be counted towards hours worked. When an employee is required to perform duties during a scheduled rest period, the appropriate administrator shall endeavor to reschedule the rest period for that workday. Rest period time not taken shall not be cumulative.