Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reminder: Paid Time Off to Vote

Two quick reminders:

  1. You have the right to take paid time off to vote if you need to. You must request it 2 working days in advance (see below).
  2. If you get to your polling place and the poll workers say you're not on their list of voters, insist on casting a provisional ballot.
    This is your right, and poll workers cannot legally say no. A provisional ballot means your registration will be double-checked, and if you're a registered voter your vote will be counted.

Time Off to Vote (Contract)

Article 15 of the contract provides for paid leave to vote, if that's the only way you can get to the polls:

Leave to Vote

15.22 An employee who would otherwise be unable to vote outside of his/her regular working hours may be granted up to two (2) hours of work time without loss of pay to vote at a general, direct primary, special, or presidential primary election.

An employee shall be required to request such leave time in writing from the appropriate administrator at least two (2) working days prior to the election.

Time Off to Vote (State Law)

Our contract largely echoes the California Elections Code:

14000. (a) If a voter does not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote at a statewide election, the voter may, without loss of pay, take off enough working time that, when added to the voting time available outside of working hours, will enable the voter to vote.

Elections Code: Notice Requirement

California law also requires employers to post notice of this right at least 10 days before a statewide election. CSU Technical Letter 2004-21 confirms that the posting requirement applies to the CSU, stating California Election Code Section 14001 requires that employers, including the California State University (CSU), post a notice informing employees of the right to take up to two hours of paid time off to vote in a statewide election if the employee does not have sufficient time during non-work hours to vote.

Interestingly, we have never seen such a notice on a campus, and spot checks found no campus where this notice is posted. One HR director has actually said the law doesn't apply to his campus, and refuses to post the notices, on the grounds that every employee has a lunch break. He argues that 30 minutes is enough time for anyone to drive home (whether the employee drives or not, apparently, and no matter where he/she lives), stand in line at the polling place, vote (however many pages the ballot may be), and get back to work. We were unable to find the phrase unless employees have lunch breaks in either the law or CSU's own technical letter.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CFA Says Reed Made CSU Budget Cuts Voluntarily

The California Faculty Association (CFA) reports that the recent $31.3 million CSU budget cut was made voluntarily by Chancellor Reed:

Dear Colleagues & Friends,

We are deeply disappointed to tell you that the sudden funding cut of $31.3 million to the CSU announced last week turns out to be, not a requirement, but rather a voluntary give back to the governor by CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.

Correspondence between Chancellor Reed and the governor's Dept. of Finance reveals that the Chancellor understands that he is making a voluntary cut.


The California Faculty Association's officers are troubled by the Chancellor's unilateral decision to give up this funding, especially in light of the good work done by the entire CSU community and its supporters through the Alliance for the CSU this year.

We worked hard to mitigate as much damage to the university as possible in this difficult economic period and we met with some success. The Alliance won $97.6 million for the CSU.

The Chancellor's action gives back one third of that money.

He did so without even a word of public protest on behalf of the state university system, of which he is the chief executive.

In a communication to All CSU Employees last week, the Chancellor misled the campus community by incorrectly reporting the CSU is among the agencies that need to cut a total of $390 million from the current budget.

As the attached documents show, the CSU is not covered by the order requiring this cut.  Do not be deceived by misinformation: The Chancellor's give-back of $31.3 million is voluntary — and he knows it.

You can read the entire CFA message in the October 27 CFA Headlines [PDF]. CFA offers supporting documents:

At you will find these documents that support the facts:

  • Executive Order S-09-08: This was the governor's executive order last July 31, 2008, addressing spending during the state budget stalemate.  In it, the governor acknowledged he does not have direct authority over the CSU.
  • CSU News Release CSU works to ensure employees receive paychecks, July 25, 2008: In this news release, Chancellor Reed was referenced saying, CSU is not under direct executive authority and subject to the requirement to enact the governor's order.
  • Office of the Governor (Dept. of Finance) Memo, October 9, 2008: Extends the above Executive Order S-09-08 to achieve another $50 million in savings from agencies that receive money from the state's general fund.
  • AB 88 (Budget) Chapter 269, Statutes of 2008: This is the section of the budget bill, known as control language, in which the legislature explains its intent regarding implementation of the adopted budget. It gives the governor authority to cut another $50 million without getting additional approval from the legislature.
  • Dept. of Finance letter to Chancellor Reed, October 20, 2008: Notes an ongoing conversation with the Chancellor over the new additional cut of $31.3 million to the CSU.
  • Office of the CSU Chancellor letter to governor's Dept. of Finance, October 21, 2008: The Chancellor chooses the 'alternative compliance' approach to the cut, meaning he knows that executive order cannot force him to make the cut. He states, We are committed and able to attain $31,314,000 of savings requested by the (governor's) Administration and that the cut can be made without directly affecting instructional programs and educational services.
  • Chancellor's Communication – October 23, 2008: Email to all CSU employees stating that we have been informed by the state Department of Finance that state agencies and departments receiving General Funds need to cut a total of an additional 390 million from the current budget. For the CSU, this amounts to $31.3 million… The email fails to indicate this is a voluntary cut on the part of the Chancellor and overstates the size of the governor's cut.

CFA represents CSU Bargaining Unit 3, which includes professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches who teach in the CSU.


Monday, October 27, 2008

CSUEU Voted Exclusive Representative for University Enterprises, Inc. at CSU Sacramento

From Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing:

A quick update on the transition of University Enterprises, Inc. (CSU Sacramento aux corporation) employees:

A secret ballot election was held, and the employees of University Enterprises voted unanimously to elect the California State University Employees union as their exclusive representative.

The next phase in the process is bargaining to replace the existing expired contract.

I'd like to recognize and thank Richard Perry, Joseph Small, Chapter 303's Executive Committee and Stewards, and SLRR Lois Kugelmass for their hard work.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

BUC 9 Agenda for November 8 Meeting

Here's the agenda for the next BUC 9 meeting:

Bargaining Unit Council 9 Meeting

November 8, 2008     5:15 – 6:45 p.m.
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza


  1. Roll call (BUC members)
  2. Chair Report
  3. Library Services Specialist (LSS) series update
  4. In-Range Progressions (IRP) update
  5. Exempt, workload, and on-call issues
  6. Outsourcing
  7. Staff Report
  8. Additional items as requested and as time permits

Board of Directors Meeting November 7-9, 2008

Reminder: The next CSUEU Board of Directors meeting is in Sacramento on November 7-9, 2008.

Members of the Board or a BUC, or a committee which meets at the Board of Directors, should have received an email message last week with the registration link. If you're in one of those groups, and didn't get the registration email, contact headquarters for instructions.

From the registration page:

CSUEU 3rd Board of Directors Meeting

Friday, November 07, 2008 9:00 am – Sunday, November 09, 2008 5:00 pm

Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza
300 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Do not contact hotel for reservations. All reservations are made by CSUEU Staff.

Costs for CSUEU Statewide Officers, Chapter Presidents, Bargaining Unit Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs are already covered. All members are encouraged to attend, but costs MUST be funded by the Chapter.

  • Room: $84 Single & $134 Double – plus 12% tax & $1.50 Tourism Fee
  • Parking: Self: $11.00 a day & Valet: $16.00 a day
  • Transportation: Holiday Inn DOES NOT provide shuttle service, please use the Super Shuttle service at the airport

To qualify for overnight stay in hotel, you MUST live a minimum of 40 miles or 40 minutes away from meeting site. Per diem rates: Breakfast $10. Lunch $11. Dinner $19. Overnight Incidental $10. Mileage calculated at IRS rates as of July 2008: 58.5 cents per mile.

We will post or link to a meeting schedule when we have it. Typically the executive committee meets the Thursday before, the statewide committees meet on Friday, and the full board meets all day Saturday and part or all of Sunday. Bargaining Unit Councils normally meet on Saturday morning or evening. BUC 9 usually meets Saturday evening.

New Headquarters Address

CSUEU headquarters has a spiffy new official address:

CSU Employees Union
1108 O Street, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Discard Old Postage-Paid Envelopes

Please don't use the postage-paid envelopes showing the old 10th Street address. Per an announcement at the BUC meeting last week, they are not being forwarded by the post office. (Sorry, crossing out the old address and writing in the new one won't work.)