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.

CHANCELLOR GIVES GOV CSU'S MONEY

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 http://www.calfac.org/Oct08cuts.html 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.

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1 comment:

ep said...

There is a larger issue, which is that the state budget process is completely insane and politically dysfunctional.

"WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?"

With a collapsing economy and unwillingness to raise taxes, the position of the Alliance makes absolutely no sense. Unless the Alliance "assumes" that "someone else" is going to ask for tax increases. So, the Alliance is either stupid, or is premised on dishonesty and lies. The Alliance and union leadership is pandering to fear, greed and tribalism, and has given up on taking the moral high road, serving the people and businesses of the state in a non-partisan manner, and so forth.

If the people of the state, via their corrupt, inept legislature, do not want to pay more taxes, then they should not ask for expensive state services (from bloated, wasteful bureaucracies).

Please note that union leadership ALWAYS tell union memerbship to vote for the very inept socialists/liberals/progressives that have created a massively irresponsible state budget process in the first place! And after getting in bed with the corrupt politicans that created the budgetary train wreck in the first place, the unions then ask their members, with incredible hubris, to have an irresponsible, childish fit about budget cuts by insisting on no reductions - IN THE MIDST OF THE BIGGEST GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE IN 75 YEARS!!!

This is called basic "social irresponsibility". Unfortuntely there are plenty of sleazy politicians that get votes from ignorant people by promising services with no tax increases. Thus, a fundamentally broken budget process.

For the CFA and/or CSUEU, or other public/univ. employee unions to get in bed (Alliance) with the morally bankrupt corporate plutocrats at the CO and most of the Trustees (regardless of partisan affiliation or lack thereof) in the first place is appalling. As soon as the plutocrats got the unions into bed (with the silly Alliance budget organization), they turned around and stabbed students/parents in the back with a (predictable) fee increase.

AT THE PUBLIC ALLIANCE MEETINGS, NO ONE TALKED ABOUT STUDENT FEE INCREASES.

Why didn't union leadership allow the union members to openly debate union participation in the Alliance, or the Alliance's "agenda"?

Why does the unions leadership assume that it can force a totalitarian/socialist agenda of appallingly irresponsible budget politics on non-socialist members without allowing at some some minor opportunity for public dissent and venting?

The answer is that the unions are (mostly) run by people that believe in the politics of COERSION, not LIBERTY.

Public employee unions should be stictly non-partisan.

The members should demand that their leadership stop imposing morally corrupt socialism and adopt a strictly non-partisan mode of operations.

We live in an era in which too mnay people have been brainwashed into thinking that the "only choices" are between coercive state leftism ("nanny state" big government) on one hand, or coercive corporate plutocracy ("big business") on the other.

Note: other possibilities exist within american history, such as populism and libertarianism, that are premised on the need for a larger moral good and social responsibility.

Instead of demonizing the "other side" in order to deflect attention from their own role in making serious political mistakes,
the unions should finally take responsibility for the role they played in creating the kind of corrupt, dysfunctional politics that have led to economic disaster.

It would be the first step towards returning to political and fiscal sanity and responsibility.

It would allow unions to make a case against management by inept corporate plutocrats that has some intellectual coherence and ethical integrity.

Regards,
Eric P.
Sacramento