Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bargaining: Reopener Negotiations Continue, Full Contract Approaching

In case you haven't seen it, the first bargaining update of 2009 is on the CSUEU web site. We're including a copy here for your convenience:

This January 15 Contract Negotiations News, one in a series of updates, provides details about a recent contract negotiation meeting. Previous updates are available as PDFs on the lower right section of the Bargaining page.

Contract Negotiations News #1


Reopener talks linked to the 2008-09 CSU budget began last May and are ongoing.

On January 8, 2009, the CSU sent CSUEU a written counter-proposal to the union’s November 2008 proposal, which, as outlined in the Contract Negotiations News of November 21, 2008, called for some compensation increase if either the CSU received money in excess of its mandatory costs or if any other union was able to negotiate salary increases for its members. In its counterproposal, CSU is proposing a zero percent increase, but will agree to reopen FY 2008/09 bargaining under certain limited circumstances: if another union receives a) a General Salary Increase, b) a Market Salary Increase or c) a Service Salary Increase. The CSUEU bargaining team will meet on January 21 to discuss how to respond to this CSU proposal.

Full contract negotiations

CSUEU is continuing with preparation of its opening bargaining proposal for full contract negotiations for FY 2009 and beyond. The CSUEU contract with CSU expires on June 30, 2009, and an initial bargaining proposal must be submitted by either CSUEU or the CSU by the end of January.

State Budget Update

There’s seemingly no end in sight to what is emerging as the biggest state budget crisis in history, with the legislature struggling to sign a 2008-09 state budget. The budget deficit is now projected to grow to $42 billion by June 30, 2010, if no action is taken. The governor and legislative leaders continue to have almost daily meetings in an effort to resolve this crisis. Meanwhile, the 2009-10 state budget was formally introduced on January 9, 2009, with State Finance Director Michael Genest having earlier introduced an outline of the proposal on New Year’s Eve. The governor is proposing to suspend the FY 2009 compact with the CSU, which means the CSU would Not receive the $217 million it had requested. Another 10 percent student fee hike is proposed, which would provide $130 million in gross revenue. After taking into account mandatory costs such as those in employee health and dental insurance premiums, utilities, and new space, there would be a net reduction of nearly $16 million in FY 2009.

Even though this represents a cut of less than one percent of CSU’s $2.9 billion budget, the CSU has already seen cuts of $500 million over the past six years and cannot easily withstand any further cuts. Other state agencies are facing far greater cuts.

Read the CSU’s analysis of proposed budget cuts contained in the governor’s 2009-10 budget proposal.

CSUEU and other unions will be looking closely at one of the Governor’s new proposals: shifting the administration of health care benefits from the California Public Employment Retirement System (CalPERS) to the State Department of Public Administration. The Governor believes this could save $132 million. Overlooked, however, is the fact that CalPERS administers health care benefits for nearly one million active and retired employees. They include not only state civil service employees, but also CSU employees and employees of hundreds of school districts and local governments. Opposition to this proposal is growing, and an initial meeting of a labor coalition will be held on January 16.

The CSU will be discussing its analysis of the Governor’s budget proposal at the next Board of Trustees meeting, taking place January 27-28, 2009.


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