Friday, March 27, 2009

Board of Trustees Update for March 2009 Meeting

A few items of interest from the March 24-25, 2009 CSU Board of Trustees meeting:

Initial Bargaining Proposals

The Board approved initial bargaining proposals for:

  • California State University Employees' Union (CSUEU) – Units 2, 5, 7 And 9
  • International Union of Operating Engineers at The California Maritime Academy – Unit 10
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) at The San Francisco State University (Headstart employees) – Unit 12

Unit 13 Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) Charge

CSUEU v. Trustees
In an unfair labor practice charge before the Public Employees Relations Board, CSULA Extended Education English language instructors (who have formed Unit 13, a new bargaining unit) claimed that they were academic employees as that term is used in SB 1212, and therefore entitled to the same elaborate grievance procedures available to faculty members. PERB dismissed this charge, ruling that these CSULA English instructors are not academic employees for purposes of the SB 1212 grievance procedures since they did not have this access in the past and are presently negotiating their own unit-specific grievance procedures.


There are several items of interest from the Litigation Report (Committee of the Whole, beginning page 4 of the PDF). Items in the Ligigation Report are selected from 82 currently active litigation files as being (1) with the potential for a systemwide impact on the CSU; (2) that raises significant public policy issues; (3) brought by or against another public agency; or (4) which, for other reasons, has a high profile or is likely to generate widespread publicity.

See the agenda for the Committee of the Whole for the complete report. A few highlights:

Former Labor Relations Managers Suing CSU

For background, see the Unit 9 News article CSU Fired High-Level Whistleblowers Block and Verellen. The CSU spent millions on the no-bid contracts with an outside labor relations firm mentioned in the complaints.

Block v. CSU, et al.
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Joel Block, a systemwide HR manager in the Chancellor's Office, was nonretained in January 2008 for performance reasons. He alleges that a pattern of adverse treatment, including a demotion, salary freeze and suspension, culminating in his non-retention, constituted discrimination and retaliation based upon his age, disability, efforts to redress grievances, and protests over the award of a no-bid contract to consultants. The case is in the pleading stage.

Verellen v. CSU, et al.
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Paul Verellen, a systemwide HR manager in the Chancellor's Office, was nonretained in March 2008 for performance reasons. In September 2007, immediately after learning informally of his supervisor's dissatisfaction with his performance, Verellen filed a whistleblower complaint that a labor relations consultant was improperly retained by the CSU. After he was formally advised a few days later that he would not receive a merit salary increase because of his performance problems, he filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint and a complaint of age discrimination. He filed a second retaliation complaint after he was nonretained. His retaliation and age discrimination complaints were investigated and rejected. Verellen then filed a petition for writ of mandate claiming the retaliation investigative outcomes are wrong and requesting reinstatement. Simultaneously, Verellen filed a complaint for damages for whistleblower retaliation and age discrimination. He is 58 years old. CSU filed a motion to stay the damage claim until the writ is resolved. That motion was granted.

Discrimination and Whistleblower Retaliation

There are a number of other cases alleging discrimination, often from Athletics departments, and reliation for whistleblowing.

Ballot Measures and Legislation

The Board voted to support May 2009 Ballot Measures 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, 1-D, and 1-E.

Two bills before the Legislature seek to reign in extravagent executive compensation:

AB 53 (Portantino) State Employment: Salary Freeze: This measure would prohibit any state employee, including employees of the CSU, who earns more than $150,000 to receive a salary increase, overtime pay, or a bonus until January 1, 2012. The measure excludes Constitutional officers, employees covered by a memorandum of understanding (unions), employees under the oversight of a federal receiver (corrections), and any person who has been exempted by a Governor’s executive order.

Status: This measure has been referred to the Assembly’s Public Employees Retirement and Social Security Committee. No hearing date has been set.

SB 217 (Yee) Public Postsecondary Education: Executive Officer Compensation: This measure forbids an executive officer of the system from receiving any salary increase in a year when the CSU has raised its mandatory student fees.

Status: This measure may be acted upon on or after March 26.

Yee has published an editorial on his bill in the California Progress Report.

Master Plans, Budgets, and Additional Expenditures

The Board also:

  • Approved Master Plan Revisions for California State University, Channel Islands and California State University, Stanislaus (See the Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings and Grounds agenda [PDF] for details)
  • Heard a presenation of the current budget situation, describing the current reductions as being "bridged" through a variety of short-term and expedient steps throughout the system, none of which are sustainable on a long-run basis. The Compact with Higher Education is not being funded for the 2009-10 budget year. The net effect of the budget package means the CSU faces an operating shortfall of $70.4 million for the 2009-10 fiscal year on top of the $217.3 million Compact shortfall.
    The written overview begins on page 10 of the PDF of the Committee on Finance agenda.
  • Authorized bonds not to exceed $33,070,000.
  • Authorized these non-state funded project expenditures:
    • $4,565,000for a Hydrogen Fueling Station project at CSULA
    • $90,553,000 for a Student Union Expansion and Renovation project at SJSU
    • $33,354,000 for a Student Health and Counseling Facility project at SJSU
    • $4,478,000 for a University Union Plaza Renovation at Cal Poly SLO.


Resolutions often amount to a variation of The Board adopted report X from Committee Y, so check the Committee agendas for more complete information. Minutes from previous meetings are included in the agendas, and often include information on the course the discussion took.

No comments: