Sunday, March 15, 2009

BUC 9 Report for March 14, 2009 Meeting

Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) met last night, March 14, 2009. Here's the Chair's report:

Term of Office

BUC members' term of office runs to the next state-wide officer elections, to be held in four months. There will be one more BUC meeting for the current BUC, and elections for the next two-year cycle will be held the next day.

BUC 9 Resignation

Félix Cortez-Littlefield has officially resigned from the Unit 9 Council, and we want to thank him for the great work he has done for Unit 9, and wish him the best of luck in his career with the CSU.


The CSU's initial bargaining proposal (a.k.a. the sunshine proposal) contains significant changes, including higher parking fees and reduced limits on contracting out and outsourcing. The CSU and CSUEU proposals will be available on the CSUEU web site on Monday morning. Teven Laxer, Senior Labor Relations Representative assigned to Unit 9, reports that CSUEU will soon generate a comparison of the two proposals. He reports 5 other unions are bargaining contracts with the CSU; most of these are at impasse.

LA to LSS Conversion

We are still bargaining the Library Services Specialist (LSS) conversion. The two teams have been meeting for more than a year now, but the actual process started almost 17 years ago, with informal discussions between the Library Assistants (LA's) and the CSU. The CSU is refusing to provide any additional compensation to the LA's as their jobs shifted from clerical functions to technical positions. There are more than 500 LA's working within Unit 7, and 20 still working within Unit 4 (Lead Library Assistants). We bargain again next Thursday at the Chancellor's Office. The CSUEU LSS bargaining team met for several hours Friday to discuss several possible bargaining strategies.


Teven Laxer reports the accounting techs will be the next classification examined as the CSU works to refine the Classification and Qualification Standards (CQS). When it is time for this, a mixed bargaining group of both Unit 7 and Unit 9 employees will be created to discuss these positions with the CSU.

The CSU has proposed revisions to virtually all Unit 9 classifications. Unit 9 has reviewed the proposed CQS, and delivered a report to the Classification Committee. Most of the proposed changes are minor, but there are some substantive changes such as modified duties and qualifications. Some positions, such as livestock technician, are listed as reporting to faculty.


8 campuses have still not fully reported the results of their In-Range Progression (IRP) campaign from last year. $1.3 million was spent on the IRP's funded from the 0.25% compensation pool CSUEU agreed to use to fund employee initiated IRP's, and $100,000 of this amount remains unspent. Campuses, statewide, used $3.5 million to fund the remaining IRP's. Chapter presidents have the exact IRP numbers in their binders.

Contracting Out

Teven was notified late last year that the CSU had issued outsourcing contracts for statewide IT work. This would have been our work, including e-mail support, server management, Blackboard, Active Directory, etc. This contract was for more than $15 million dollars, and would have been used at all campuses except for Humboldt and Chico, which were described by the CSU as being too far away. When challenged, the CSU agreed to cancel these contracts.

Google Mail Outsourcing

Several campuses have either already outsourced student email to Google's Gmail, or were planning to do so in the immediate future.

Teven has sent an information request to Sharyn at the Chancellor's Office and is waiting a response. Several campuses evaluated Gmail, but found it unsuitable due to accessibility problems. Several campuses (Humboldt, Cal Poly SLO) switched to Zimbra, a free open-source package, administered by the campus.

Position Postings

Please review all posted campus positions within BU 9. Campuses are attempting to save money by low-balling IT positions and posting them at the Foundation level. Remember that a Foundation position is a bridge to the workplace, and the duties and responsibilities for these positions are clearly defined within the CQS.

Operational Need

If employees are denied the opportunity to attend a class due to operational needs, please schedule an informal with the MPP to discuss what those exact operational needs may be. Having a department be too short staffed or too busy to release an employee is not a reason to deny their application for fee waiver, or to take a class during working hours. Ask the MPP if they approved vacation for the employee last year. If they can approve two weeks leave during the year, why is two weeks of class time any different? Our contract allows for fee-waiver, we worked hard to get it, and it is an employee right.

CSUEU Web Site

I have been advised by several CSUEU/CSEA managers and staff that CSUEU's legal advisors have said they do not believe that the federal ADA requirements apply to the CSUEU web site. We disagree – labor organizations are specifically mentioned – but in any case it's not clear why this would be taken as justification for deliberately discriminating against disabled employees we represent, or making the web site unnecessarily difficult for all to use. A competently-designed web site is accessible out of the box, and is no more work to create than an inaccessible web site. Accessible sites are easier for all visitors to use, and this issue affects more than the disabled.

The CSEA webmaster stated Saturday that the cost of converting the website to ensure ADA compliance would be huge, massive, since he would have to re-bill CSUEU for all the time, possibly 180 hours, or more, that he has spent creating the current website. The content management system we currently use is not ADA-compliant and would have to be replaced.

I will be requesting a meeting with the Communications Committee, as well as Pat and Phillip, to further discuss this issue.

Updated March 23, 2009 to clarify the LSS and LA abbreviations.


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