Friday, May 22, 2009

Preliminary GC Delegate Results Complete

Ballot counting for General Council (GC) delegate election is complete. Preliminary results for all chapters have been posted on Inside CSUEU:
Preliminary General Council delegate results

Chapter Bylaws Updates

This is the text of a letter emailed last week to chapters, reminding officers of the need to ensure chapter bylaws are up-to-date, and offering a template. [Editor's note: we have redacted the email addresses in the letter. The Policy File Committee web page has contact information for committee members.]

To: CSUEU Board of Directors, Chapter Vice Presidents, Chapter Secretaries
From: Christine Thomas, Policy File Committee Chair
Subject: Chapter Bylaws Updates
Date: May 12, 2009

At the November 2008 CSUEU Board meeting, the Policy File Committee reminded the members of the Board that chapters needed to review and update their current chapter bylaws. A number of chapters still have bylaws that do not recognize our incorporation and are not in compliance with the CSUEU Policy File. A template was forwarded to the Board last December.

Since then, the chapters have completed their election process and there are new officers in place at many chapters. Additionally, the Policy File Committee met recently and updated the chapter bylaws template to include appropriate language for chapter treasurers and the finance section on disbursements since all chapters are now using central accounting.

The new template is attached. Please use it to update your chapter bylaws. If you have any questions, feel free to contact any of the committee members: Christine Thomas, [redacted], Joan Kennedy, [redacted], Steve Mottaz, [redacted], or Richard Duarte, [redacted]. When you have completed updating your bylaws, please file a copy with Christine Thomas, Chair of the Policy File Committee, Ronnie Grant, Vice-President for Organizing and Malia Plummer at CSUEU headquarters.

Thank you.


Cc: Pat Gantt, CSUEU President
Policy File Committee


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Preliminary GC Delegate Results

CSUEU Vice President for Organizing Ronnie Grant has been posting preliminary results for the General Council (GC) delegate elections on Inside CSUEU:
Preliminary General Council Election Results

As of Thursday evening, they have counted ballots for chapters 301-317. Results are also being posted to the InsideCSUEU Twitter feed:

Poll Says Californians Oppose Higher Ed Cuts, Want Better Solution Than "Cuts Only" Budget

The California Faculty Association (CFA) put out a special edition of CFA Headlines today titled New Poll Shows Californians Want Real Budget Reform. From CFA Headlines:

With the remnants of Tuesday's failed propositions still smoldering in the minds of the lawmakers and the public, CFA and its allies in the effort to defeat Prop 1A released new polling data about how voters want to address the state budget deficit.

…[CFA President Lillian] Taiz continued, The assumption from some lawmakers and members of the media that this election is a mandate on a 'cuts only' budget is simply false. This polling data affirms that the public wants a combination of specific cuts to streamline state government as well as a major restructuring of how revenue is collected and from whom it is collected.

Based on polling conducted within the last week, the article lists several tax increases voters support, and goes on to say that …voters adamantly opposed some of the specific spending cuts proposed by Governor Schwarzenegger, and that 73% oppose cutting funding for state colleges and universities by $1.2 billion.

CFA is sponsoring AB 656 in the state legislature, to create a stable funding source for all three segments of public higher education in California by enacting a new tax at the wellhead on oil and natural gas 'severed' from California land or water.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Budget Update from Pat Gantt

Here is this morning's message from CSUEU President Pat Gantt:

TO: CSUEU Board of Directors and Assigned staff

Budget Update 5/19/09

It has been a while since I updated you on the state and CSU budgets. I have been waiting either for some of the pieces to fall in place or for a new ball to be put in the air. That's turned into quite a long wait!

The messages on the May 19 special election were confusing, but the bottom line was that Prop. 1A's spending cap provision would have done nothing for the CSU in the short run and would have done harm to all of us in the long run. Its defeat was a victory for all who are concerned about the future of the CSU.

Now we wait to see what the legislature and governor do next. We need to closely watch some numbers identified in the Trustees' budgets and the new May revise. I am working with a variety of sources to get a handle on the use of federal stimulus funds and what the May Revise really means.

Following are some reports from the last week dealing with the CSU and state budget:

Trustees Meeting

The California State budget is notorious for its twists and turns. Last week, it appears that there may have been some new twists. The Chancellor's Office presented an updated budget outlook to the Trustees on Tuesday that was grim and doubtful, but with some hope of protection thanks to federal stimulus funds. Here is an excerpt from the May CSU Trustees Finance Committee Report:

May Revision As noted above, the May Revision will have a strong nexus to the May 19 election and the State's revenue projections. Consequently, the CSU support budget will be vulnerable to additional reductions. However, the federal ARRA includes “maintenance-of-effort” (MOE) requirements for states (like California) that draw upon the Education Restoration Fund. The ARRA specifies that states accepting the funds must “maintain State support for public institutions of higher education (not including support for capital projects or for research and development or tuition and fees paid by students) at least at the level of such support” in 2005-06, unless a waiver is granted. The Department of Finance has calculated the MOE requirement for the CSU to be $2.596 billion. The current State General Fund appropriation for 2009-10 of $2.654 billion exceeds the MOE by $58 million. Assuming the State is not granted a waiver, the CSU support budget should be reduced no more than $58 million.

Conclusion Considering the General Fund reductions, the absence of the funds related to the Compact for Higher Education, the ten percent student fee increase and the funds to be received from the federal stimulus package, the total two-year impact on the CSU support budget is a negative $587 million. In the context of the continuing economic uncertainties and the impact the May 19 ballot propositions will have on the General Fund, the CSU may be forced to plan for additional budget reductions.

Chancellor's Report

Excerpts from the Chancellor's Report to the CSU Board of Trustees
May 13, 2009 Compiled by Teven Laxer

  • I have been in public service for 45 years. I have never seen what I am seeing now. I anticipate continuing bad news. I don't see any improvements for 18 to 24 months.
  • We can have more revenue (through a fee increase) or less staff and faculty
  • Events that are coming will come very fast. By the first week in June, we will have a PLAN.
  • CSU held its advocacy day last week in Sacramento. Some legislators are talking about a cut to the CSU budget of 18 to 20 percent.
  • Can we manage it? Our payroll is $296 million per month.
  • Where you start with the Governor is generally where you wind up.
  • We will work through the weekend (May 29-31) and come up with a plan which will be presented to the Presidents at a June 1 meeting at our office. We will talk about what the May Revise means to the CSU.
  • The Speaker told me that she intends to have a (new) budget for FY 2009 between June 15 and July 1.
  • There will be a meeting with the campus presidents on June 1 in the Chancellor's office.
  • After June 1, we intend to send out a list of allocations to all of the presidents.
  • Our goals will be as follows:
    • Students first
    • Save all of the jobs we possibly can
    • We're going to talk about some different initiatives that we haven't done before
  • We expect 90,000 students will graduate this spring.

The full Chancellor's report should be posted shortly on the Chancellor's reports page on the CSU website

Thursday, May 14

Thursday of last week came with a new surprise: the Governor released his May Revise early. In fact, he released two May revises, both aimed to push voters in favor of the Governor's ballot measures. The same day, CSU Chancellor Reed released a statement on the impacts to the CSU of the CSU May Revise, noting that cuts to the CSU may range up to $410 million. A cut of that level would represent a cut of 10 percent in one budget year.

On May 15, the L.A. Times published an article laying out what the Governor has presented as Plans A and B. The revealing headline? California's Bleak Budget Options.

The Governor has also proposed previously an early release of prisoners. He threatened to release up to 38,000 prisoners–either low-level offenders or those nearing parole–if the ballot measures fail. Under the California Constitution, the Governor can commute the sentences of prisoners without approval of the Legislature. This plan set off immediate negative reviews from some conservative legislators.

There is also a plan in the May Revise to sell some state property, including San Quentin State Prison, situated on very valuable land in posh Marin County. If you want to dive into the details, here is the Full text of May Revise.

As California has increased spending on prisons, it has decreased spending on higher education. Here are some facts on prison spending:

  • The corrections budget has gone from 4.3 percent of the state's general fund in 1985-86 to 11.2 percent today. It has steadily displaced spending on higher education.
  • Incarceration of each inmate costs an average of $43,500 per year.
  • The state has built 22 new prisons since 1984 (compared with 12 prisons between 1852 and 1984). There are now 33 state prisons.
  • Voters passed the three strikes initiative; governors and legislators have added hundreds of sentence enhancements throughout the penal code. As a result, the state now imprisons a much greater proportion of the state's population than in past decades – 453 per 100,000 residents in 2007, compared with 102 per 100,000 in 1980.
  • Spending per CSU student from the General Fund has fallen from $11,075 in 1998-99 to $8,338 in 2009-10.

Monday, May 18

On the eve of the May 19 special election, Gov. Schwarzenegger left California for Washington to participate in federal announcements about automobile energy regulations. All well and good, but it sends a message that he has a less than full commitment to California's pressing budget problems and their resolution.

In closing, it will be a busy couple of months as California tries to solve this deep budget crisis. I will keep you posted on the developments as information and analysis becomes available.

In Union,
Pat Gantt


Monday, May 18, 2009

CSUEU: No On 1A, No On 1C, Yes On 1F

California's May 19 Special Election, with a slew of budget-related propositions, is tomorrow. Turnout is expected to be low for this election, so your vote is important. As CSUEU E-News puts it: A lot of people are angry about this election. They don't like their choices… but skipping the election is what the Governor and his allies want you to do. [emphasis ours]

CSUEU Opposes 1A and 1C, Supports 1F

Here are CSUEU's positions on the ballot measures:
1A: No
1B: Neutral
1C: No
1D: Neutral
1E: Neutral
1F: Yes
The California Faculty Association (CFA) and the SEIU California State Council also oppose Proposition 1A.

CFA Calls Chancellor's 1A Claims False

Friday evening's CFA Headlines says …the chancellor continues to make false claims about the impact the May 19 ballot initiatives would have on CSU funding shortfalls. CFA states:

It is NOT TRUE, as the chancellor writes, that some $6 billion in revenue for the 2009-10 state budget depends on the passage of Propositions 1A through 1E.

This is simply false.

If Proposition 1A fails and Proposition 1B fails, that will have NO IMPACT ON THE STATE BUDGET during 2009-2010.

This is not an interpretation. This is a fact. Proposition 1A could reduce state revenues two years from now because, unless it passes, temporary tax increases will sunset – but not for two years!

Know Your Voting Rights

Take a moment to read about provisional voting, in case you encounter a problem at the polls. Provisional voting lets you cast a ballot if there's a glitch such being left off the polling place voter roster, or a lost vote-by-mail ballot. Your ballot is held aside while election officials verify your voter registration and that you hadn't already voted. Once this is done, your vote is counted.

A few items from California's Voter Bill of Rights:

  • You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if your name is not listed on the voting rolls.
  • You have the right to return a completed vote-by-mail ballot to any precinct in the county.
  • You have the right to receive a new ballot if, prior to casting your ballot, you believe you made a mistake.
  • You have the right to cast a ballot if you are present and in line at the polling place prior to the close of the polls.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

CFA, CSUEU, APC On Why To Vote No On 1A

Thursday afternoon, May 14, the California Faculty Association (CFA), CSUEU, and the Academic Professionals of California (APC), sent this email out to (at least some) email addresses gathered by the Alliance for the CSU:

To: Supporters of the California State University

From: California Faculty Association,
CSU Employees Union, and
Academic Professionals of California

May 14, 2009

Re: Why You Should Vote No on Prop. 1A in the May 19 Special Election

Dear CSU Supporter,

We are the faculty and staff who teach and work on the 23 campuses of the California State University.

Because of the devastating impact Proposition 1A would have on our state university system, as well as on public health and other public services supported by the state of California, we ask you to…

Vote No on Proposition 1A in the May 19 Special Election

Prop. 1A would institutionalize more than 10 years of cutbacks to the CSU. Over the past 10 years, CSU state funding per student has dropped by $3000 - almost 30%. When adjusted for inflation the CSU's funding is lower today than it was 10 years ago, even though there are more than 90,000 additional students today.

Yet, Prop. 1A would have no impact on the state budget crisis that the CSU is facing right now. It does not add or take away one dime from the state budget either this year or next year.

Worse, over the coming years it would slam a lid on how much the state can provide for public four-year education, regardless of how many students need to go to college.

Future funding would be based on the CSU's worst budget year ever, and that means that state funding for each student would go down even more than it already has - leaving students and parents with the burden of higher fees and greater debt to pay for college.

Plus, Prop. 1A would give the Governor extraordinary new power over the budget - including the power to make more mid-year cuts - without checks and balances from the Legislature.

Read the text of Prop. 1A yourself, at…

You will see that this proposed Constitutional Amendment is filled with complex formulas and convoluted language, hastily drafted behind closed doors without public hearings or independent analysis of how it will actually work.

This is bad for the CSU and it is bad for California.

The California State University is a driver of our state's economy. When the economy is bad, we need more people in college, not fewer. Our future depends on it.

You can learn more about Prop. 1A at the official campaign web site…

Thank you for taking a stand for the California State University.


California Faculty Association • • (916) 441-4848
CSU Employees Union • • (866) 763-1452
Academic Professionals of California • (209) 632-2627

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Time to Request GC Ballot Replacement If Needed

If you haven't already received your ballot for your chapter's General Council (GC) delegates, please call 866-763-1452 today to request a replacement ballot.

Ballots were mailed April 17. In addition to the usual suspected bad addresses, in at least one case the address used on the mailing was not the address provided by CSUEU. We don't know how many others may have been similarly affected.

CSUEU is part of the California State Employees Association (CSEA). GC delegates represent members at the statewide meeting of the CSEA in September. Delegates elect statewide CSEA officers, modify the bylaws and policy file which govern CSEA, and adopt a budget. The last General Council was in 2007. After this year's GC CSEA goes to a 3-year cycle, so the next GC will be in 2012.

Note: As with contract ratifications and officer elections, only CSUEU members can vote for chapter GC delegates.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Staff Update: Half-time LRR for Long Beach

From headquarters on Thursday:

CSUEU Board of Directors and Staff:

It is with pleasure that I announce the addition of Gerry Daley, to our staff. Gerry comes to us with extensive experience with CFA and wide-ranging knowledge of the workings of the CSU. He is assigned to work ½ time at Long Beach.

In union,

Phillip Coonley, Chief of Staff
California State University Employees Union (CSUEU)