Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 2 Budget Update from Pat Gantt

Here's the June 2 budget update from CSUEU President Pat Gantt. The CSUEU Board of Directors is having a closed meeting via conference call today regarding the California/CSU budget.

I would like to give you an update on the CSU budget Yesterday, I waited three hours to testify before the Joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee. The majority of the testimony was by students explaining how the cuts would affect them. Most of the students were from the community college system.

Chancellor Reed testified and requested that any cuts be unallocated so that the CSU can balance its budget needs internally. One of the driving forces behind this request is the Governor’s proposal to eliminate outreach programs in the CSU. The outreach efforts in the CSU have been very successful in improving enrollment on some campuses, especially for underrepresented students.

He wanted to have enrollment targets removed, if the CSU were to absorb cuts amounting to a reduction of at least $481 million. He reiterated that his first goals were to protect service and access to students and faculty and staff positions.

Earlier today, the CSU’s Statewide Budget Advisory Committee met. Numbers from the May revise(s) are still fluid. So far, the best-case scenario is a net reduction of $481 million. This number is based on the Governor’s proposal and on an assumption that more federal stimulus funds will be forthcoming. An upper number cited was $689 million, based on no additional federal stimulus funding; this would represent about a 16% budget cut to the CSU.

We still are not clear on the impacts on positions. The budget numbers could change, as the legislature can adopt a different budget than what the governor has proposed, and the governor still may add more details to his May revisions. The governor and legislature have both stated that they want the budget issues resolved before the end of June and the start of the next fiscal year.

We are starting a FAQ section on the budget to try to answer members’ questions on the budget, budget impacts and the processes. If you have questions or are presented with a question you cannot answer, please send it to John, Teven and/or Phillip.

In Union,

Pat Gantt

And in case you didn't see it, here's Pat's previous budget update from May 26:

TO: CSUEU Board of Directors

We continue to monitor developments for direct impacts on the CSU and CSUEU represented positions. Please understand that references to state worker cuts or layoffs in the press are not directed at the CSU. Most of the cuts that would impact us refer to the CSU and Higher Education specifically. There are proposed cuts that could trigger layoffs, but there has been no mention or notice of layoffs yet in the CSU. Many of these reports are merely proposals at this point in time. In addition, the concept of IOU’s has also not come up and may not affect the CSU at all. Please let me know what your campus budget committees may be planning for the budget impacts.

Budget Update

May 26, 2009

Governor Schwarzenegger has incorrectly interpreted the May 19 election results to mean that voters want no new taxes. In fact, our ears to the ground, supported by recent statewide polls, indicate quite the opposite: voters want legislators to solve the budget puzzle successfully, and they know that new revenues are part of the solution.

At this point, it will take more than polls to shift the slash-and-burn mindset of the Governor and Republican legislators. They are intent on downsizing our way to solvency, even though common sense should tell them that you can’t get out of accumulated debt simply by spending less—at some point, you need to get your hands on the cold, hard cash to pay off those debts.

On May 21, the Legislative Analyst’s Office rolled out recommendations for closing the budget gap that included a five percent reduction in non-instructional support at CSU (yes, that means CSUEU-represented staff). This is only a recommendation and can’t be implemented without sign-off by a joint legislative budget subcommittee that has already been convened and that is meeting over the next two weeks (yes, we will be there!).

Far from supporting any and all budget cuts, the public wants education to be spared. In those recent polls, fully 70 percent of those surveyed opposed cuts to higher education.

The Chancellor is set to unveil a budget allocation plan to campus presidents on June 1 that will provide complete details on budget cut impacts from the CSU perspective. Until then, we’ll continue gathering information and conducting analysis of the potential impacts on staff.

In Union,
Pat Gantt

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