Thursday, July 30, 2009

Statewide Grievance on Campus Furlough Plans

Phillip Coonley, CSUEU Chief of Staff, has filed a statewide Level III grievance today against the CSU regarding violations of the furlough side letter. The grievance is filed on behalf of All CSUEU Represented Employees and lists Phillip Coonley himself as the union representative for the case.

The grievance form states:

The campus plans being issued to our members relative to the furlough program state that employees may not take more than one furlough day in a work-week nor more than two furlough days in a month. Neither of these limitations are reflected in the agreement.

The remedy sought is for the CSU to correct the violating furlough plans, and comply with the agreement.


Executive Committee Meets July 31

CSUEU executive officers (President, Vice President for Organizing, Vice President for Finance, Vice President for Representation) are meeting tomorrow, July 31, at headquarters to:

  • finalize the agenda for the CSUEU Board of Directors orientation/workshop scheduled August 8
  • work on the scheduling of some of the General Council events
  • review the final Organizing Grant report from the Vice President for Organizing


News Roundup: Furloughs, Budget, Legislation

In case you've missed anything this week:

Furlough KYR Flier

CSUEU has published a Know Your Rights (KYR) flier about Furloughs.

More Furlough Agreements

CFA and APC have reached agreements with the CSU on furloughs. Unit 6 and Unit 10 (10 people at California Maritime Academy) have chosen layoffs.

Here's the current status of the various unions and bargaining units, to the best of our knowledge:

2, 5, 7, 9CSUEU16,000Furloughs
10IUOE10 (at CMA)Layoffs

Reed: State values prisoners over students

Monday's San Francisco Chronicle carried an opinion piece from CSU Chancellor Charles Reed on the legislature's budget priorities, titled California values prisoners over students:

Overall, state general fund support of the CSU is expected to be approximately $1.6 billion, or about $600 million less than the level of state support provided a decade ago. But the CSU — the country's largest four-year university system — has about 100,000 more students than it did 10 years ago.


On the flip side, consider that California's prisons set the state back more than $10 billion per year. The proposed plan to release 27,000 prisoners would move to home detention those prisoners with a year left on their sentences, as well as the elderly and infirm, and change sentencing and parole rules for inmates who show promise of rehabilitation. But inconceivably, for some policy leaders in Sacramento, the idea of setting those people free is more unthinkable than denying 40,000 students the right to higher education.

Now for the final injustice: It costs $49,000 per year to keep a prisoner behind bars in California. However, the state's contribution per student at the CSU is just $4,600. This dichotomy is not just outrageous, it's tragic.

SB 218

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat published an editorial in support of Senate Bill (SB) 218 by Senator Yee, which would open records of CSU foundations and auxiliaries to public scrutiny. After recounting the recent scandals involving foundation expenditures at Sonoma State University, CSU Sacramento, and Fresno State University, the Press Democrat writes:

These nonprofit foundations, created and operated by public universities and colleges, manage millions of dollars in gifts, endowments and scholarships on behalf of University of California, CSU and community college campuses.

And they do it without public oversight in a way that the colleges and universities cannot.


The university system is fighting the legislation, which has passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

CSU should be guided by what the Sonoma State foundation officials said twice in their Close to Home column: They must earn and sustain the public trust.

Opening their doors is a prerequisite.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Statewide Organizing Committee Meeting This Saturday Via Teleconference

Here's the agenda for this weekend's statewide CSUEU Organizing Committee meeting, which is being held on a conference call:

CSUEU Statewide Organizing Committee Agenda

Saturday, August 1, 2009
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

SPECIAL MEETING via conference call

  1. Call to Order — Ronnie L. Grant
  2. Development of organizing around furloughs — Ronnie L. Grant

The meeting has two parts — a conference call, and an online meeting for a virtual whiteboard. All attendees must join the conference call; for staff, CSUEU Board members and Organizing Committee members, it is highly recommended to also join the online meeting to see the whiteboard.

To join the conference call:

Dial 1-800-704-9804 and enter your conference code.
For audience members, your conference code is 28742187. Committee members, staff and CSUEU Board members have a different private code to identify them on the call; they should have received this private code by email.
Record your name.

While on the phone call:

Audience members are muted by default and will need to press *1 to be recognized by the chair.

Committee members, staff and CSUEU Board members are not muted by default and can press *6 to mute and unmute themselves. To be recognized by the chair, committee members will need to ensure they are not muted, and then speak up for recognition.

To join the online meeting:

Go to:
Enter your name and email address where prompted.
Enter the meeting password furlough where prompted.

IMPORTANT: Please join 15 minutes early; if this is your first time using an online meeting, you may need to download and install some software and reboot your computer. If at home, a broadband Internet connection such as DSL or cable modem is recommended.

You can test your computer in advance by going to:

Additional Information

  • This meeting is open to all CSUEU members.
  • Recent appointments to the statewide CSUEU Organizing Committee are:
    • Janet Gonzales, Long Beach
    • Mike Geck, San Marcos
    • Charles Constantine, Maritime Academy
    • Linda Nunez, Los Angeles
    • Santos Ortega, Channel Islands
  • As a reminder, 800 numbers such as the one used for this call can capture and display the phone number you are calling from, regardless of your Caller ID settings. If you have Caller ID information blocked on your outgoing calls, that setting will not prevent your phone number from being captured on this call.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Information for Supplemental GC Delegate Election

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, sent out more information on the supplemental General Council (GC) delegate election. Here are the contents of the how-to and sample ballot document, and the sample notice document:


  1. Find out how many delegate vacancies your have i.e. the # of delegates you still need to elect.
  2. Pick a date to hold balloting on your campus. The ballots must be counted and reported no later than 8/7 11 pm.
  3. Pick a date to close nominations (last day to receive the form).
  4. Pick someone (yourself?) to receive the form and create the ballots and generally be in charge.
  5. If the number of candidates equals or is less than the number of delegate vacancies, STOP. All candidates have won automatically. Notify the candidates, membership and report the results (go to step 11 and 12 and 13). Skip steps 6-10.
  6. Create the ballots and copy.
  7. Order the PDF sign-in sheet register for election (see below).
  8. Have the candidate statements available at the polling place or place on ballots. Check no statement is over 100 words.
  9. Hold the election.
  10. Count the ballots.
  11. Report the results to both and Report the name and # of votes. – or if all were automatically elected.
  12. Report results to your Chapter.
  13. Pack the ballots, sign-in sheets, and all other paperwork in a box and ship to Dayna Ramos, 1108 O St, Suite 500, Sacramento, CA 95814. Extra blank ballots can be shredded at your campus.


  • Blank member applications
  • Your PDF voting register for sign-in — no later than 9 am four working days before the election you must email both and with subject line Need voting register so Dayna can place an order with CSEA for the register to be sent to you. Include your election date and the email you want the PDF emailed to. Wendy Montero, 916-326-4300, produces the voting registers the day before so it's fresh and should email it direct to you. If you don't receive it call both Dayna and Wendy.
  • Blank ballots you have modified make your own copies
  • Printed copies of the candidate statements/name


  • Any ballot with more than the # of permitted votes an over-vote ballot or no votes an under-vote ballot is void. Sort these out and set aside. Ballots with identifying info are also void.
  • Start with the first candidate. Sort out all ballots with this person checked. Person #1 counts the ballots, then person # 2 counts. Both counts must agree. Mark each count on a blank sheet which is your tally sheet. If count #1 and #2 don't agree count a third time. Keep recounting until you have two counts that agree.
  • Repeat the above for each other candidate.
  • Rank the candidates by # of votes received.
  • Based on your vote for X, the top X candidates win.


  • Modify the sample ballot as follows:
  • Find out how many delegates you need to elect. Insert the number so it reads vote for X candidates
  • Add the candidate names
  • Statements can be placed on ballots or placed at the polling location (your choice)

(Supplemental election)

IMPORTANT Vote for no more than ____2____ candidates.

Mark your choice(s) with an X.
Do not make any other marks on the ballot.

_____ JOHN DOE
_____ JANE ROE
_____ JOE BLOW

Notice of Supplemental General Council Election:

  • Nominations must be hand delivered, mailed or FAXed to (name) in (room) or (FAX #) or (Mailstop). Signed forms must be received no later than 5 p.m. on (date).
  • Balloting will occur in (room) from (time) to (time) on (date). All members are eligible to vote; if you are not a member, you can join and vote at the polls. Please bring a photo ID to vote.
  • Ballot tabulation will at (date/time) in (room) and is open to observation by members.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Live Captioning Transcript of July 21 Trustees Meeting

Claudia Garcia, president of Chapter 312 (Northridge), saved the live captioning transcript of yesterday's CSU Board of Trustees meeting. We're posting it here so everyone can read it. For CSUEU remarks addressing the Board, jump to the sections highlighted in yellow by Claudia, or search the transcript for the first instance of Gantt.

Since the captioning is done in real time, be aware that it has typos and misunderstood words in it (for example, Rich McGee did not say employees asked about what management is giving up in exhange for our accepting the Thanksgiving agreement).


Chapter 308 President Quoted in Story on Employees Using Food Stamps

Chapter 308 (Stanislaus) president Frank Borrelli was quoted in the Modesto Bee's story CSUS furloughs may propel some toward food stamps:

As staff members at California State University, Stanislaus, prepare to take two furlough days a month, many supporting their families are coming dangerously close to qualifying for public aid.

Others have salaries low enough to qualify for food stamps despite working full time on campus.

That's criminal, said Frank Borrelli, president of the local CSU Employees Union chapter, which represents about 400 employees. People see state workers (as having) huge pensions and huge salaries. That's not the group we represent.

Later in the story, Borrelli mentions that some employees have told him they won't be able to afford utilities, and that others will need to take a second or third job.


Recording of Trustees Meeting Online

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, recorded yesterday's CSU Board of Trustees meeting and has made it available online:
July 7, 2009 CSU Board of Trustees meeting (MP3)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trustees Resolutions from July 21 Meeting

The resolutions passed by the CSU Board of Trustees at today's meeting include:

  • Title 5 amendments to permit furloughs, salary reductions, and unpaid holidays for non-represented University personnel, including Management Personnel Plan (MPP) and Executive employees.
  • Title 5 amendments to prevent students from enrolling in additional courses after meeting degree requirements, and to confer a degree.
  • Increase in student fees for 2009-2010 academic year for residents
  • Increase in tuition for 2009-2010 academic year for nonresidents


Supplemental GC Delegate Election Deadline is August 4

Chapters have until August 4 to hold a supplemental General Council (GC) delegate election to ensure they have enough GC delegates and alternates. GC delegates must be elected by members; they cannot be appointed.

From the email sent today by Ronnie Grant, Vice President for Organizing:

If your Chapter wants or needs more delegates or alternates, you can hold a chapter election (HQ will not perform mail balloting). You must complete this by 8/4 and transmit results to me no later than 11 pm on 8/4.

Chapters have received a spreadsheet showing the number of delegates awarded each chapter, and the current number of elected delegates and alternates. CSUEU funds GC attendance for one alternate per chapter. Alternates observe from the audience until they are needed.

Chapters with delegate vacancies will have empty seats at GC, and CSUEU will be under-represented as a result. Since delegates resign (from their jobs or just as delegates), get sick, have family emergencies, etc., it's safer to have a few alternates.

About General Council

CSUEU is one of four California State Employees Association (CSEA) affiliates, along with:

Delegates from each affiliate meet at General Council to elect CSEA officers, adopt a CSEA budget for the next 3 years, and modify the CSEA bylaws and policy file. The 65th General Council will be held September 5-7, 2009, in Los Angeles. The next GC will be in 2012.


Monday, July 20, 2009

CSUEU Members Ratify Furlough Agreement

Members of CSUEU ratified the tentative agreement on furloughs by more than 80%.

Ratification votes are by statewide bargaining unit. The percentage of votes cast in favor of the furlough agreement, by bargaining unit, are shown below.

Percentage of Votes in Favor of Furlough Agreement
Bargaining Unit% in favor

Watch your chapter web site or mailing list, and the main CSUEU web site, for more information.


Listen to the Board of Trustees Live Online

The CSU Board of Trustees will begin online audio streaming its meetings with tomorrow's meeting, July 21, 2009:
Live audio streaming information for CSU Board of Trustees


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Information Roundup for Furlough Agreement Ratification

On Monday, the last ballots in the furlough agreement ratification vote will be cast. Looking for information? Here you go:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Board Teleconference Call Monday 4 p.m. for Ratification Results

The CSUEU Board of Directors will meet by teleconference Monday at 4 p.m., to hear the ratification vote totals. As the announcement put it: This is subject to having received and tallied the vote totals from all the chapters timely (Please make every effort to have your vote totals called in to HQ by 2:00 p.m. on Monday).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Unit 1 Signs Furlough Agreement

The California Federation of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), which represents Bargaining Unit 1, has signed a furlough agreement with the CSU. Unit 1 includes physicians and veterinarians.

The agreement is very similar to the one signed by CSUEU.


CFA Extends Furlough Vote Through Wednesday

The California Faculty Association (CFA) has extended its furlough vote until 5 PM on Wednesday, July 22. According to the message from CFA, some faculty members did not receive the email which allowed them to vote, and some campus mail servers were rejecting the messages wholesale. CFA will be sending alternate email ballots from a CFA address, instead of from the third-party vendor hired to conduct the vote.

CFA represents Bargaining Unit 3, which includes professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches.


Chancellor: CSU in "Mega-meltdown"

Chancellor Reed describes the CSU's financial situation as a mega-meltdown in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

Just as the University of California's Board of Regents was voting Thursday morning to cut $813 million from the UC budget, the chancellor of the California State University system announced he will ask trustees to approve a hefty 20 percent fee hike on students next week.

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said he will also ask for layoffs, unpaid furloughs and a range of other measures Tuesday to save the university system $584 million.

It's nothing short of a mega-meltdown financially, Reed said.

The article lists some of CSU's plans to cut spending, including furloughs, course reductions, freezes on maintenance, construction, travel, and enrollment reduction.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fresno Chapter Votes Overwhelmingly for Furloughs

Chapter 309 (Fresno) has released its furlough ratification results to the media: 88% in favor of ratification of the tentative agreement on furloughs.

The Central Valley Business Times quotes the chapter president:

The vote at Fresno State was 231 in favor of ratification and 42 against, says Nancy Kobata, the Fresno Chapter 309 president.

Like other ratification votes, what matters in the end is the result for each statewide bargaining unit, not the totals for individual chapters. Ratification is by bargaining unit, not by chapter.


Next Board of Directors Meeting: November 13-15

Save the date alert from headquarters about the next CSUEU Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting:

To All CSUEU BOD members and staff:

Please note on your calendars that we’ll have a CSUEU BOD meeting on November 13-15, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sac, CA 95814.  Online registration will go out late September or October and will include all the pertinent information.

Provisional Ballot Procedure for Ratification Vote

Here's the provisional ballot information sent to the chapters:

Provisional Ballot Process

  • If a member is unavailable for the Chapter balloting due to circumstances beyond their control, they may submit a provisional ballot.
  • Provisional ballots must be submitted to the Chapter President or their designee between Friday, July 10 and Monday, July 20. Ballots received after 2:00 p.m. will be invalid.
  • Provisional ballots will have a place to mark a selection for or against the Tentative Agreement as well as a place to identify bargaining unit (2, 5, 7 or 9)
  • For those members who are unable to be on the campus at any time during the balloting period due to circumstances beyond their control, they may vote by sending an e-mail, with a return address that is verifiable by the Chapter President, indicating their choice for or against the Tentative Agreement as well as their bargaining unit.  For those members submitting provisional ballots via e-mail, by doing so they consent to waive their right to a secret ballot.

Chapters will count the ballots, then send the election materials to headquarters. Headquarters recommends that chapters copy the checked membership lists and tally sheets before sending in the ballot material.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Misconceptions About Furlough Agreement and Our Options

Several misconceptions about furloughs, layoffs, and how bargaining works have turned up repeatedly this week:

If this TA is voted down, can't we just negotiate a better one?
No. First, this is a good agreement, with the protections we sought. Second, there's no time to negotiate a new agreement on something members have already voted against. If this TA isn't ratified, the CSU will begin layoffs.
Once the CSU starts layoffs, we can bargain furloughs then, right?
No. The only bargaining we'd be doing over layoffs is on the impact of the layoffs on employees, not the number of layoffs. That will not prevent or delay layoffs.
We don't really have to decide so fast, do we?
Yes, we do. The CSU has given all the unions until July 20 to answer about furloughs – the day before the July 21 Board of Trustees meeting. The fiscal year has already started, and the longer CSU waits, the deeper the cuts will have to be. With or without a furlough plan, campus presidents will be directed to start making the necessary cuts on their campuses. Furloughs will drastically reduce the number of layoffs campuses will make.
My chapter voted in favor of the furlough agreement. Even if other campuses vote no, employees at my campus are safe, right?
No. Ratification votes are by statewide bargaining unit, not chapter. For example, if members in Unit 5 vote yes on the furlough agreement and members in Unit 9 vote against it, Unit 5 employees would be furloughed, and have jobs. Unit 9 would go into layoffs, and many Unit 9 employees would lose their jobs.
But you would bargain over layoffs, right? Couldn't you fix it then?
No. Bargaining over layoffs is simply bargaining over the impact, not whether there are layoffs or how many there are. Bargaining over the impact of layoffs would not prevent layoffs.
I'm worried about my workload under furloughs.
Workload issues are addressed in this agreement. Also: If you're concerned about your workload under temporary furloughs, aren't you a lot more concerned about your workload if roughly 1/3 of the employees in our bargaining units lose their jobs? That's what we're facing under layoffs.
I heard furloughs would be permanent, and get added to the contract.
No. This is a temporary agreement for one year, expiring June 30, 2010. It does not become part of the contract.
I heard the CSU can just impose furloughs anyway.
No, they can't. There is no provision for furloughs in our contract. Without this furlough agreement, the CSU would be left with using the option already in our contract: Layoffs.
If the CSU is really going to furlough MPPs, and furlough or lay off other bargaining units like faculty, why doesn't it say so in our furlough agreement?
Because the union is the exclusive representative of our own bargaining units, not faculty or MPPs. We do not have the legal authority to bargain their pay or working conditions, any more than CFA could bargain ours.
The CSU has been adamant that each union faces either furloughs or layoffs, and that there is a July 20 deadline for deciding. Any union which does not agree to furloughs will face layoffs. MPPs are facing furloughs; they don't get a vote.
Why doesn't the TA say no raises for other groups?
Because we can't legally bargain for other groups. Just as CFA or APC cannot bargain for us, we cannot bargain for them. Remember too that our own contract still provides for In-Range Progression (IRPs), stipends, bonuses, etc.
Does this agreement give away our holidays by turning them into furlough days?
No. You still get all your holidays as provided by the contract. The furlough agreement allows the campus president to continue his/her practice of moving those holidays (to the week between Christmas and New Year's, for example), and also designate the actual holidays as campus-wide furlough days.
You'd get your holiday leave as usual between Christmas and New Year's, plus a designated furlough day on the actual holiday (Washington's birthday, for example). This would be especially helpful for employees with children in school, since schools often close on holidays the CSU has moved.
I don't want either furloughs or layoffs.
No one does. We still have to choose. Not liking the situation doesn't change it.
If you want to save jobs, vote yes to ratify the one-year furlough agreement.
If you want thousands of layoffs which could have been prevented by furloughs – and which may include you even if you think you're safe – then vote in favor of layoffs.

Please read at least the tentative agreement itself, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), and the statement from your elected bargaining team. It's important that you base your vote on facts, not rumors or mistaken assertions from people who haven't done their homework.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bargaining Team Recommends Ratification

The CSUEU bargaining team strongly supports ratification of the furlough agreement. The message below was sent to chapters on CSUEU letterhead:

A Message from Your Bargaining Team
In support of the Ratification
Of the Tentative Agreement on Furloughs

July 2009

Now that the CSUEU has tentatively agreed to the furlough implementation plan, CSUEU members will have the opportunity to hear directly from bargaining team members and to vote on the agreement. From Monday, July 13, through Monday, July 20, chapters at the 23 campuses and the Chancellor's Office will hold ratification meetings. Contact your local chapter leadership to find out the time and place of these meetings.

In these unprecedented times, when workers are being laid off in the hundreds of thousands each month and our sister SEIU and other civil service unions are facing up to 20 percent reductions in pay, there are no good choices, only less bad choices. Your bargaining team went to Long Beach to ensure that we saved the most jobs possible and secured protections for our members during these difficult times.

The idea behind this process was to take action before CSU announced large layoffs, and, by so doing, to sidestep large layoffs altogether. At the end of the day, the team was able to produce a tentative agreement that, without reservation, they recommend for a yes vote.

We strongly recommend that you vote yes on ratification of the tentative agreement on furloughs! We listened to your concerns during polling and advisory votes, we bargained hard on your behalf at the Chancellor's Office, and we got the protections you wanted.

In particular, pensions and healthcare benefits won't be impacted, and workload issues are directly addressed. CSUEU will continue to fight for equitable and fair treatment and will vigorously enforce the contract to make sure that, once implemented, this plan is fulfilled to the spirit and letter of the agreement.

Let's not mince words: if we do not vote in favor of this agreement, there will be thousands of layoffs.

Here are a few other positive points to bear in mind:

  • This arrangement incorporates the basic features that were identified as being important to members during June polling
  • It helps save the careers of co-workers, retaining jobs during this most difficult time in the history of the CSU
  • It evenly spreads one fiscal year's pay reductions over the 11 months of the agreement starting August 1
  • Part-time employees are subject to furloughs on a pro-rata basis
  • Employees have the ability to choose furlough days using a process similar to how vacation days are requested
  • Employees in public safety positions are exempt from the furlough

None of us likes these choices, including members of the bargaining team, but we can't remain insulated from the larger economic forces at play in California today. A yes vote is the right thing to do at this juncture in CSUEU's and CSU's history.

Unit 9 Chair Rich McGee is at the Chancellor's Office today, and will be at the Fullerton, Pomona, and Los Angeles chapter ratification meetings as well. Unit 9 Vice Chair Alisandra Brewer was at Humboldt yesterday, is at Chico today, and will be at Sonoma and Maritime Academy meetings later this week.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Furloughs and Layoffs: the Numbers

The information below is extracted from staff answers to questions from chapters:

General Payroll Information

  • As of March 31, 2009, our total numbers are 16,052 (headcount) or 14,455 (Full Time Equivalent or FTE).
    • So, FTE is approximately 90% of the headcount.
  • Average annual salary for a CSUEU represented employee as of March 31, 2009: $45,405
  • Cost of a 1% salary increase for CSUEU-represented employees as of March 31, 2009: $6,563,393

Furlough v. Layoff Savings and Impact

  • CSUEU's share of the payroll savings resulting from 2-days of furloughs would be approximately $65.6 million plus benefits.
  • On June 9, 2009, Chancellor's Office representatives told CSUEU that if we rejected furloughs and the CSU had to initiate layoffs, we would be looking at approximately 2,000 layoffs of permanent employees, in addition to the non-reappointment of all temporary employees in BU 2, 7 and 9, and 77% of the temporary employees in BU 5. That equates to approximately 3,200 temporary employees (headcount) or approximately 2,800 temporary employees (FTE).
  • The annual savings resulting from 2,000 layoffs and the non-appointment of 2,800 temporary employees would be approximately $217,000,000. That is about 33% of the employees we represent.
  • In terms of sheer numbers, the impact of layoffs would be far greater than the impact of furloughs for several reasons:
    • Historically, campus presidents have laid off support staff disproportionally greater than faculty and MPP.
    • The CSU is aware of this and thinks furloughs would equalize the pain in a fairer and more equitable manner.
    • Under Article 24, there are notice requirements to both the union and to individual employees that could delay the implementation of layoffs to October or November 2009. Therefore, a higher number of layoffs would be needed.
    • Campuses have historically overestimated layoff targets to make sure they generate enough savings. With numbers of this magnitude, it would be hard to accurately estimate the impact of seniority and its associated bumping rights.
  • In rough numbers, therefore, layoffs would represent a savings of 33% of CSUEU payroll costs, while furloughs represent a savings of approximately 10% of CSUEU payroll costs.


  • Each union must make its decision on furloughs on July 20th, the day before the next CSU Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting. The Chancellor and the campus presidents will be announcing their plans for reducing costs after the July 21st BOT meeting.


Board of Trustees Meeting July 21, 2009

The CSU Board of Trustees meets Tuesday, July 21, 2009.


  • A closed session of the full board, for Executive Personnel Matters and Presidential Evaluations starts at 9:30
  • Closed session for Committee on Collective Bargaining is scheduled for 10:00
  • The open session of the Committee on Collective Bargaining is estimated to being at 11:00
  • After additional committee meetings and a lunch break, the full Board is expected to meet at 2:00.

On the Agendas

  • Modifications to Title 5 to allow furloughs and pay reductions for non-represented employees [Committee on University and Faculty Personnel agenda]
    • Chancellor can implement furloughs for non-represented, Management Personnel Plan and Executive employees upon certain findings of disaster or crisis which include financial crisis
    • Chancellor can implement reductions in pay for non-represented, Management Personnel Plan and Executive employees upon certain findings of disaster or crisis which include financial crisis
    • Chancellor can designate holidays as unpaid for non-represented, Management Personnel Plan and Executive employees
  • Raise nonresident student tuition, effective fall 2009, to $248 per unit at campuses on a quarter schedule, $372 per unit at campuses on a semester schedule, and $11,160 maximum for the academic year. [Committee on Finance agenda]
    • The agenda item states The anticipated revenue increase from this rate change is approximately $11.5 million for 2009-10 and will help address the budget gap identified for CSU's support budget in 2009-10 and beyond.
  • Raise resident student fees to $4,026 for full-time students. That rate does not include fees imposed by individual campuses, which average $801. [Committee on Finance agenda]
  • Budget report. The advance summary for this states Also, as discussed at the last meeting,the 2008-09 budget act remains relevant to the CSU because the Governor's 'July Revision' proposes a $717.5 million 'retroactive' reduction to the CSU appropriation for 2008-09. The practical impact of that reduction, if approved, would be felt in 2009-10. [Committee on Finance agenda]
  • Ratification of a tentative agreement with Unit 12 (Headstart at San Francisco State University) [Committee on Collective Bargaining agenda]

About Trustees Meetings

For the most part, the discussion happens in the Committee meetings, and then the full Board meets in plenary session and approves whatever is before it. The Board seldom says no to the CSU.

The open sessions are open to anyone at all, and there is no sign-in or identification requirement. You can just sit in the audience and watch if you're interested.

The (as yet unapproved) minutes of the previous meetings are in the agendas for the current meetings.

Anyone can address the Board of Trustees, or write to them. To write, use the mailing address on the second page of the current meeting schedule.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

CSU's Answers to Questions About Furloughs

CSUEU asked the CSU a long list of questions in advance of bargaining on furloughs, and more at the table.

The list of our questions and CSU's answers is now available. Per Teven Laxer, Chief Negotiator, Please note that we gave them an opportunity to review our draft of their responses in advance and they edited some of the comments we had attributed to them. Thus, this represents their official response to our questions.

These are CSU's answers to CSUEU's questions:
CSU answers to CSUEU questions about furloughs [PDF]

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Expedited Ratification Process

A copy of the ratification process was sent to the Board of Directors just before noon today:

CSUEU Board of Directors:

Attached please find a copy of the expedited ratification process that was passed at the June BOD.

In union,

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

The copy attached to the email is linked below. Here is the text of the document:


The Bargaining Committee shall normally determine if a side letter agreement requires ratification by the membership. The Board of Directors may exercise overall authority in requiring the ratification of a side letter agreement when it determines that the subject will have a significant impact on the membership. The Bargaining Committee may either use the ratification procedure outlined in 605.00 or the expedited process below. Expedited ratification requires the following minimum requirements be met:

(a) the tentative agreement shall be made available to the membership prior to the ratification vote;

(b) The chapters shall be provided with up to date membership lists;

(c) The chapters shall be provided with a ballot template they may use to copy on appropriate colored paper to clearly distinguish the vote from each bargaining unit on their campus. The cost of copying shall be reimbursed by CSUEU;

(d) At least one week (5 business days) shall be allowed for the ratification process to be completed from the date of the chapters are provided with copies of the tentative agreement.;

(e) The TA of the side letter will be posted on the CSUEU website, distributed to the chapters, and sent by e-mail to all members for whom CSUEU has current e-mail addresses within 24 hours of the tentative agreement being reached;

(f) The chapter will send hard copies to those members to whom they normally distribute hard copies due to their lack of access to e-mail as soon as possible after receiving the document. CSUEU shall reimburse the chapter for copying expenses;

(g) Once the tentative agreement has been posted and distributed to the chapters, each Chapter will hold a ratification meeting within one week where members will be allowed to vote on the TA. Current membership status shall be determined from the membership list. The member shall be provided ballots of the appropriate color for their bargaining units. Fair share fee payers who complete a membership application shall be allowed to cast their vote;

(h) The chapter shall count the ballots and notify CSUEU headquarters of the results by bargaining unit no later than 5:00 P.M. the last day of the ratification period. Notification will be via e-mail to the Program Specialist.;

(i) All ballots and checked membership lists will be sent to CSUEU headquarters within five days of the ratification meeting. Chapters shall make copies of all materials prior to sending to HQ, and shall retain those records until confirmation of receipt has been received by HQ..

Chapters will be communicating with employees regarding the details of the ratification vote on each campus.


Readable PDF of Tentative Agreement on Furloughs

Ronnie Grant, CSUEU Vice President for Organizing, writes that he has converted the image scan of the tentative agreement (TA) on furloughs to something readable:

Please enjoy the attached enhanced PDF of the TA:

  • I've optimized the scanned image for better reading
  • I applied OCR so you can copy and paste text
  • The document passes the Adobe accessibility checker; it can now be read by a screen reader
  • Bookmarks added to sections for quick navigation

Ronnie L. Grant, Vice President for Organizing
California State University Employees Union, SEIU Local 2579

If you're distributing the TA electronically, we recommend using this enhanced copy, since it is accessible and searchable. The image PDF copy of the TA is still available, and is still useful for printing copies.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chapter 312 President Quoted in Furlough Story

Chapter 312 (Northridge) President Claudia Garcia was quoted in a local news story about the tentative agreement on furloughs:

There is a willingness to look out for our co-workers given the budget situation, said Claudia Garcia, president of the Cal State Northridge CSUEU chapter. No matter how fiscally responsible a campus is, there is no way these cuts can be absorbed.


Furlough Agreement and FAQ Published

A Furlough Agreement FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list, and a copy of the tentative agreement, has been posted:
Furlough Agreement FAQ: July 8, 2009
Furlough Implementation Tentative Agreement [Image PDF]

The copy of the agreement posted is a scanned image, not the text. We profoundly apologize for this; the bargaining team was assured, and the FAQ still claims, that the text would be published. We have no explanation.


CFA Decides to Vote on Furloughs

The California Faculty Association (CFA) Board of Directors has decided to put the furlough issue to a vote of CFA's membership. Voting will be online, from July 13-20.


Budget Message from Pat Gantt

CSUEU President Pat Gantt sent a new budget message to the Board of Directors this morning:

July 8, 2009
TO: CSUEU Board of Directors

July Revise Budget update

The last couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity within the CSUEU with our Board of Directors meeting, elections and the furlough issue.  I figured it was time to give you another budget update as things have taken another twist.  We now have a July Revise.

This new tactic keeps the books open on the last fiscal year that ended June 30th for another month and applies some budget cuts retroactively.  Yes, this is another gimmick with the intent to avoid some restrictions in the federal stimulus funds.  The CSU cut does not change and still seems at $583,816,000.  A large part of the cuts in the last year they are trying to capture are in education funding.  The maintenance of effort part of the federal stimulus.  Here is what that means:

State Maintenance of Effort Requirements Under the Federal Stimulus Package Fiscal Stabilization Fund: To be eligible for the Fiscal Stabilization Funds, a state is required to assure that it will provide education funding at least at the fiscal year (FY) 2006 level in FY 2009 and FY 2010.

This helps the CSU budget from further cuts, but there is a growing concern that the Governor could ask the federal government for a waiver which would allow him to make deeper cuts as the state budget battle drags on and the revenues continue to lag.  The state bond rating was lowered due to the budget stalemate and that will make any borrowing more expensive and add to the problems.

In the CSU Trustees meeting yesterday there was Budget Presentation for the whole board and those in attendance.  The $583,816,000 cut to the CSU is equal to 20% of the state general fund funding.  The Chancellor also reported that the CSU employees will not be affected if IOUs are issued as he will authorize the use of the student fee revenue funds to meet payroll and allow the system to cash flow.  The comments lead me to believe that they can do this for a couple of months into the fall if the budget stalemate drags on.

There does not appear to be a solution close at hand with the state budget. The Governor has called net another special session to deal with the budget.  He has also ordered a emergency third furlough day for the state agencies directly under his control.  The CSU is not impacted by this order and has only planned for the equivalent of two furlough days per month for the current fiscal year to reduce costs and avoid layoffs.

I will try to update you as the budget and impacts to the CSU unfold in the coming weeks.  There is nothing currently proposed to change the size of the cut to the CSU and there is potential things could get worse.

In Union,
Pat Gantt, President


Unit 9 Membership Statistics

CSEA has sent out end-of-the-month membership numbers for June 2009. We've extracted the membership data for Unit 9 and chapter totals, and posted them on the Unit 9 web site.

Statewide Unit 9 membership has increased from 55.7% to 60.1% in a month.

CSUEU is an affiliate of California State Employees Association (CSEA). CSEA processes our membership forms and maintains membership information for us.

If you're interested in statistics for other bargaining units, your chapter president should have a copy of the original report.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CSUEU Board of Directors Meets Thursday by Teleconference

The CSUEU Board of Directors will meet by teleconference Thursday, July 9, at noon.

The agenda item is:

  1. Review Furlough Implementation Tentative Agreement

CSUEU Press Release On Furlough Agreement

CSUEU has issued a press release on the conceptual agreement on furloughs:

CSUEU Announces Conceptual Agreement on Furlough Days

Sacramento, Calif. (July 7, 2009) – The California State University Employees Union, representing some 16,000 staff employees in the California State University system, announced today that it has reached a conceptual agreement with the CSU for 24 furlough days during the period of August 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

Subject to member ratification, this tentative agreement provides workload protections and significant layoff mitigation.

The CSUEU bargaining team believes this agreement addresses the concerns presented to us by our members in polls and surveys over the last few weeks, said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. We think this is the best solution – far better than layoffs or other draconian moves—to address the CSU's projected $584 million budget deficit for 2009-10, given that some 85 percent of the CSU budget goes to employee salaries and benefits.

Although the state budget has not been finalized, the Governor's budget proposal would mean a $584 million cut to the CSU's general fund support for 2009-10. Furloughs by all employees would reduce the CSU's salary expenditures by approximately $275 million, as well as preserve 22,000 course sections or 15 percent of all classes for students for the academic year.

Within the next few days, the union will begin the process of ratification; CSUEU members will have the opportunity to vote on the tentative agreement at their chapters.

A furlough is a mandated period of time off without pay. Furloughs differ from salary reductions and pay cuts in that they are temporary and do not affect employment status, or health benefit eligibility or pay rate for retirement benefits. Employees are required not to work on furlough days.


Incorporated in 2005 after serving its members as a division of the California State Employees Association for more than 70 years, the California State University Employees Union,, has built up a rich record of achievements on behalf of the 16,000 employees it represents. They comprise classified staff members at the California State University's 23 campuses, as well as the Office of the Chancellor, encompassing such diverse job categories as registered nurses, custodians, groundsworkers, library assistants, graphic specialists, information technology consultants and performing arts technician


CSUEU Twitter Feeds

CSUEU has several Twitter feeds now. Here are the ones we know of:

Updates were described in the email announcement as whenever any relevant updates are posted to the web or for other key announcements
Inside CSUEU:
From Vice President for Organizing Ronnie Grant, this carries News and tips for leaders, stewards and staff of CSUEU. This feed has been used to post election results during ballot counting, and updates during CSUEU Board of Directors meetings. This one is the most prolific so far.
CSUEU Legislative Committee:
Information about Legislative Committee activities and CSUEU positions on all things political

Wait, What's Twitter?

If you're not familiar with Twitter:

  • Twitter is a way of publishing a stream of short messages
  • Messages (called updates or tweets) can be read on the web or received as text messages on your cell phone
  • You can read updates online without signing up for Twitter.
    • You can use the URLs above to check the feeds when you feel like it.
    • You can use the RSS feed to receive automated updates in your browser or feed reader. RSS feed links are on each the pages above.
  • If you want to receive text messages on your cell phone, send a text message from your phone to 40404 with the text: follow insidecsueu
    • Substitute the name of the feed you want to follow
    • Check how much text messages cost on your phone (some plans charge for each message, which can add up fast)
  • The feeds we list above are all public, meaning they can be read by anyone and don't require a Twitter account.
  • Some feeds are protected, including those of some CSUEU folk. This means only Twitter users approved by that person can see his or her updates
  • Quite a few union activists and staff have Twitter feeds, with a mixture of union and personal topics.
  • If you want to reply via Twitter, you will need to sign up.
  • You can search feeds here: Twitter Search

If your committe, chapter, or other union-y entity has a twitter feed, please leave a note in the comments or email us so we can add it.


Conceptual Agreement Reached on Furloughs

Here's the official update from yesterday's bargaining:

July 6, 2009: Conceptual Proposal Reached

After three full days of bargaining, CSUEU reached a conceptual agreement which will provide workload protections, significant layoff mitigation and 24 furlough days during the period of August 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010.

The team believes this agreement will address the concerns presented to us by our members. Once the final language has been written and agreed to, we will post the full text for our members to review.

Within the next few days, we will begin the process of ratification; CSUEU members will have the opportunity to vote on the tentative agreement at their chapter. Members will receive notices of the time and place for balloting via e-mail.

The bargaining team was working on language until after midnight, after a full day of bargaining.


Monday, July 6, 2009

CSU, CFA Trade Press Releases on Furloughs; State Budget Resolution Elusive

On June 29, the CSU issued a press release urging the California Faculty Association (CFA) to let members vote on the CSU's furlough concept. The CSU also published its responses to a list of 8 questions from CFA.

Two statements from that question list stand out:

Q2: Can the CSU provide some guarantee, or propose some other measurable means, to ensure that the salary cost savings generated by a furlough are applied towards maintaining Unit 3 positions over the next 12 months, and that the savings generated will not be used to fund pet projects on individual campuses?

A: It is inaccurate and misleading to consider the effect of a furlough as a salary savings that can be used to fund one thing over another. A furlough works to reduce campus compensation expenses. The general funds available to campuses remain the same, but a furlough means that this fixed amount of money can be stretched to fund more positions than would otherwise be the case if there was no furlough. A furlough would not create a pool of additional income. If adopted by all employees, furloughs would reduce the CSU's salary expenditures by approximately $275 million. But, the total budget cut for 2009-10 is $584 million, and other cost saving options are being discussed to address the remaining deficit.

The Chancellor has said repeatedly that one of the main advantages of the furlough is that it will allow the campuses to maintain more jobs with the reduced General Fund allocations that they will now receive. His guiding principles in managing the budget deficit have been to serve as many students as possible without sacrificing quality, and to preserve as many jobs as possible.

However, and in response to the specific question posed by the CFA, the CSU is prepared to say that it cannot provide any guarantees as to the precise number of Unit 3 positions that would be saved by a furlough, but it can guarantee that with the furlough in place, there would be more Unit 3 positions in 2009-10 than there would otherwise be without one.

Q8: Will MPP's face the same type of reductions as the faculty?

A: The Chancellor has said that all groups will be equally affected by a systemwide furlough and that equity between employee groups is one of the benefits of the systemwide furlough option. However, the reality is that the CSU will have to go through a process of adapting itself to fit the level of funding that has been appropriated to it by the state. Within this process there can be no guarantees that all employee groups will be equally impacted at precisely the same time, or in in precisely the same way, as the CSU goes about this difficult, but essential, process of adaptation.

CFA responded with a press release of their own, titled California State University Faculty Question Chancellor's Leadership, Half-Baked Budget Plan and beginning:

CSU Chancellor Reed & his administration have focused for years on their own perks, spent millions on labor consultants and done little to advocate for adequate CSU funding; now their incomplete CSU budget proposal would address less than half the projected shortfall, leaving a $300 million deficit with no plan to close it; tens of thousands of students are at risk of losing out on a college education.

On June 1, CFA leadership published an open letter, calling the CSU's message profoundly disrespectful. Regarding workload issues, CFA said:

As part of our discussions about the need for a reduction in faculty workload commensurate with the pay reduction proposed, we managed to convince administrative representatives that their original Friday closure furlough plan was poorly conceived and academically unworkable. We recommended instead that the choice of furlough days be left to each individual faculty member since he/she knew best which days would address both workload and educational goals.

The administration's response to our proposal was at once patronizing and insulting.

They initially suggested that they could agree in principle to allow faculty to choose their furlough days; when pressed it emerged that they envisioned oversight of this choice by administrators who would vet the selected days for their programmatic impact. Given what we know from years of bargaining with the Chancellor, in principle agreements simply cannot be trusted.

The letter describes the CSU as suffering a lack of leadership, and cites concerns about job security, where savings from furloughs would be used (saving faculty jobs, or elsewhere?), and states CFA representatives have been told over and over, 'The Chancellor has no plan' (other than a furlough program) to close the CSU budget gap.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports legislative leaders and the governor met again Sunday without reaching a budget solution.

Chapter 309 (Fresno) President Nancy Kobata was mentioned in the Fresno Bee's story on possible furloughs:

Nancy Kobata, president of the Fresno State chapter, said an advisory vote showed employees are overwhelmingly open to the idea. Kobata said she's proud that members agreed to consider furloughs as a way to save jobs.

Updated Monday afternoon: more news stories added. Also, the CSU states in its press release on the July 7 Board of Trustees meeting that:

To date, approximately 21,000 of CSU’s overall workforce of 47,000 employees are committed to looking at furloughs as a way to address the budget deficit. If all employees furlough it would save approximately $275 million, and an estimated 22,000 course sections or approximately 15 percent of all classes, that would otherwise need to be eliminated for the academic year.

Collective bargaining agreements between the CSU and its employee unions include provisions covering non-renewal of contracts and layoffs, but not furloughs. Each bargaining unit, therefore, must agree to negotiate furloughs. To date, the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), that represents more than 16,000 non-academic employees, and the Academic Professionals of California, that represents approximately 2,400 student services employees, have voted to negotiate two day per month furloughs.

CSU is expected to begin furloughing management, non-represented, presidents and executives beginning in August following changes to Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations that are anticipated to be modified at the July 21 regular board meeting.

Sonoma State University's Foundation looks to be on the hook for $1.25 million in loans it guaranteed for a former Board member, and expects to reduce scholarship awards as a result:

The Sonoma State University Academic Foundation stands to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on a $1.25 million loan it made to Clem Carinalli, a former SSU foundation board member who announced in May he is unable to pay some of his creditors.


CSU Spent Millions On No-Bid Lobbying Contracts

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the CSU, in addition to spending $1.1 million per year on its own lobbying office in Sacramento, contracted with high-priced lobbyists without competitive bidding:

In the last decade, the university system has paid more than $2 million in public funds to two Sacramento lobbying firms – Capitol Advocacy LLC, and Sloat Higgins Jensen & Associates – to influence the policies and budget decisions of the governor and state lawmakers.

At a time of state budget cuts, student tuition hikes, canceled classes, faculty hiring freezes and layoffs, CSU's lobbyists have been paid to defeat bills designed to shed more light on CSU executive salaries and perks as well as public records.

One example of the legislation blocked:

Trent Hager, chief of staff for Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), said CSU paid the two lobbying firms in 2007 to derail his boss' bill aimed at full disclosure of CSU salaries. They got it sidetracked and killed, he said.

Bills tracked also included nearly a dozen bills that had little or no direct connection to the university, including legislation on affordable housing for Iraq veterans, money laundering, terrorism, sex offenders and sacred Indian grounds. The CSU spent almost $400,000 on retainer fees during periods when lobby activity reports show the firms weren't lobbying.

According to the story, the University of California rarely hires outside lobbyists, and the California Community Colleges system doesn't use them at all.

The CSU didn't even follow its own rules:

Under CSU policy, university officials must identify in writing three additional firms that they surveyed with regard to a no-bid contract. CSU officials did not do this.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Furlough Bargaining Resumes Monday in Long Beach

CSUEU's furlough bargaining team meets again with the CSU tomorrow (Monday, July 6) to continue negotiations.

A CSU Labor Council meeting is scheduled for that evening, at the request of the California Faculty Association (CFA). The CSU Board of Trustees holds a special meeting on Tuesday, July 7. Agenda items for the Trustees meeting are information-only; there are no action items scheduled.

Here are last week's bargaining reports, in case you missed them:

July 2: Bargaining Team Report

We met again today with the CSU. Our team presented an initial proposal reflecting the extensive feedback we have received from our members.

The proposal included:

  • 24 furlough days over this fiscal year
  • A projected beginning date of August 1, 2009, and a June 30, 2010, expiration of the furlough program
  • State-wide labor management committees to monitor workload issues and explore additional cost-saving measures

The CSU presented a counter-proposal, which we are now reviewing.

We will be reconvening on Monday, July 6, to resume negotiations.

July 1: Bargaining Team Report

We have begun bargaining with the CSU; they have answered some of our questions, but not all. We have submitted an information request pursuing those unanswered questions and will continue our bargaining session tomorrow morning. No proposals were passed during today's session.

June 30: Bargaining Team Report

CSUEU’s new bargaining team met today in caucus to prepare for furlough bargaining with the CSU, which will begin tomorrow.

We considered our options and clarified our goals to reflect all the feedback from our represented employees on the furlough versus layoff options. Talks with the CSU will continue through Thursday. We expect responses from the CSU on our information request and plan to post answers to our membership some time tomorrow.


Rocky Waters Named to Compensation LMC, Joseph Dobzynski Alternate

Unit 9 Chair Rich McGee is naming Rocky Waters, of Chapter 301 (Humboldt), as the Unit 9 delegate to the Compensation Labor Management Committee (LMC). Joseph Dobzynski, of Chapter 324 (Channel Islands), will be the alternate.

Waters is currently Chapter 301 Vice President, and has served as Unit 9 Vice Chair (2004-2005 and 2007-2009), and as Unit 9 Chair (2005-2007). Dobzynski is currently Chapter 324 President, and previously served as an at-large member of Bargaining Unit Council (BUC) 9 2007-2009.

Here's the text of the side letter, dated May 5, from the CSUEU site:

Side Letter 27

Side Letter of Agreement
Labor Management Committee on Long-Term Compensation Strategy
May 5,2009

1. Within ninety (90) days of the execution of this Agreement, the parties agree to form a Labor Management Committee (LMC). The LMC shall develop recommendations towards a long-term compensation strategy that meets the goals and objectives of both the CSUEU and the CSU. The goals shall be both clear and transparent.

2. Pursuant to Provision 27.5, the LMC shall be composed of twelve (12) voting members, six (6) selected by the CSUEU and six (6) selected by the CSU. Each party may select up to four (4) alternates. In addition, each party may assign a staff person to work with the LMC.

3. The LMC shall have two co-chairs, one selected by each party, who shall serve as Facilitators to assist the parties with their communication. If the two Facilitators mutually agree, they may request facilitation by State Mediation and Conciliation Services (SMCS) or Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS). In the event there is no agreement regarding the need for facilitation, one of the co-chairs can also request facilitation by either SMCS or FMCS.

4. The LMC shall meet two consecutive days per month, every other month, unless extended by mutual agreement. Release time shall be provided to members of the LMC for the purpose of participating on the committee, pursuant to Provision 27.7.

5. The location of each meeting shall be mutually agreed upon by the parties.

6. The initial report of the LMC shall be prepared no later than June 15, 2010. The final report of the LMC shall be prepared by December 15, 2010, and shall be presented to the CSU Board of Trustees at their January 2011 meeting.