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.


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