Friday, November 20, 2009

CalPERS Ballot: Call for Replacement If Yours Hasn't Arrived

Requesting a Replacement Ballot

If you haven't received your CalPERS runoff ballot, contact CalPERS now for a replacement. Call the Board Elections Office at (916) 795-3952 or (800) 794-2297.

Ballots were mailed November 9.

Make Sure Your Vote Is Counted

Ballots must be postmarked by December 4. Follow all voting instructions, including signing the reverse side of the envelope before mailing, to make sure your vote is counted.

In the previous vote, over 5,000 ballots went uncounted for reasons including late postmarks, missing signatures, and improperly marked ballot cards. Ballots will be counted on December 7 (so we don't actually recommend waiting until December 4 to mail yours).

CSUEU Endorses Jelincic

CSUEU endorses J.J. Jelincic for this seat on the CalPERS Board.

Jelincic is a Chartered Financial Analyst with an MBA in Finance and a BA in Economics. He's worked at CalPERS since 1986, working in the stock, fixed income, corporate governance and real estate units, and set up the futures unit. As a union activist, Jelincic has served as a steward, chief steward, chair of civil service Bargaining Unit 1, and CSEA President.

Jelincic pledges to:

  • advocate for the members and dependents
  • protect and expand secure retirements
  • control health care costs through efficiencies, not cost shifting to members, and
  • improve customer service.


Sonoma Foundation May Have to Return $232,500

Sonoma State University's Academic Foundation may have to return a $232,500 loan repayment received from a former board member who is now in bankruptcy. Former Foundation board member Clem Carinalli received at least $9.6 million over 7 years in loans from SSU's Foundation. Carinelli repaid one loan, for $232,500, on July 9 of this year. He filed for bankruptcy in September, and his attorney now states the Foundation was improperly paid ahead of other creditors.

University officials still won't answer questions about the loan. Foundation officer and SSU Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Larry Furukawa-Schlereth had claimed the loan was secured with real estate, but the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports the loan was not secured at the time of that statement, and that the Foundation was aware of that.

The CSU claims campus foundations are private institutions and are not public entities run with state resources and so the University is not obliged to speak in public about the issues of the foundation. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat points out that SSU's Foundation has no independent office or employees, and is run by university staff, including SSU president Ruben Armiñana, who serves as chairman, SSU Vice President Patricia McNeill, who serves as the foundation’s president, and Furukawa-Schlereth, who serves as chief operating officer.

It's no wonder the CSU fears public disclosure requirements and accountability for campus auxiliaries. In October the governor vetoed Senate Bill (SB) 218, which would have made CSU auxiliaries subject to public disclosure laws, and which the CSU opposed.


$20.7 Billion Deficit Projected for 2010-2011 Budget

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has released its report on the 2010-2011 state budget outlook, warning of continued state budget deficits:

Our forecast of California's General Fund revenues and expenditures shows that the state must address a General Fund budget problem of $20.7 billion between now and the time the Legislature enacts a 2010–11 state budget plan. The budget problem consists of a $6.3 billion projected deficit for 2009–10 and a $14.4 billion gap between projected revenues and spending in 2010–11. Addressing this large shortfall will require painful choices—on top of the difficult choices the Legislature made earlier this year.

The report states:

[T]he scale of the deficits is so vast that we know of no way that the Legislature, the Governor, and voters can avoid making additional, very difficult choices about state priorities. … In the coming years, major state spending programs will have to be significantly reduced. Policymakers will also need to add revenues to the mix.

The report includes forecasts for budget years through 2014-2015. The assumptions the LAO relied upon for its projections include no pay increases for state workers, increased spending on certain programs such as CalWorks and in-home support services, no increased funding for higher education, and a $2 billion increase in prison spending.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Dolores Rodriguez Appointed to Unit 9 Council

Dolores Rodriguez (Chapter 309, Fresno) has been appointed at-large member of Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9). The vacancy arose after BUC at-large member Michael Reeder (Fullerton) resigned. When a vacancy occurs, the Chair appoints a replacement with the concurrence of the BUC.

Dolores is the Coordinator of the Extension Credit, Non-credit and Children's Programs in the Division of Continuing and Global Education at CSU Fresno. Dolores explains I help develop and coordinate non-credit programs (certificates, seminars, workshops, children's camps, on-line computer technology and training), academic credit courses (professional development for teachers, social workers, nurses, etc.), the Uni-Track program (offering academic credit courses to high school students), etc.

She's been at CSU Fresno about 11 years, and a union member and activist for most of that time. Like so many others, she joined the union because of what she witnessed and experienced on the job.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Proposed CSUEU Policy File Changes

There are a number of proposed changes to the Policy File, which the Board of Directors (BOD) will vote on at this weekend's meeting. They include:

  • Creation of a Unit 12 BUC. Unit 12 consists of Head Start employees at San Francisco State, now represented by CSUEU. (303.02 (a))
  • Creation of a President's Caucus to be composed only of chapter presidents and the CSUEU president, meeting as part of every regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting. The stated purpose is to network with each other on issues at the Chapter level. It's not clear why such communication would take place only 3 times per year at BOD meetings rather than throughout the year via email, or why only chapter presidents are thought to have information on ideas or programs that have been successful and/or those that have not. It's not clear why establishing a new and separate group in the Policy File is required to include an idea-sharing session in the BOD meeting. Chapter vice presidents, organizing chairs, bargaining unit representatives, etc., are not included, nor are the rest of the Board of Directors or other members of statewide committees. (305.00)
  • A provision to have the relevant portion of the Chapter Bylaws template supersede any portion of existing chapter bylaws which conflict with Association or CSUEU Bylaws or Policy File. (306.06)
  • Changing the CSUEU election cycle from 2 years to 3 years, to be consistent with CSEA's election cycle, beginning in 2012. General Council delegates are already elected on a 3-year cycle. No mention is made of what would happen to the currently-scheduled 2011 election. (601.03, 601.04)
  • Removal of a reference to our affiliation with the California Faculty Association (CFA). CFA is no longer an affiliate of CSEA. (702.00)
  • Adding evaluation of and recommendations on national and local candidates to the duties of the Legislative Committee. (1207.01)

The Policy File Committee is scheduled to meet Friday, November 13, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.


Monday, November 9, 2009

CSUEU Board Votes Against Releasing Member Phone Numbers

The CSUEU Board of Directors met by teleconference call today, and by a large margin voted not to release members' phone numbers to be used in the CalPERS runoff election.

Instead, the union will email members directly to remind them of CSUEU's continued endorsement of J.J. Jelincic, and also put the information prominently on the CSUEU homepage.

Jelincic is a financial analyst with over 20 years experience at CalPERS and an MBA in Finance, and has served 2 terms as president of CSEA.

CalPERS runoff ballots are scheduled to be mailed today.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Organizing Committee Meets Saturday Via Conference Call

The CSUEU Organizing Committee meets tomorrow, November 7, by conference call, from 2-3 p.m., to continue development of organizing around furloughs. The full agenda, with instructions for calling in, is available at the link below.

As a reminder, calling a toll-free number (such as an 800 or 866 number) exposes the number you call from, regardless of your Caller ID settings.


Health Center Staff Exempt From Furlough

Here's the report from Tuesday's bargaining at the Chancellor's Office, with a link to the signed agreement:


Bargaining Update: November 5, 2009

On November 4, the CSUEU bargaining team met with representatives of the CSU at the Office of the Chancellor to negotiate over exemptions to the furlough program and resolution of several outstanding grievances. We addressed a number of furlough issues and came to two agreements.

Health Centers and Other Furlough Exemptions

Responding to growing public safety concern with the threatened H1N1 pandemic, CSU will immediately exempt from furlough all CSUEU-represented employees assigned to health center units.

It may take some time and patience for the health centers work out their schedules, says CSUEU Bargaining Unit 2 Chair Tessy Reese, but this is the right thing to do to protect our students and our community.

This year's growing challenge with the H1N1 pandemic was unforeseen at the time of the furlough agreement.

In addition, campuses may grant temporary emergency exemptions from furlough to allow other CSUEU-represented employees to respond to an H1N1 outbreak or other unforeseen emergency events, such as earthquakes or fires.

Finally, the agreement between CSUEU and CSU codifies the exemption from furlough for those employees whose salaries are reimbursed in whole or in part by externally funded grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements.

Layoffs Lifted at San Diego State and CSU Los Angeles

The CSU has rescinded layoff notices at San Diego State and CSU Los Angeles as a result of discussions between CSUEU and the campuses, as well as CSUEU and the Office of the Chancellor. Had they been enacted, these layoffs would have impacted Bargaining Unit 5 employees as a result of bumping from Unit 6 layoffs. CSUEU is still working on potential layoffs at San Jose and CSU San Bernardino.

Finding alternatives to layoffs is a priority of our Union, says CSUEU President Pat Gantt.

Adds CSUEU Bargaining Unit 5 Chair Sharon Cunningham, It's devastating for employees and their families to lose their jobs and healthcare in these economic times.

CSU Clarified Intent of General Layoff Notice

On October 28, 2009, CSU representative Bill Candella sent a letter to all CSU unions stating that the CSU was considering layoffs and offering to meet and confer. The CSU has since clarified that the intent of that letter was to initiate discussions about such voluntary programs as time base reductions. Such programs could serve as options to reduce the need for layoffs in the next fiscal year. The Chancellors Office has reported that there are no imminent layoff plans, including no further reductions in Unit 6 that, if enacted, might result in limited layoffs in Unit 5.

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


Thursday, November 5, 2009

BUC 9 Meets 8-9:30 on November 15

At least 2 different schedules for the November Board of Directors meeting have been published, with different times for the Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) meeting.

BUC 9 will meet from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 15, 2009, at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, 300 J Street, Sacramento. At this time we are scheduled to be in the River View Room on the 16th floor. Meeting rooms can change, however, so we recommend checking the room schedule once you reach the hotel.

As usual, this is an open meeting. CSUEU committee, BUC, and Board meetings are open to members by default, and can only be closed for the reasons provided for by the Bylaws and Policy File.


Reminder: Even "Disguised" Layoffs Require Notice to Headquarters

A reminder: All notices of layoffs must go to CSUEU headquarters in Sacramento. This includes changes to employee status as a result of bumping by an employee from another bargaining unit. A campus cannot notice a chapter, or negotiate directly with the chapter without the involvement of headquarters and the elected bargaining team.

Attempted End Run

At least one campus recently tried to pull a fast one by going directly to a chapter president and attempting to reach an arrangement on a layoff without calling it a layoff. Our contract does not permit this. Layoffs, even if a campus tries to call them something else (like demotions due to bumping), require notice to headquarters and cannot be negotiated directly with chapter officers or LRRs.

What To Do

If you become aware of anything like this happening on your campus, please notify at least your Bargaining Unit Chair, the statewide Vice President for Representation, and the CSUEU Chief of Staff, immediately. If a campus manager or even a misinformed chapter officer attempts to tell you it's confidential or a campus issue, that's a red flag that something questionable is going on — most likely, that the campus is trying to do something it shouldn't. You have not only the right but the obligation to alert the elected bargaining representatives and headquarters of anything like this. Please don't wait — delaying notification can make a situation much worse.


Updated December 8, 2009: A version of this article was published in the November 25, 2009 CSUEU E-News. CSUEU activists are always invited and encouraged to reprint or adapt Unit 9 News articles for chapter newsletters, email alerts, web sites, or other union publications.

CSU Sends Vague Notice of Maybe-Someday Potential Layoffs

In case anyone hasn't seen this: The CSU has sent notice to CSUEU that at some point … there may be a need to implement the layoff procedures outlined in Article 24 … due to lack of funds and/or work. The CSU states that no campuses, let alone individual CSUEU members, have been identified for layoff at this time. [emphasis ours]

An email from Phillip Coonley, CSUEU Chief of Staff, stated:

Besides the notices of bumping at San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose, we have not been noticed on any other specific classifications. If/when we receive such a notice, it will be shared with the board.


20 Managers Laid Off at Chancellor's Office

Yesterday the Chancellor's Office announced the layoff (or non-retention) of 20 managers at the Chancellor's Office. The move is part of a reorganization of the Chancellor's Office Information and Technology Services Division. The affected employees are in the Management Personnel Plan (MPP).