Wednesday, December 29, 2010

University Budgets on Gov. Brown's Cut List?

With California being almost $24 billion dollars in debt, the possibility of deep budget cuts is being openly discussed by our next governor, Jerry Brown. From this article: "Brown warned school officials at a budget forum this month: "Fasten your seatbelt; it's going to be a rough ride."

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown is laying the groundwork for a budget plan that would couple deep cuts to state services, including university systems and welfare programs, with a request that voters extend temporary tax hikes on vehicles, income and sales that are set to expire next year.

The blueprint Brown will unveil when he takes office early next month also is expected to take aim at several tax breaks and subsidies that have been fiercely guarded by the business lobby in Sacramento, according to people involved in budget discussions with the incoming administration.

Among the breaks are multibillion-dollar incentives for redevelopment projects and hundreds of millions of dollars of "enterprise zone" credits meant to encourage investment in blighted neighborhoods. Also targeted is a recent change to state business tax formulas that has saved corporate California roughly $1 billion.

The combination of austere spending and extended tax hikes is designed to confront both parties and their allied interest groups with painful choices that Brown says are necessary to truly resolve the state's massive budget problems. He intends to take swift action, using the political capital of a new governor to confront a deficit that could easily subsume his governorship.

In a symbolic gesture to garner the trust of a skeptical public, Brown has already pledged to cut his own office budget by 25%.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup declined to discuss any details of the plan, saying: "The time has come for our state government to put its fiscal house in order, and that is what Gov.-elect Brown is doing."

Brown, who pledged not to raise taxes without voters' signoff, would face a daunting mid-March deadline to get his proposals onto a special-election ballot. He has said publicly he wants lawmakers to approve a budget within about 60 days. The process usually drags on seven or eight months.

Brown is widely expected to suggest to lawmakers and the public that extending the taxes would stave off even deeper cuts to schools and other services.

His strategy is risky. Voters already overwhelmingly rejected extending the temporary vehicle, sales, and income taxes in May 2009, months after lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger enacted them.

But political strategists say private polls show that voters are far more willing to extend existing taxes than to levy new ones. The current temporary tax hikes are all due to end by July 1.

"The only politically viable route for long-term remediation of the budget problem is a combination of cuts and continuing the temporary taxes," said GOP strategist Don Sipple, a volunteer advisor to Brown, though he does not speak for the incoming administration. "You have to do that before the end of the fiscal year when they expire."

California faces a $28-billion budget shortfall — equivalent to nearly a third of the general fund, which pays for most state programs, including schools, prisons, and health and social services. Extending the temporary taxes would erase up to $9.4 billion of that deficit.

Those taxes included raising the income tax rate by 0.25%, slashing the dependent credit by more than two-thirds, nearly doubling motorists' annual vehicle license fee to 1.15% of a car's value and hiking the state sales tax by 1%.

Placing the tax extensions on the ballot could prove difficult. Although Democrats form a majority of a Legislature often beset by partisan gridlock, at least some Republican support would be needed for the required two-thirds vote.

Business lobbyists have argued that the tax breaks spur economic growth, but critics say there is little evidence of their effectiveness and much of the benefit goes to projects that would have gone ahead anyway.

Nevertheless, the business community has fervently argued that rolling back any tax breaks during the current economic slowdown could plunge the state back into a recession.

Labor unions — which spent millions to elect Brown in 2010 — are readying for a ballot battle.

"We're at the governor's service, if you will," said Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer of the California Labor Federation. Pulaski said he did not yet know of the governor-elect's plans but said that seeking taxes was critical, the most important public vote in a decade.

"Failure is not an option," he said.

The call for taxes is expected to be paired with a strict spending plan that could rankle the Democrats who dominate the Legislature. Brown warned school officials at a budget forum this month: "Fasten your seatbelt; it's going to be a rough ride."

Details of which programs Brown will propose to cut remain unclear. But in private discussions, he has mentioned paring back the state's welfare program, reducing what doctors and healthcare providers are paid to care for the poor, and trimming funding for the University of California and California State University systems.

Public university students have had to cope in recent years with soaring tuition, furloughed faculty and reduced class offerings. Many programs in the state's safety net for the poor, meanwhile, have already been reduced significantly from years past.

The business tax breaks and subsidies Brown is targeting have received mixed reviews from analysts and economists.

The state's enterprise zone program provides tax credits to companies that hire workers from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. But some of the tax breaks can be claimed for residents of the state's toniest areas. A 2009 study by the Public Policy Institute of California concluded that, on average, "enterprise zones have no effect on business creation or job growth."

California's 400 redevelopment agencies, meanwhile, take in roughly $5 billion in property taxes that would otherwise go to schools and other parts of government. A Times series this year showed that although many use the funds wisely, there were instances of corruption, questionable spending and poor accountability.

The corporate tax formula that Brown wants to change allows businesses to select how they prefer to be taxed each year. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office has said the formula should be made mandatory.

Source: LA Times

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Should the State Oversee the CSU and UC Budgets?

The LA Times posted a long (aka unclear) story today, stating that after years of being "less than fully transparent" with their own finances, then perhaps it is time that the state step of their oversight of both the CSU and UC's annual budgets.

And some good news was included: State Senator Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) has restarted his campaign, vetoed by the Governor this year, which would require CSU foundations and auxiliaries to fully open their books. Last year, the CSU spent more than $2 million dollars to lobby against this proposed law, saying it may discourage donors who wish to remain private. Yeah, right, like that happens everyday!

Here's the link to the full story: State to Oversee CSU and UC Budget?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Want a Salary Increase?

Apparently, we're all in the wrong profession. We should have been football coaches, like the one at San Diego State. I guess that his $705,000 annual salary just wasn't enough for him, per this news story:

San Diego State has given football coach Brady Hoke a two-year contract extension through 2015 that will include a bump in salary and improvements to practice facilities.

Financial terms weren’t immediately available. Hoke was given a five-year contract worth $3,525,000 in December 2008 to replace the fired Chuck Long.

I wonder if my manager would approve a training proposal for my new career in football?

Probably not!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Steinberg rips CSU Chancellor and Others

Less than 3 weeks after the CSU received more than $200 million dollars above the baseline budget, the Board of Trustees voted to raise student fees more than 15%, in two different stages.

Apparently, this has upset some officials in Sacramento. The following letter from Darrel Steinberg was sent to the UC President and Chancellor, and CSU Chancellor Reed:


November 18, 2010

Mr. Russell Gould, Chair, Mr. Herbert Carter, Chair, University of California Board of Regents,

California State University Board of Trustees, Mr. Mark Yudof, President, Mr. Charles Reed, Chancellor, University of California California State University

Dear Chairman Gould, Chairman Carter, President Yudof, and Chancellor Reed:

Access to an affordable and quality higher education is critical to a quicker recovery from the recession and ensuring California's future economic success.

That is why the Legislature worked hard to increase state support for the University of California and the California State University in this year's budget. We provided more than $600 million in additional funding to backfill for cuts made in recent years while also funding for increased enrollment, class sections, and vital student services.

Consequently, I am deeply concerned about the recently adopted fee increases by CSU and UC and the impact they will have on our students, their families, and our economy. Passing more costs on to students and families threatens to price more Californians out of a quality higher education. While financial aid like Cal Grants and institutional aid programs will help the neediest students, there is no question that middle-income students and families will be hit hard by continually rising fees.

Given the evolution of our increasingly international economy, however, it is essential to a strong and sustained economic future that we not further diminish the affordability of higher education in California. Unfortunately, the recession and other fiscal constraints dictate that, under our current system of governance, we must meet 2010 levels of demand with 1990s era resources.

It is essential that we change this dynamic. In order to change it, we must fundamentally restructure government as we know it. Our system is broken, and we can no longer afford to limp by with the fiscal equivalent of duct tape. Through a multi-year restructuring of government, we can free up billions of general fund dollars by moving programs off state books while still giving local communities secure and adequate funding to maintain the core services that protect communities and the most vulnerable in society.

I look to leaders at the UC and CSU, along with students, faculty, and other higher education stakeholders, to partner with the Legislature and new Governor on such a broader budget reform agenda in the coming months. Together, we can ensure California remains a place of hope, opportunity, and
prosperity for all.

Sincerely,

Darrel Steinberg
President pro Tempore

Sunday, November 7, 2010

BUC 9 Report for November 6, 2010 Meeting

Here is the report from yesterday evening's Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) meeting, being presented this morning to the CSUEU Board of Directors:


Bargaining Unit 9 Council Report
Meeting Date: November 6, 2010

The current vacancy on the Unit 9 BUC will be filled by the end of December, so we can once again have a full council prior to the submission of the CSUEU sunshine proposal in February and the expiration of our current contract next June.

Information Security

Almost a year ago Unit 9, along with Teven Laxer, Senior Labor Relations Representative for Unit 9, met with the Chancellor's Office to discuss a new requirement that many IT staff members complete an annual on-line training course in information security. While we agreed on having employees complete the training and indicate that they had done so, the Chancellor's Office also agreed to correct several errors in the training module. Now, a year later, managers are again requiring IT members to complete this training, even though the agreed upon changes have not yet been made. Because employees may be required to certify they have completed this training under threat of discipline, CSUEU urges employees to complete the training as required, but to also fill out a disclaimer form. This document will be sent to all chapter Unit 9 Representatives within the next few weeks.

Several campuses currently use student assistants and/or work-study students for highly sensitive tasks such as password resets and LDAP modifications, often without any type of background check or security process in place. CSUEU has brought this to the attention of the Chancellor's Office, they are working on a way to mitigate this obvious security risk. If you are aware of this happening at your campus, please alert your Information Security Office.

CSU Budget

The CSU still has not finalized a budget. Meanwhile, the Board of Trustees will vote on increasing student fees 5% next Wednesday, with an additional 10% increase planned for early 2011. This equals a 72% tuition hike in 5 years.

Layoffs

42% of all layoffs in CSUEU bargaining units were in Unit 9 (123.5 out of 295.5).

Bakersfield  1
Chancellor's Office  7 (2 recently reposted as MPP)
East Bay  31
Fresno  24
Humboldt  27
Maritime Academy  1.5
Pomona  4
Sacramento  7
San Jose  21
Total Statewide  123.5

Midyear cuts could prompt more layoffs. The new state budget has no additional revenue sources. Some campuses have recently prepared 5%, 10% and 15% (or higher) budget cut contingency plans, in case of additional budget cuts.

Per our contract, the CSU can lay off employees either for lack of work, or lack of funds. We then bargain over the impact of these layoffs. If you hear any talk of layoffs from a campus manager, let your LRR know immediately, so headquarters can begin an investigation.

Classification

The Unit 9 Council discussed employee misclassification. The CSU has all of the official classification and qualification standards (CQS) online:
All units: http://www.calstate.edu/HRAdm/Classification/
Unit 9: http://www.calstate.edu/HRAdm/Classification/CS-9.shtml

These were agreed to by both the CSU and CSUEU, and form the basis for proper employee classification. If an employee is working outside their classification (i.e. an AA/S performing primarily IT duties) this is the place to start in determining the proper classification.

The CQS should also used to determine whether a campus vacancy is posted at the appropriate classification level. All BU 9 representatives should monitor vacant position announcements, and file a grievance if a position is misclassified. Campus managers often misclassify job postings in an attempt to save money. Duties are the determining factor in appropriate position classification, not underfunding.

Closed Session on Bargaining Strategy

The Unit 9 Council then went into closed session to discuss issues regarding bargaining strategy, per the CSUEU Bylaws and Policy File.

Respectfully submitted,
Rich McGee Chair, Bargaining Unit 9
CSUEU


Links

Friday, November 5, 2010

Agenda for November BUC Meeting

Bargaining Unit 9 Council Agenda
Saturday November 5th, 2010


1. Introduction of BU 9 Council Members - Group

2. Chair's remarks – Rich McGee

3. Vice-Chair's remarks – Alisandra Brewer

4. Layoff update – Teven and Rich

5. Discussion on Classification Issues - Group

6. Closed Session – Bargaining (Unit 9 BUC members only)
Note: Per the Policy File, any discussion of bargaining strategy must be done
in a closed session. The current contract expires in June, 2011.

7. Other items as time permits – Open discussion

Monday, November 1, 2010

A 5% Student Fee Hike Now, and a 10% Hike Next Year?

California's two public university systems are expected to seek student fee increases next month to help pay for rising costs inside and outside the classroom that a recent boost in state funding didn't fully cover, officials said.

California State University on Friday proposed a two-step increase that would raise undergraduate fees 5% — or $105 — for the rest of this school year and an additional 10% — or about $440 — for next year. If the plan is approved by the Board of Trustees in early November, basic full-time undergraduate tuition next year would rise to $4,884, plus campus fees that average about $1,000.

Source: LA Times

Friday, October 29, 2010

Trustees to vote on 5% student fee hike

Only now they will officially call it "tuition" rather than "student fees".
California's once-grand Master Plan for Higher Educations now seems to be officially dead.

From the Sac Bee:
California State University trustees will vote on a mid-year fee increase on Nov. 9 that would raise tuition by 5 percent for the spring term.

If the action is approved, tuition for a semester at a CSU campus would rise to $2,220, not including fees that specific campuses charge or books, housing and living expenses.

The proposal is not unexpected. When CSU trustees voted in June to raise fees for the current semester they said they would consider another fee increase after a state budget was approved. The budget Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed earlier this month assumed CSU tuition would go up by 10 percent -- but trustees had raised fees by only 5 percent in June.

"In our analysis, a mid-year adjustment of an additional 5 percent is needed in order to fulfill the budget's promise to restore access to students in a meaningful sense--that is, to restore access to courses and the range of services students need to succeed and graduate," states a CSU report prepared for the Nov. 9 meeting.

A mid-year 5 percent increase in tuition would allow Cal State's 23 campuses to reduce class sizes, offer 3,000 additional course sections and expand student services, the CSU report says.

Cal State officials also are officially changing the terminology they use to describe the money students pay to attend college -- instead of calling it "fees" they will now use the word "tuition." Historically both UC and CSU have used the term "fees" because California's 50-year-old master plan for higher education called for a tuition-free university system. Acknowledging how far the state has strayed from that vision, both of California's public university systems have now decided to start using the word "tuition," just like universities in the rest of the nation.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Budget Clears Senate

After 100 days without a budget, the longest in California history, the Senate approved a budget on October 8th. The Governor is expected to sign it sometime today.

Budget Finalized

It will be at least several weeks before we get a budget for the CSU. Meanwhile, the CSU's budget for next year is due in Sacramento by the end of October.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Budget Details Released

Source: Sac Bee Budget Story 10.6.10

The pending state budget agreement includes the repeal of the 1999 law that set higher pension benefits, as well as an assumption of $5.3 billion in federal funds, based on an eight-page outline released by the joint legislative budget committee today.

A vote is scheduled for Thursday.

Under the budget agreement, newly hired state workers would be subject to stricter formulas for determining pension benefits. The pension changes would only apply to workers in bargaining units without new state contracts. For employees in the "miscellaneous" category, the change means that workers would have to wait an additional five years -- age 60 instead of age 55 -- to receive benefits equal to 2 percent of pay for each year worked.

The agreement also seeks to address pension "spiking" by requiring that the final three years of compensation be used to determine benefits.

The budget document does not have line-item details but provides a Democratic analysis of the plan. The deal:

• Reduces the 2010-11 Proposition 98 school funding level to $49.7 billion -- from about $52 billion. It provides schools with a deferral of $1.9 billion to be paid in 2011-12, as well as $300 million as a repayment for cuts absorbed in 2009-10. It also defers $189 million for community colleges. We should note that school officials are nervous about this deferral. The state essentially is telling schools they can spend $1.9 billion more now and expect repayment in 2011-12, but that requires faith that the state will have extra money to spare or approve another deferral in the next fiscal year.

• Assumes $5.3 billion in new federal relief. This is significantly more than the $3.4 billion projected by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his May revision. The document does not explain how the state expects to receive this additional money.

• Relies on about $1.5 billion in state employee compensation cuts. This includes $896 million in direct reductions to current state worker pay, as well as roughly $600 million in savings from attrition and reduced operating costs.

• Provides $5.5 billion for the University of California and California State University systems. The deal includes $199 million for each system to restore previous cuts, which is less than the $305 million initially proposed.

• Includes $1.1 billion in corrections savings, the bulk of which comes from a roughly $820 million savings in inmate medical care.

• Assumes the Democratic conference committee proposals for most health and human service programs. The changes have to do with a 3.6 percent reduction to In-Home Supportive Services, a $48 million reduction in certain child care rates, and additional savings by using federal or special funds. The deal preserves welfare and child care funding.

• Includes a 2012 ballot measure that sets the "rainy-day fund" at 10 percent of general fund revenue, smaller than the 12.5 percent required by last year's Proposition 1A. It also adds restrictions on how much of the reserve fund can be used in any deficit year, as well as an exclusion that protects school funding.

CSU to Receive $365 Million Funding Increase

The following press announcement was released on October 6th by the CFA:

Governor keeps his promise to restore badly needed funding to California’s floundering colleges and universities.

Sacramento – The California State University (CSU) system will receive a badly needed funding increase under the state’s new budget pact.

According to documentation provided by the joint Legislative Budget Conference Committee, which is to take up the plan today, the CSU system will receive $199 million to backfill previous cuts. The plan also includes funding for enrollment growth, which may be a $60.6 million increase. This is in addition to $106 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding allocated to the CSU by the federal government last week. In total, this budget support equates roughly to the $365 million augmentation proposed by the Governor earlier this year.

“This funding is a welcome change of trajectory for the 23 California State University campuses,” said Lillian Taiz, President of the California faculty Association and a professor of History at CSU Los Angeles.

Taiz continued, “The CSU truly is the economic engine for California and restoring this vital funding is an important part of putting our state back on the road to economic recovery.”

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, citing the need to fund California’s future first, announced an increase in public higher education funding in his initial budget proposal in January. The Governor later said that he would not sign a budget that did not include budgetary support for the CSU and UC. Democratic leaders in the legislature also prioritized public higher education in their budget proposals and fought hard to keep higher education funding in the final budget deal.
These pronouncements came on the heels of campus protests and demonstrations at California’s colleges and universities that captured the imagination of the public and illustrated the growing need to fund higher education.

“This funding increase is a much needed salve for our students and faculty who have seen their futures slipping away due to persistent budget cuts in recent years,” said Taiz. “This change of direction toward restoring the CSU budget would not have happened if we had not stood up and said that public higher education is important and worth fighting for.”

The $199 million would backfill a "one-time" reduction to the CSU budget for 2009/10. The $60.6 million would fund the expansion of enrollment by over 8,000 additional students system-wide.

Despite this additional proposed funding, the CSU’s level of state funded support remains far below that of previous years. Since 2007/08, the CSU has seen a reduction of $625 million in state support.

This lack of funding has resulted in harmful cost-cutting measures including massive student fee hikes, cuts to enrollment and the furloughs and layoffs of thousands of faculty and other employees.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Furlough Ruling Doesn't Apply to CSU Workers

On October 4th, the California Supreme Court ruled that state employee furloughs were legal, and thus employees were not entitled to back-pay.

While this ruling is indeed disappointing, please keep in mind that no matter what the decision might have been, it would not have applied to CSUEU represented employees.

The reason for this is because CSUEU negotiated with the CSU over the implementation of state-mandated furloughs, and an agreement was ratified by the majority of our membership. Other state agencies had the furloughs imposed upon them, without being given the opportunity to bargain over the effects.

The complete Supreme Court story, along with a copy of the decision, may be found at Court Rules State Furloughs Legal

Friday, September 24, 2010

Several CSU President's Salaries Documented

How much should a campus president earn, on an annual basis?

According to a story in the Orange County Register, several campus Presidents take home a very hefty income. What isn't mentioned in this story: Do these salary figures include their expense and entertainment accounts? And don't forget the influences of the Foundation...

Source: OC Register Details Some CSU President Salaries

Presidents of the smallest California State University campuses earned as much as $353,000 in 2009, including one whose enrollment is barely larger than an Orange County high school.

An analysis by the Orange County Register of CSU schools with less than 10,000 students showed that when it comes to presidents' pay in the 23-campus system, size doesn't matter.

Consider:

* Rollin C. Richmond, president of the Humboldt campus since 2002, is among the highest paid officials at $353,000, overseeing an enrollment of 7,954. That works out to $44 per student, compared to $8 per student at Cal State Fullerton. Fullerton President Milton Gordon collects $302,041 to oversee an enrollment of 36,262.

* Richard R. Rush, president of the Channel Islands campus, oversees an enrollment of 3,862 – about 600 more students than Santa Ana High School. But he collects $340,817, about $88 per student.

* William Eisenhardt, president of the nationally recognized California Maritime Academy in Vallejo, has pushed enrollment to 823 since the campus joined the system in 1995. He makes $263,581 or $320 per student. Eisenhardt earns about $30,000 more than the average Orange County school district superintendent.

* Ruben Arminana, president of the Sonoma campus, collects $347,856 or $40 per student at the school of 8,500.

As part of their compensation, Arminana, Rush and Richmond receive a housing allowance of $50,000 to $60,000. Eisenhardt and Gordon receive free housing, which CSU officials said they could not place a value on. Gordon lives on a 4-acre former ranch that was donated to the Fullerton university.

Presidents' pay is a sore spot with faculty as the CSU system fights this year to avoid the budget knife. The governor proposed restoring $305 million in one-time cutbacks, while a federal grant of $106 million will allow the system to admit 10,000 new students and restore 3,000 course selections.

Andy Merrifield, associate vice-president for the California Faculty Association, said that presidents' pay doesn't appear tied to enrollment, budget or tenure, but to a mindset among trustees that the top executive at each campus be paid well.

"There's a sense of entitlement to being a university president," said Merrifield, a political science professor at Sonoma State. "The trustees would rather err on the side of overpayment than underpayment."

The Register's analysis showed that half the 74,229 workers in the system – which includes part-time employees – make less than $28,806. The average pay is $35,239. The highest paid president in the CSU system in 2009 was Warren J. Baker at San Luis Obispo at $394,136. Baker retired this year. The highest paid employee is Chancellor Charles B. Reed at $410,399.

CSU officials said Reed and the trustees have to pay competitively in light of a survey that showed CSU presidents were among the lowest paid in the country. The 2007 study by Mercer Consulting showed that CSU presidents made an average salary of $291,822, compared to an average of $407,415 for a pool of 20 private and public universities across the nation.

Michael Uhlenkamp, spokesman for the chancellor's office, said enrollment was not a good way to factor presidents' pay.

"I don't think looking at a headcount is a fair way to gauge. There's a lot more you have to take into account, the responsibility they have and the experience they bring," said Uhlenkamp. University presidents traditionally are expected to be part educator, part business executive and part fund-raiser for their campuses. Uhlenkamp said all those variables, as well as tenure, come into play.

"To recruit someone at the presidential level, you can't hire people at the salary I make ($90,000)," Uhlenkamp said.

The CSU system is conducting a national search for new presidents at San Jose and San Luis Obispo, and is about to launch a search for a president for San Diego.

Officials at Humboldt defended Richmond's compensation, saying he often spends time in the classroom and with students, earning him statewide accolades. Spokesman Paul Mann said campus enrollment has risen four consecutive years.

"Quality is more important than quantity," Mann said.

Officials at the Channel Islands campus declined comment for this story.

The campus at a former state hospital in Camarillo was recently declared one of the best universities to work at by the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is the newest school in the system, just 8 years old, and is in a growth mode.

At the Maritime Academy, spokesman Doug Webster said the school was among the highest regarded of its kind in the nation. It is aimed at teaching future boat captains and maritime professionals. Most of the students live on campus and part of the instruction occurs on the ocean. They hope to have a master's program in the next 1½ years.

Webster said the campus is thinly staffed, giving the president more responsibilities.

"If you look at the workload, the level of compensation for President Eisenhardt is certainly justified," Webster said.

At Sonoma, officials said president Arminana's responsibilities could not be measured by the number of students or the economy of scale. He oversees what amounts to a small city with campus housing, health services, psychological care and education.

"We're so understaffed these days, just in general," said campus spokeswoman Susan Kashack.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trustees Agenda for July 13 Meeting

The CSU Board of Trustees meets next Tuesday, July 13, at the Chancellor's Office in Long Beach.

The day will begin with closed sessions on personnel matters and collective bargaining, with the open meeting of the Committee on Collective Bargaining estimated to begin at 11:30 a.m.

Among the agenda items are:

  • Ratification of a contract with Academic Professionals of California (APC), representing Unit 4, Academic Support (Committee on Collective Bargaining)
  • Set compensation for Dr. Ephraim P. Smith, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, at $285,000 plus $1,000 per month car allowance, annual medical physical examination, and the transition program for university executives. (Committee on University and Faculty Personnel)
  • Set compensation for San José State University Interim President Don W. Kassing at $328,200, plus an annual supplement of $25,000 from San José State University Foundation sources, occupation of the official university presidential residence, a university vehicle or a $1000 per month car allowance, an annual medical physical examination, and actual, necessary and reasonable relocation expenses. (Committee on University and Faculty Personnel)
  • Set compensation for California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Interim President Dr. Robert Glidden, at $328,200, plus housing and a vehicle provided by the university, and actual, necessary and reasonable relocation expenses. (Committee on University and Faculty Personnel)
  • Approval of plan to displace 99 tenants of the Dobbs Street Apartments acquired by California State University, Los Angeles, so that the property can be renovated as housing for graduate and upper-division CSULA students. (Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings, and Grounds)
  • Approval of $2,627,000 for a water filtration plant at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. (Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings, and Grounds)
  • Approval of $15,000,000 for purchase of an existing cogeneration plant on the west side of the California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI) campus. (Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings, and Grounds)
  • Approval of $2,200,000 for CSU San Marcos to Sparkman Elementary School in Temecula for use by its Extended Learning Southwest Riverside Facility, also in Temecula. Funding will come from local redevelopment funds. (Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings, and Grounds)
  • Approval of $43,980,000 for design and construction of a student union to include a large ballroom, meeting rooms, Associated Student and student organization offices, food services, lounges, a coffee shop, and recreational area for students. (Committee on Campus Planning, Buildings, and Grounds)
  • Approval to explore acquisition of a portion of the Concord Naval Weapons Station as a site for a future CSU East Bay Concord branch campus (Committee of the Whole)

Details for most agenda items are found in the relevant committee agendas.

You can address the board on your own behalf with 2 days' notice, by following the instructions on page 2 of the Schedule of Meetings. Except for the closed sessions early in the day, these are open meetings which anyone may attend and observe.

Links

CSEA Member Benefits Agenda for August 7

CSEA Member Benefits will meet on Saturday, August 7, 2010 in Sacramento.

This is an open meeting, and will take place at:
Holiday Inn Sacramento Capitol Plaza
300 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

The agenda items:

  1. Call to Order at 9 a.m. by Chair Rosmaire M. Duffy
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Roll Call:

    Rosmaire M. Duffy, Chair, Chapter 503
    Caryl Cole, Chapter 12
    Cathy Hackett, DLC 765 (excused)
    Richard McGee, Chapter 320
    Peggy O'Neil-Rosales, Chapter 315
    Tamekia Robinson, DLC 747
    Norm Stone, Chapter 512
    Barbara A. Wilson, Chapter 2 (excused)

    Officer Assigned: Donna Snodgrass, Vice President

    Staff Assigned: Kay Thomas, Director of Member Benefits
    Athena Summers, Employee Benefits Representative
    Lisa Fong, Program Specialist

  4. Introductions
  5. Approval of Minutes of First 2010 Member Benefits Committee Meeting
  6. Remarks of Chair
  7. Remarks of Officer Assigned
  8. Remarks of Staff Assigned
  9. Annual Review of CSEA Sponsored or Endorsed Insurance Plans:
    1. Group Term Life Insurance Plan - Anthem Life Insurance Company
    2. Group Ordinary Life Insurance Plan - Anthem Life Insurance Company
    3. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Plan - New York Life Insurance Company
    4. Disability Income Insurance Plans (Short Term and Long Term) - New York Life Insurance Company
    5. Cancer Insurance Plans - Monumental Life Insurance Company
    6. Family Life Insurance Plan - American United Life Insurance Company
    7. Legal Plan - Legal Club of America
    8. Auto and Homeowners Insurance Plan - Unitrin Direct preferred insurance
    9. Emergency Assistance Plus Plan (EA+) - OnCall International
    10. 24PetWatch Pet Insurance Plan - Pethealth Incorporated
    11. Comprehensive Accident Plan (CAP) - Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company
  10. Old Business:
    1. Legal Club of America
    2. Aspen University
    3. J.C. Insurance
  11. Information Items:
    1. Dependent Life Program
    2. Update on CSEA Life Plan Request for Proposal (RFP)
    3. Update on Auto Insurance Plan Request for Proposal (RFP)
    4. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Pet Insurance Plan
  12. Unscheduled Items
  13. Adjournment

CSUEU is part of CSEA. CSUEU members are entitled to CSEA member benefits.

Friday, July 2, 2010

No Minimum Wage for CSU Employees

On July 2nd, after a state appeals court ruled that salaries of more than 200,000 state workers can legally be reduced to the federal minimum wage, both the CSUEU and the CSU completed their review of the Governor's order. Both groups are in agreement that this ruling does not apply to CSU employees, and we should all expect to receive our regular, post-furlough salaries.

The following statement is from CSUEU's website:

Yesterday, Gov. Schwarzenegger made public an executive order that could temporarily reduce pay for more than 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

According to the union's and CSU's review, the executive order does not apply to CSU staff or to other CSU employees. Unlike many other state agencies, the CSU and other public higher education segments generally are not under the direct executive authority of the governor.

State Controller John Chiang, whose office issues state paychecks, released a statement yesterday saying that he won't follow the order unless a court tells him to. Today, the California Court of Appeal, looking at a similar executive order from 2008, held that Schwarzenegger had the authority to issue such an order.

Chiang can -- and likely will -- seek a review of the appellate court decision by the California Supreme Court in the coming days and weeks.

The Chancellor's Office also published their own response:

CSU Employees Not Impacted By Governor's Minimum Wage Order


(July 2, 2010) – In response to Governor Schwarzenegger's directive today to cut the pay of state workers to the federal minimum wage until a budget is passed, the California State University announced that CSU employees will continue to receive their regular compensation.

"We want to let CSU employees know that we have received confirmation from the State Controller's office that our employees' compensation is not impacted by this order," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Employees will receive their regular paychecks and can expect their normal compensation." The CSU intends to pay its employees with alternative revenue sources other than state general funds if it becomes necessary.

Gov. Schwarzenegger has announced an order to cut the pay of about 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour until a budget is signed. Payroll decisions for the first month of the fiscal year, which began on July 1, do not need to be made until July 20.

Layoff Agreements for East Bay and Bakersfield

This week we've reached agreements on layoffs at East Bay and Bakersfield. Here are the bargaining updates:


CSU East Bay

On June 29, CSUEU reached an agreement with CSU and CSU East Bay (CSUEB) regarding the mitigation of layoffs. It augments an earlier agreement on voluntary work time reduction programs for both impacted and non-impacted employees.

According to the agreement, a six-member labor-management committee will meet once or twice per month to discuss the implementation of layoffs at CSUEB. Topics will include training programs, retreat rights, voluntary programs to avoid layoffs, workload, assignments, recall from layoff, and job clearinghouse issues.

During the time any employee remains on a re-employment list, CSUEB may offer qualified laid-off employees temporary employment, including training assignments. This temporary employment will not count as an offer of return to work under Article 24.

The agreement extends existing contract provisions for professional development and training to laid-off employees. It increases the number of fee waiver courses that laid-off employees may attend from two to three courses and from 6 units to 12 units, whichever is greater, at CSUEB for the Fall 2010, Winter 2011, and Spring 2011 quarters. In subsequent quarters, the existing Article 22 contract language will govern the number of courses and units for laid-off employees.

The agreement prohibits the CSU from displacing bargaining unit employees by contracting out work or by increasing the number of administrators or student assistants’ hours in a department for the purpose of performing bargaining unit work.

Reassigned employees shall receive new job descriptions at least seven days in advance. CSUEB will provide any necessary training and will facilitate a meeting with the administrator and employee to discuss duties, expectations, and training.

Two laid-off Unit 7 employees have been offered temporary assignments, and another has been offered a full-time position. CSUEU continues to negotiate with CSUEB to resolve seven grievances and an unfair labor practice related to budget reductions and other layoffs.

Out of 86 layoffs announced in February, 20 employees remain laid off, and another 11 have had their layoff dates extended through July 30. Twenty-seven layoffs have been fully rescinded and another 13 mitigated by timebase reductions. Out of 39 employees reassigned in February, 12 have accepted reduced time bases with a right to return to full-time under our negotiated agreement, and another 16 have accepted reassignments. Several employees have found employment at nearby campuses and in other bargaining units, while a few have resigned or retired.

Bargaining took place at CSU East Bay on March 11, April 6, June 8, and June 29. CSUEU was represented at various times by President Pat Gantt, Vice President for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks, BU 2 Chair Tessy Reese, BU 5 Chair Sharon Cunningham, BU 5 Vice Chair Richard Berry, BU 7 Chair Michael Brandt, BU 7 Council Representative Gilbert Villareal, BU 9 Chair Rich McGee, BU 9 Vice Chair Alisandra Brewer, Senior Labor Relations Representative/Chief Negotiator Lois Kugelmass, Labor Relations Representative/Co-negotiator Jerrie McIntyre, and, from CSUEU Chapter 306, President Diego Campos, Chief Steward and Vice President Rose Greeff, BU 5 Representative Marie De La Cruz, BU 7 Representative Sylvia Ortiz, and BU 9 Representative Steve Main.


CSU Bakersfield

On June 30, the second day of layoffs bargaining at CSU Bakersfield following a preliminary session on June 3, CSUEU and CSU reached agreement on the terms of layoff.

According to the agreement, CSU Bakersfield employees who voluntarily take a time base reduction can exit the program if the need for cost savings becomes unnecessary or if not enough savings are generated to save laid-off positions.

Other sections of the pact reinforce employee rights under CSUEU/CSU’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Some articles parallel agreements recently reached at other campuses.

CSUEU continues efforts to mitigate individual cases of layoff. More than half of the affected CSU Bakersfield employees have been completely reinstated or offered some form of mitigation. Negotiations continue on behalf of the remaining represented employees, whose layoff will be effective July 6. Several grievances arose out of specific situations, which remain unresolved at this time.

Our responsibility is to work for each affected employee, explained CSU Bakersfield Chapter 310 President Ray Finnell. We will keep advocating on their behalf.

CSUEU Vice President for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks stated, Different needs at each campus are addressed in bargaining and are reflected in the varying campus agreements. Advance preparation by the chapter helps the team coming in.

Chief negotiator Lois Kugelmass led the CSUEU negotiating team skillfully. Other team members included Finnell, Kilday-Hicks, CSUEU President Pat Gantt, Bargaining Unit 7 Council Vice Chair John Orr, Bargaining Unit 9 Vice Chair Alisandra Brewer, Labor Relations Representative Frank Pulido, and, from Chapter 310, Chief Steward and Vice President Kathryn Plunkett, Unit 7 Representative and Organizing Chair Tina Giblin, and Unit 9 Representative Teresa Robertson.


Links

Governor's Order to Withold Pay Still Tied Up In Court

Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger ordered State Controller John Chiang to cut pay for most state employees to federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour), until a state budget is in place. Chiang has stated he will not implement the order until courts hand down a final resolution. The 2008 case from a similar order is still working its way through the courts.

As CSUEU's June 22 statement said, Only after a final decision comes down will either CSU or the union be able to determine if this order applies directly to CSU employees.

Bargaining Ploy

Despite claiming that California law forced the state to withhold wages, Schwarzenegger exempted about 37,000 employees from the order, because the unions which represent them had agreed to wage and pension concessions. The executive director of Professional Engineers in California Government observed the governor has taken a constitutional budget issue and reduced it to a bargaining ploy.

State Controller's Statement

Excerpts from Chiang's statement about the order to reduce wages:

In the absence of the leadership needed to bring the Legislature to an agreement on his budget, the governor again resorts to political tricks. Because of the limits of the state's current payroll system, there is no way that his order can be accomplished without violating the State Constitution and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. In short, his demands will do nothing to solve the budget deficit, but will hurt taxpayers by exposing the state to billions of dollars in penalties for those violations.

and:

Notwithstanding necessary changes to the State's labor laws, we continue to work with the Governor on building a system capable of legally reducing wages in the manner sought by his Administration. This system modernization is slated for roll-out in 2012. If the DPA has a problem with that schedule, they should consult the steering committee, of which four of the six members are the governor's appointees, including DPA Director Debbie Endsley.

Links

Sunday, June 27, 2010

BUC 9 Report for June 26, 2010 Meeting

CSUEU's Board of Directors is meeting this weekend in Reno. Below is the report Unit 9 Chair Rich McGee will present to the Board later today:


Bargaining Unit Council (BUC) 9 Report
June 26 2010

BUC 9 met Saturday, June 26, 2010 at the CSUEU Board of Directors meeting in Reno, Nevada.

Layoffs

Layoffs have been announced at 9 CSU campuses. Like previous layoffs, these disproportionately affect Unit 9. In the current round of layoffs, 120 positions, out of 209, have been in Unit 9.

At each of these campuses we're working to negotiate the best possible outcome for all affected employees.

Outsourcing

With more than a dozen campuses considering or acting on e-mail outsourcing, we met with the Chancellor's Office to discuss its impact on bargaining unit employees. On June 21st, the CSU and CSUEU signed an agreement which protects the interest of bargaining unit members and confirms the CSU's obligation to follow the contract.

I'd like to thank the officers and members who served on this bargaining team – Matthew Black, John Burdett, Eric Eisenhart, and Unit 9 Vice Chair Alisanda Brewer – as well as Senior Labor Relations Representative Teven Laxer for their work on this.

We will continue to grieve violations related to outsourcing. Outsourcing IT is not a cost-saving measure; in fact the Bureau of State Audits has determined that it costs far more than doing the job in-house.

Computer Security Training

Last year the Chancellor's Office created a mandatory web-based computer security course. Early testing by Unit 9 activists identified serious problems including erroneous statements about CSU policies, and a requirement that employees falsely claim full responsibility for systems they only partly control. We met with the CSU, and the Chancellor's Office committed to fixing the problems. Nearly a year later, it turns out that the errors have not been corrected, and CSU managers are ordering rank-and-file employees to complete the course.

Please advise employees on your campuses to contact a steward immediately if they are instructed to complete this error-filled version of the security training; we need to file on these.

BUC 9 Vacancy

We have a vacant at-large seat on BUC 9. Any chapter Bargaining Unit Representatives who would like to volunteer for this position, or would like more information, please contact BUC 9 Chair Rich McGee directly.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

BUC 9 Agenda for June 26 Meeting

Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) meets this Saturday, June 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the CSUEU Board of Directors (BOD) meeting in Reno. Like most CSUEU meetings, this is an open meeting. Check the board at the hotel for the room location.

Agenda for BUC 9 Meeting
Saturday, June 26, 2010

  1. Introduction of BU 9 Council Members — Group
  2. Chair's remarks — Rich McGee
  3. Vice-Chair's remarks — Alisandra Brewer
  4. Layoff update, by campus — Alisandra and Teven
  5. Outsourcing E-mail Status — Rich and Teven
  6. CSU's Web-based Security Training Course — Rich McGee
  7. Vacancy on BU 9 Council — Rich McGee
  8. Other items as time permits — Open discussion

This weekend's BOD meeting is at:
Grand Sierra Resort
2500 East 2nd Street
Reno, Nevada 89595
(800) 501-2651
(775) 789-2000

This is not a non-smoking hotel. Smoking is permitted in many areas of this hotel, including 1st and 3rd floor conference rooms and the casino area. The 2nd floor conference rooms, and restaurant areas, are non-smoking. The CSUEU agenda page identifies the nearest medical facility as:
Renown Regional Medical Center
1155 Mill St.
Reno, Nevada 89502
(775) 982-4100

Links:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Whistle-Blower Hotline

The CSU is required to notify all state employees, on an annual basis, of their right to use the states whistle-blower hotline. Here is this year's notice.

The California State Auditor is your confidential avenue for reporting any type of improper activities by state agencies or employees. It is your responsibility as a government employee to report any type of fraud, waste, or abuse, which ultimately protects scarce budget dollars. Moreover, with the significant influx of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds expected, it is important for you to be alert to any suspected misuse of these funds and report them to the California State Auditor.

If you report an impropriety, you are protected by the Whistle-blower Protection Act, which:

Requires the State Auditor to protect your identity (except from law enforcement);

Prohibits intimidation, threats, or coercion by state employees that could interfere with your right to disclose improper governmental activities.

Last year alone, the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline received 2,163 complaints or inquiries. These complaints triggered investigations that have revealed millions of dollars in wasteful spending, such as:

A department official improperly claimed $71,747 for commute and other expenses
incurred near her home and headquarters.

A department wasted $881,565 in state funds and lost $90,000 in potential interest earnings by purchasing 51 vans that were unused for more than two years.

Two departments wasted $580,000 in state funds by continuing to lease 5,900 square feet of office space that one department had not occupied for more than four years.

HOW TO REPORT
You have three ways to confidentially report information to the California State Auditor:

Call the Whistleblower Hotline at:
800-952-5665
866-293-8729 (TTY)
916-332-2603 (Fax)

Mail information to:
Investigations, Bureau of State Audits
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Submit a complaint online to:
http://www.bsa.ca.gov/hotline/filecomp
(Note: complaints not accepted via email)
You may also call the California Attorney General’s Confidential Hotline At (800) 952-5225 or (916) 322-3360.

Each campus also has a designated MPP (Manager) assigned to hear employee whistle-blower complaints. To find your local campus official, contact your HR department.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Technical Training Available

For those of us IT staff who desire additional technical training, but are often denied the funding, the CSU may have a solution. There is a license agreement now in place for system-wide technical self-study training program called "SkillChoice 2010".

The training is all self-study, via the web. The website is http://thesource.calstate.edu and the cost is $154 per user for a 12 month period, starting July 1st, 2010.

The training brochure promises several thousand hours of classes, 1700+ online courses, and thousands of on-line books, including 8600 fully searchable online books from Apress, Microsoft Press, MIT Press, McGraw-Hill and Jown Wiley and Sons. In addition, a Learning Management System tracks your progress through each course. (This also allows your manager to audit your progress.)

I have no idea what these courses will be like, or how in-depth they might be. My department here at CSUSB was kind enough to offer to pay for any of our staff who wished to participate, so I'll know more in a few weeks.

The Chancellor's Office of Professional Development also maintains an e-mail list for additional information, as well as a full support staff. I called them today to verify that the courses would work on a Mac (The website only says "On your Windows system") and the friendly person I spoke with told me that she uses the courses on her own Mac at home.

While it is much too early to provide any feedback about these courses, I wanted to share this information with you as soon as I received it. Hopefully, you will be able to request and obtain the funding to participate. It also appears that you can pay, individually, using a private credit card, as long as you are a CSU employee.

I have taken several similar self-study training courses in the past, and always discovered that I learned something useful from each of them. But you do have to be disciplined, and take each course seriously. My advice is that you treat each course like it was a daily or weekly college-level class, spending time every day on the reading and assignments. Trust me, if you wait and say "I'll start the next course in a week", 11 months will vanish before you know it.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Layoffs Announced at San Jose

CSUEU received notice this morning of layoffs at San José:


TO: Michael Hejazi, CSUEU senior staff, CSUEU Board of Directors:

Attached please find a notice of layoffs at San Jose State University. Units 2, 7 and 9 are all impacted; the total number of impacted employees is 73. We will immediately request a meet and confer, and begin the process of meeting with all of the employees.

In Unity,

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


Here's the breakdown by unit:

Announced San José State University Layoffs by Bargaining Unit
Bargaining UnitNumber of Classifications AffectedNumber of Positions Affected
Unit 222
Unit 7750
Unit 91421
All2373

Campus President announced in March that layoffs were part of the 2010-2011 budget planning.

The CSUEU bargaining team is at Humboldt State University today, continuing to bargain over the impact of layoffs at that campus.

Links

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Support CSUEU at Humboldt

Please support your colleagues at Humboldt State University!

Humboldt State University has announced the potential layoff of 55 positions. CSUEU and Humboldt management are negotiating this afternoon to save the jobs of these support staff members who keep the CSU running.

Please take a moment TODAY (Tuesday, April 13th) at 11 a.m., just before bargaining takes place, to send a message to key CSU administrators asking that their representatives do everything possible to save jobs and protect the mission of the California State University:

Richmond, Rollin - President rollinr@humboldt.edu
Snyder, Robert - Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs ras1@humboldt.edu
Burges, Jena - Vice Provost Academic Programs jb139@humboldt.edu
Butler, Steven - Vice President Student Affairs svb7001@humboldt.edu
Nordstrom, Burt - Vice President Admin. Affairs bnn1@humboldt.edu
Gunsalus, Robert - Vice President Development & Alumni Relations gunsalus@humboldt.edu
Jackson, Laura - Assoc. Vice President Development & Alumni Relations Laura.Jackson@humboldt.edu
Curtis, Tammy - Assoc. Director of Human Resources curtis@humboldt.edu


If your email program is properly setup, you can click this link to send an email to all the addresses above.

After you send an email to Humboldt State, please click here to let us know. Your colleagues at HSU appreciate your support!

Here’s a sample message to inspire you. Please feel free to write your own message and let Humboldt State know how much cuts hurt the CSU and California.

Dear XX:

I encourage you to find alternatives to save jobs in these difficult times and to mitigate layoffs at Humboldt State University. My fellow CSU Employees Union members and I fully support the union bargaining team that is negotiating with your administration’s representatives about layoffs at HSU today. Our team members are in good faith willing to explore any and all options to save jobs and keep employees in their current pay plan. Please ask your bargaining team members to do the same so that together we can survive these difficult economic times with Humboldt State University's support infrastructure intact.

Regards,
(Your name here)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Help Support CSU East Bay!

CSU East Bay has announced the potential layoff of 125 employees in units 5, 7 and 9. CSUEU and East Bay management are negotiating today to save the jobs of these

support staff members who keep the CSU running.
Please take a moment TODAY (April 5th) at 2 p.m., while bargaining is taking place, to send a message to key CSU administrators asking that their representatives do everything possible to save jobs and protect the mission of the CSU:

Mohammad Qayoumi, President - Mo.Qayoumi@csueastbay.edu
Shawn Bibb, VP Admin & Finance - shawn.bibb@csueastbay.edu
James Houpis, Provost - james.houpis@csueastbay.edu
Linda Dalton, VP Enrollment Management - linda.dalton@csueastbay.edu
Robert Burt, Vice President - bob.burt@csueastbay.edu
John Charles, Chief Information Officer - john.charles@csueastbay.edu
Jim Cimino, Assoc. VP Human Resources – jim.cimino@csueastbay.edu

Here’s a sample message to inspire you. Please feel free to write your own message and let CSU East Bay know how much cuts hurt the CSU and California.

Dear XX:
I encourage you to find alternatives to save jobs in these difficult times and to mitigate layoffs at CSU East Bay. My fellow CSU Employees Union members and I fully support the union bargaining team that is negotiating with your administration’s representatives about voluntary programs today. Our team members are in good faith willing to explore any and all options to save jobs. Please ask your bargaining team members to do the same so that together we can survive these difficult economic times with CSUEB’s support infrastructure intact.

Regards,


Thanks for helping!

-Rich McGee
Chair, CSUEU Unit 9

Program Elimination at CSU Humboldt?

The CSUEU Bargaining Team will be travelling to Humboldt next week for a meet and discuss with the CSU over the large number of represented employees who were notified of involuntary timebase reductions. Meanwhile, the following story was posted on the Chancellor's Office website. If an academic program is eliminated, is it not logical to assume that those staff members who work in support of that program will, at the very least, face reassignment, if not a potential layoff?

Humboldt State University's Academic Senate on Saturday grilled the heads of departments that are on the chopping block about the value of their programs, part of a process to develop recommendations to send to the provost.

Such stalwart programs as physics, chemistry, nursing, fisheries biology and English literature were put under the microscope at Founders Hall - all possibilities to be cut to save the university some $1.3 million.

Senators are expected to come up with several packages that would meet that requirement as part of a recommendation to the provost. The Senate should vote on those recommendations Tuesday, but Provost Bob Snyder has offered no guarantee that the recommendations will be followed.

Many of the questions directed to department heads Saturday were about whether majors might be merged to realize savings, but program leaders urged strongly against that. Chemistry and physics departments chairman Robert Zoellner said that neither physics nor chemistry could assume parts of the other's program if one were eliminated.

"An undergraduate degree is not a specialty degree," Zoellner said. "It's a foundation for a specialty degree later on."

He added that a revamped physics curriculum that includes astronomy has attracted a large number of students to the university.

While those foundation majors may be struggling to save themselves, so are unique HSU programs like Rangeland Resources and Wildlands Soils, two of few such programs in the country. It, too, has revised its curriculum, said Professor Susan Edinger Marshall, and expects to see enrollment increase.
Rangeland undergraduate Stewart Wilson told the Senate that agriculture is a $100 billion-a-year industry in California. To cut the program would threaten the university's status as a natural resources school, he said.

"I think it's important to realize the obligation this university has to Northern California and to Northern California's natural resources," Wilson said.

Other resource programs are on the chopping block, including fisheries and oceanography. Oceanography is the only undergraduate program of its kind in California or adjacent states, said Professor Jeff Borgeld. Oceanography is particularly dependent on other majors like physics and chemistry, Borgeld said, because its students take many of the same physics and chemistry courses those majors take. A major change to either of those departments would have an immediate impact on oceanography, Borgeld said.

HSU's nursing program, which graduates the second-highest number of students per year as any other program being considered for elimination, is also the most expensive. The Academic Senate has estimated scrapping the program would save some $867,200 - a major chunk of the $1.3 million needed. The department argued Saturday that its bachelor's program makes nurses more valuable and more capable in the workforce than the College of the Redwoods associate degree program.

The Liberal Studies Elementary Education program graduates the most students, but would save only an estimated $117,000 if it were to be cut.

The focus on cost has brought angst to many of those employed by the programs on the chopping block. But it appears that few, if any, of those departments have had formal discussions about retraining those who may lose their jobs with the restructuring.

Asked about it Saturday by the Senate, none of the department representatives on hand said they'd investigated that possibility.

_____________________________

PROGRAMS UP FOR ELIMINATION:

The following programs are being considered by Humboldt State University Academic Senate to be recommended for elimination. The senate is tasked with recommending a package of programs for elimination for which the total cost savings will be at least $1.3 million, with 90 percent of the savings coming from undergraduate programs and the remaining 10 percent from graduate programs.

Program - campus-wide ranking for average number of degrees awarded annually
- average number of degrees awarded annually - projected cost savings

UNDERGRADUATE

Chemistry -37 - 10.75 - $132,310

Computer Information Systems - 38 - 10 - $135,744

Computer Science - 44 - 5 - $66,859

Fisheries Biology - 31 - 15.5 - $207,625

Liberal Studies Elementary Education - 6 - 51.75 - $116,920

Nursing - 7 - 49 - $867,200

Oceanography - 41 - 6 - $83,660

Philosophy - 34 - 13.75 - $201,517

Physics - 43 - 5.5 - $89,948

Rangeland Resource Science - 40 - 8.75 - $110,684

GRADUATE

English Literature, MA - 19 - 4.5 - $70,250

Kinesiology, MA - 17.5 - 4.75 - $68,644

Theatre Arts, MA (Film Production) - 30 - .25 - Not applicable *

Theatre Arts, MFA (Scenography) - Not applicable **

Theatre Arts, MA (Theatre Production) Not applicable **

* Cost savings projections are only available for the Theatre Arts graduate program as a whole, and are projected at $165,722

** Indicates new programs for which no data is available

Source: Academic Senate cost savings data spreadsheets

Source: Chancellors Office Blog

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Supplement to BUC 9 Report

We have some supplemental material and links for the Bargaining Unit Council (BUC) 9 report published earlier today:

Student Assistants

From the contract:

17.12 Student assistants may be assigned duties within the classification and qualification standards that are applicable to bargaining unit employees.

Here's the entire text of the Classification and Qualification Standard (CQS) document for Student Assistants:


Student Assistant
Class Code: 1870
Date Established: 09-07-55
Date Revised: 03-28-03

OVERVIEW:

Under immediate supervision, incumbents in this classification work part-time during academic periods and may work full time during break periods in any of the various areas of a CSU campus. Incumbents perform clerical, technical, maintenance, custodial, laboring or other work as assigned.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

Knowledge and Abilities:
Ability to learn and perform assigned work; ability to work cooperatively with faculty, staff, and other students; and ability to accept responsibility.

Special Qualification:
Admission or registration as a CSU student.


Library Services Specialist (LSS) Classification Implementation

Furloughs

Furloughs expire June 30, 2010.

Section 5 of the Furlough Agreement states During the period of the furlough, the number of student assistant hours and the number of administrators in a department shall not be increased for the purpose of performing bargaining unit work.

Layoffs

Check Campus Job Postings