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 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.


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


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.

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

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

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

Submit a complaint online to:
(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 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.