Friday, February 25, 2011

Unit 9 Bargaining Unit Council Agenda


Board of Director's Meeting

February 26, 2011 in Sacramento

  1. Introduction - Group

  2. Chair’s Statement

  3. Vice-Chair’s Statement

  4. Budget Discussion – What do we know now, and what can we expect? - Group

  5. Contract and Bargaining Update - Teven

  6. CSUEU Survey - Chair

  7. State Data Centers and “Synergy” – Facts, rumors and speculation – Chair/Vice-Chair

  8. LA’s to LSS Update – Teven

  9. Classification issues – Watch *all* Unit 9 position postings! - Chair

  10. What role does the BUC play during contract bargaining? – Chair, Vice-Chair, Teven

  11. Two vacancies now on Unit 9 BUC - Chair

  12. Other items as time permits

Friday, February 18, 2011

California State Leader on Wisconsin Plan to Break Unions

California Democratic Leader Burton issued a statement today regarding the Governor of Wisconsin's attempt to end collective bargaining for all Wisconsin state employees:

"The governor of the state of Wisconsin today is reaping the results of the Republican Party's relentless and shameless campaign to scapegoat public employees. Governor Walker's approach is in fact standard Republican operating procedure: attack working people for the problems caused by Wall Street banks and financial speculators. Stripping hard working men and women of their collective bargaining right is an unconscionable attack against all hard-working Americans, whether they belong to a union or not."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

University Leaders React to Gov. Brown's Budget

The Sacramento Bee has just published a article about the impact of Gov. Brown's budget upon higher education:

The leaders of California's three higher education systems Monday said they are preparing to make budget cuts proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, but warned that fewer degree programs and enrollment slots would likely result.

UC President Mark Yudof and CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said they would try to avoid raising tuition to generate revenue, while Yudof and community colleges Chancellor Jack Scott said the cuts would likely mean keeping out qualified students.

The state's Master Plan for Higher Education, signed in 1960, guarantees a higher education slot for every qualified student.

The proposed budget cuts $500 million from the University of California, $500 million from the California State University and $400 million from the community colleges. Brown also has proposed a $10-per-unit fee increase, from $26 to $36 a unit, at community colleges.

"We're saying, 'I don't like it. I don't want to do it, but I'm willing to do it for the CSU if there is a future to reinvest in California and have a conversation about what kind of California do we want for our kids, what kind of economy do we want, what kind of people do we want in the work force," Reed said.

"So this one time, sure. I'm willing to sacrifice because every public agency is going to have to sacrifice something."

The UC cuts, Yudof said, would probably mean fewer students and a smaller faculty.

"I hate it," Yudof said. "You know, our campuses are prepared to take another 30,000 to 40,000 students. They feel they have the room for them if we had adequate finances to do it."

Reed said the CSU would not be able to afford all of its degree programs and that some of the programs would have to be organized on a regional level.

The community colleges might have to turn away 350,000 students, Scott said, on top of the 140,000 people the system turned away this year. Many of those students couldn't find class slots or ended up on waiting lists.

Despite the budget crunch, Yudof said raising tuition would be "unpalatable," a message repeated by Reed. Yudof also said he wouldn't institute furloughs to save money.

"We raised tuition 10 percent in November," Reed said, "and I don't plan on doing it again, except if in June the revenue enhancements that the governor is proposing fail and the whole bottom falls out of everything, we'll have to come back and revisit that."

Asked if Brown had pledged in private conservations to limit the cuts to the current proposals, Reed answered, "He hasn't promised anything other than that if these taxes don't pass, we're going to cut even more."

Friday, February 4, 2011

California Budget Simulator

The LA Times has created a simple simulator to enable everyone to try and balance the state budget.

You can try it here: Balance the California Budget

What cuts would you make, and why?

Ballot Measure to End Collective Bargaining?

The Sac Bee reported a scary story this morning. Let's all hope this badly flawed plan never qualifies as a ballot measure!

A Santa Barbara-based organization that wants to end union representation of California government employees has revved up its campaign contribution collection machinery for a run at putting the idea to a statewide vote.

Although Secretary of State records indicate that Californians for Public Union Reform hasn't reported that it has taken in any money yet -- it just filed with the state last week -- it is positioning itself to accept contributions with an aim toward putting an initiative on the ballot next year.

Lanny Ebenstein, UC Santa Barbara economist, head of the California Center for Public Policy and president of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association is named in the state filing as the reform group's treasurer.

If his name seems familiar, it's probably because Ebenstein authored "Reforming Public Employee Compensation and Pensions." a report that purported to show that California public employees' pay and benefits are "unjust." We told you about the report in this blog post.

We spoke to Ebenstein a few weeks ago. His group wants to put up a ballot measure that would end collective bargaining for all city, county, regional and state employees in California. The reason, he says, is that unions have too much influence and the pay and perks their members receive are leeching money from government services, like education.

There is precedent for this: At least 18 states forbid collective bargaining for some categories of government workers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Virginia and North Carolina prohibit it for all public employees. And GOP governors in Wisconsin and Ohio are threatening to change state collective bargaining laws if they don't get union concessions.

Of course, the reverse also is true: More states allow public employee collective bargaining than don't, and it's not yet clear what will happen in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Ebenstein figures it will take at least $1 million to collect enough signatures to qualify a measure for the ballot. When asked whether he can raise that much money, plus more for campaign ads, Ebenstein said he believes that moneyed interests in Santa Barbara and elsewhere will step up.

Virginia Approves Higher Ed Funding Model

If Virginia can fix their higher education funding problem, why can't California do something similar?

RICHMOND, Va.—The Virginia General Assembly has advanced a package of higher-education overhaul legislation, which is aimed at fueling economic growth and preparing Virginia residents for high-demand jobs.

The House of Delegates voted 98-0 on Wednesday for the measure, which includes recommendations by Gov. Bob McDonnell's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment. The Senate Finance Committee also voted Wednesday to send a similar measure to the full Senate.

The legislation focuses on economic development, making higher-education investments based on reform measures, and making college affordable and accessible for Virginia residents.

Another key component of the bill is a goal to adopt a sustainable, predictable funding model for public colleges and universities, which reduces pressure on schools to raise tuition to make up for funding gaps.

The bills include a new higher-education funding policy, including per-student funding that would be allocated to the institutions based on enrollment; provide for targeted financial incentives for schools that meet enrollment, degree-completion, graduation, and other benchmarks; the creation of a partnership between administration officials, legislators, and leaders in the corporate and scientific fields to help promote the growth in students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields.

The measures also call for the formation of a Higher Education Advisory Committee, which includes representatives appointed by administration officials and the presidents of state higher-education institutions.

One of McDonnell's prime initiatives is to add 100,000 additional associate and bachelor's degrees over the next 15 years, to put Virginia among the top states in educational achievement and personal income levels. To that end, state institutions should increase overall enrollment; encourage the 900,000 working-age Virginians who have earned some college credits to finish their degrees; and boost college retention and graduation rates.

Sen. Thomas Norment, a co-sponsor of the Senate measure, said Wednesday that the legislation would serve as a roadmap or template for further retooling of Virginia's higher-education system

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can Technology Replace Teachers?

For a fascinating article on the potential of using technology to replace traditional classroom instruction, please see the article from

As the CSU seeks to become more efficient, it must increasingly turn to modern technology to replace traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. But what effect will this change have upon the skilled IT workers within the system? Will they need to hire more support staff, or will these tools be managed by an outsourced support center, located in another state?

It's an interesting question, and our careers may depend upon the answer.