Sunday, November 6, 2011

BUC 9 Report for November 5, 2011 Meeting

Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) met yesterday evening at the CSUEU Board of Directors meeting in Sacramento. Here is the Chair's report, being delivered to the Board today:

Bargaining Unit 9 Report
November 5th, 2011

Unit 9 currently faces the most extreme challenge since it was created. From our work rapidly migrating to "the cloud", to the on-going increases in layoffs and outsourcing, never have the more than 6000 members of Bargaining Unit 9 faced such a direct and real threat to our jobs. Unit 9 employees appear to be a significant target for the CSU. In the past two years, the unit has experienced more real and/or potential layoffs than any other unit, and it is obvious from management's current behavior that additional layoffs are being considered. Please let every member know that our activities are squarely under the CSU's microscope, watching everything we do. As the CSU budget continues to shrink, such scrutiny will continue to increase as the campuses look for ways to save money wherever possible. To help protect our jobs, it becomes the duty of each employee to ensure that their job description is both accurate and complete. As technology changes, employees often fail to make written records of new skills, assignments and job duties. If layoffs were to suddenly hit your campus, having an accurate written documentation of your skills and duties could make the difference between keeping and losing your position.

The Chancellor recently mandated that campuses retain all e-mail, both sent and received, for 90 days. This is in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the CSU by a group of students upset with recent student fee increases. While we do not yet know how this will affect our day to day operations, one thing is certain: The Chancellor has the right to mandate how state equipment is used. This could have a profoundly chilling effect upon the Union's use of a campus e-mail system, especially in matters of representation. For this reason, it is recommend that no confidential Union business be conducted using either a CSU email address, or on state-owned equipment. The risk of revealing either representation issues or internal Union strategies to the CSU is too great to allow this to happen, even if it is only remote possibility. Each chapter should obtain and use only off-campus e-mail accounts (i.e. Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) for each steward. Chapters should also use non-state-owned computers for their Union activities, and store all Union data on secure external hardware such as an encrypted flash drive.

The Unit 9 Council heard from Teven Laxer and Alisandra Brewer regarding the bargaining issues which are most important to Unit 9. These include contracting out, student assistants performing our work, movement through the salary range, and the CSU's proposal to allow campuses to raise parking rates as they see fit. In addition, significant discussion was held concerning the percentage of duties performed within a higher classification, and what might happen if red-circle rates were eliminated, which could lead to demotions and pay cuts. The next bargaining session will be held December 5th at the Chancellor's Office.

The conversion from Library Assistants to Library Services Specialist classifications is, as Joan Kennedy reported "being done 23 different ways at 23 different campuses". While a few employees have successfully completed the process, others are having great difficulty in doing so, as it appears that management is unable to comprehend what we see as a simple, straightforward process. CSUEU is monitoring the process and is working to resolve problems as they are discovered.

Several months ago, the CSU notified CSUEU that they were ready to meet to update the classifications within the Accounting Series, which consists of more than a thousand individuals from Unit 7 and 9. In order to study the needs the of those staff within this classification, Unit 9 is seeking input from any staff member who might have insight into this classification. If you're interested in helping, please let your Bargaining Unit 9 Representative know. A few examples of questions we need answers to: What parts of the current Classification and Qualification Standards (CQS) don't fit the jobs as they're being done now? Do the current individual classifications make sense, or do they need reorganizing?

There are currently two at-large vacancies on the Unit 9 Council. A letter of interest will go out via e-mail to all BU 9 representatives next week soliciting interest in those positions.

A reminder about upcoming CSUEU election cycle: Chapter elections must be completed by early April, 2012. The Bargaining Unit Representatives (BURs) from each campus will then meet as a group to elect a Chair, Vice Chair and the 6 At-large Bargaining Unit Council members. You must be elected as your chapter's BUR to run for any of these positions. If you are interested in running, begin planning your election campaign at your local chapter now.

Rich McGee, Chair
CSUEU Bargaining Unit 9

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