Sunday, March 11, 2012

BUC 9 Report for March 10, 2012 Meeting

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

Bargaining Unit 9 Report
San Diego
10 March, 2012

Chair Rich McGee is caring for family and is unable to attend this weekend's meeting. Alisandra Brewer, Vice Chair is reporting as Acting Chair. Introductions went around the table and there were familiar and new faces among the attendees, with a broad range of classifications represented.

Unit 9 continues to face enormous challenges. With the hope of ratification of a new contract soon, we can now move forward and focus more on these issues.

The conversion from Library Assistants to Library Services Specialist classifications should be completed soon. Reps on individual campuses should continue monitoring the process and resolve problems as they are discovered.

The Unit 9 Council heard from Teven Laxer regarding ongoing issues with Real-Time Captioners at the campuses. Most are hourly intermittent, but there are permanent RTCs, too. In spite of some campuses insisting that Hourly Intermittents cannot be converted to permanent, it has been done. A case regarding RTCs is going to arbitration at LA soon. Pomona and LA were contracting out the work before contacting hourly intermittents. A meet & confer has resulted in promises to contact the hourly intermittents first.

Synergy is a term that has arisen in the CSU as management searches for cost-cutting options. These options have the potential to severely impact our members. The Chancellor's Remarks at the January Board of Trustees included four presidential sub-committees to look in synergistic efficiencies. Ten ideas were identified at the November BOT. We are hearing many reports of plans that might consolidate various campus' IT, payroll, HR, benefits, dispatching, and more. Fresno, Stanislaus and Bakersfield may share one CIO and centralize their Help Desk at Fresno. Questions by campus Reps reveal that many of these plans seem to be moving forward without campus HR knowing anything about it. This is of great concern, as CSUEU may not be noticed of impacts to our members. Teven has requested an M&C, which revealed that the Chancellor's Office didn't know about many of these Synergy efforts, either. The first meeting was scheduled for March 21, after the BOT, but, since the BOT was shortened to one day, the meeting has been postponed. We will continue to pursue a new date.

Erosion continues to eat away at our positions and duties. Positions are not being refilled as people retire or leave and work is being contracted out. Without actual displacement (layoffs), this is very difficult to fight.

Once contract bargaining is over, we are ready to meet to update the classifications within the Accounting Series, which consists of almost 700 individuals from Units 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 these classifications. If you are interested in helping, please let your Bargaining Unit 9 Representative know. A few examples of questions that need answers: 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?

Also, the new contract promises Classification updates to two other Unit 9 series. IT is sorely outdated and in need of an overhaul as technology has changed enormously since the last review in the 1990s. One large problem is people being held at Foundation level to keep them in a non-exempt status. The Administrative Analyst Specialist classification is badly abused by the CSU. It is used as a "catch-all" for any person that needs to be in that general pay range. For example, many campuses have nobody in the Dispatcher classification because the pay range is too low to hire and retain people. So, they are AA/S's. This has caused extreme problems during layoffs as a dispatcher might bump an academic office manager and is expected to be able to do the job. Or, an AA/S in an academic department might bump a dispatcher and not only couldn't be able to do the job, but wouldn't be post-certified either. As with the Accounting series, we will be looking for staff members in the affected classifications as we get to them.

Cellphones, Pagers, “Robocalls”, etc. are being used unfairly with some employees as electronic leashes, leaving some essentially on-call 24/7. A reminder that only an Appropriate Administrator can call an employee back (not a student, dispatcher, police or automated system). Also, campuses may not rewrite their policies so they violate our contract or legal rights.

We had a discussion of some of the contract changes which are most important to Unit 9. Many of these were presented at campus ratification meetings, but we could discuss them with more depth here and cover some additional changes. New language addresses the use of student assistants to perform our work, the addition of "workload" and "out-of-class work" to IRPs, the expansion of the definition of family for bereavement and medical leave, management's abuse of the term "operational need" and how to fight back, and the addition to 17.3 of a sentence stipulating that current salary would be retained by anyone exercising their rights under it. Student assistants especially are becoming a big problem as they erode our positions, sometimes replacing whole work forces. We have some tools to fight this, including the CSU's CQS for student employees, the CO's document FSA 81-13 which states that student assistants classes should not be used when a position would be better covered by one of the established classes, and HEERA 3562.e. Student Assistants need to be under direct supervision, and must be employed in the area of their studies.

A reminder about the upcoming CSUEU election cycle: Most chapter elections are done and the rest will be completed by early April. The Bargaining Unit Representatives (BURs) from each campus will then meet as a group to elect a Chair, Vice Chair and the six At-large Bargaining Unit Council members at the June BOD.

Thank you to all who attended and helped make this a productive meeting.

Alisandra Brewer, Acting Chair
CSUEU Bargaining Unit 9

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