Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Listen to CSU Board of Trustees Live

The CSU Board of Trustees is meeting now.
You can listen to the CSU Board of Trustees meeting live via the link on their homepage:
Live CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
Yesterday Governor Brown attended the meeting.
The CSU ended yesterday's meeting early, and withdrew the proposal to increase student fees on top of current levels.
The CSU Board of Trustees agenda page has been changed to list the Joint Meeting of the Committee on Educational Policy and the Committee on Finance, which contained a proposal to further raise student fees, has recently been marked "Not meeting."
[This is a change since last week, after the required public notice.]
Attendees to yesterday's Board of Trustees meetings reported seeing outside catering food being brought in as yesterday's meeting was ending early.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Board of Trustees Meets Next Week, Nov. 13-14

The CSU Board of Trustees meets next Tuesday and Wednesday, November 13 and 14, 2012. A closed session begins at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday for unspecified Executive Personnel Matters and collective bargaining issues. The open session begins around 10:00 a.m., starting with the Committee on Collective Bargaining. Meetings continue all day, and resume at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday, with the Plenary session estimated to begin at 10:30.
There is also a Special Committee on Pension Reform meeting listed for 11:30 a.m., after the Board of Trustees adjourns. No agenda seems to be published for it, but it is not listed as a closed meeting.

Selected Agenda Items

  • Salary and benefits for the incoming Chancellor, Timothy P. White:
    • Salary of $421,500
    • An annual salary supplement of $30,000 from the CSU Board of Governors Foundation
    • A house: the official university residence for the chancellor
    • Vehicle allowance of $1,000 per month
    • Reimbursement for travel and relocation expenses
    • Unspecified "executive classification" benefits, which at this writing are not listed with other employees' benefits
    • Eligibility to hold the academic rank of full professor with tenure at CSU Long Beach.
    White's official starting date will be December 31, 2012, meaning he will not be affected by the change in how pensions work beginning January 1, 2013. The Chancellor's Office is closed on December 31.
  • Title 5 amendment requiring managers and executives to disclose outside employment for the identification of and to preclude any conflict of commitment. This is in response to a 2007 audit of CSU compensation practices by the Bureau of State Audits (BSA). For this meeting, it is an information item, with proposed language to be voted on at the January 2013 meeting.
    • That's not a typo. Next year, the CSU may do something to address a problem identified in an audit 5 years ago.
    • The title of the 2007 audit was California State University: It Needs to Strengthen Its Oversight and Establish Stricter Policies for Compensating Current and Former Employees
  • Report on legislation of interest to the CSU. A few highlights:
    • AB 1434 adds CSU employees to the list of mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect occurring on campuses.
    • AB 1723 requires public meetings of the Trustees to be available by live video stream over the internet. CSU took no position on this, and it was signed into law.
    • There were a number of attempts to reign in CSU's extravagant approach to executive and manager salaries. The CSU opposed all of them. None succeeded.
      • AB 1561 would have prohibited the CSU from raising administrator salaries when state funding is reduced or tuition fees increased.
      • AB 1787 would have frozen CSU salaries until June 2015 for employees making over $100,000.
      • SB 952 would have prohibited raises for CSU employees making over $200,000 from General Fund sources through June 2014.
      • SB 967 would have prohibited salary augmentation for executive officers within 2 years of a mandatory systemwide fee increase.
      • SB 1368 would have prevented unelected state employees from earning more than the governor or $174,000.
    • SB 1515 would have reduced the number of governor appointees to the Board of Trustees from 16 to 14, and required that the appointments include 1 faculty, 1 represented staff, and 4 students. The CSU opposed this bill, and it failed.
  • CSU Seismic Safety Program's annual report. Some highlights:
    • Warren Hall at CSU East Bay, described as long our most pressing seismic concern, is mostly vacated and is scheduled to be demolished in July 2013. Still in the building are the campus telephone switch in the basement, servers on the third floor, and telecom antennas on the roof, all of which sometimes require in-person staff visits.
    • CLA building at Cal Poly Pomona is a priority List 1 concern, but no funds have been budgeted.
  • Update on current audits and follow-up on past audits including IT Disaster Recovery, ADA Compliance, and Sensitive Data Security.
    Current year audits include:
    • Data Center Operations (Chico, Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Long Beach, Northridge, and Pomona)
    • Identity Management and Common Systems Access (Humboldt, Monterey Bay, San Diego, and San Marcos)
    • Information Systems
  • Ratification of a new contract with Academic Professionals of California (APC). APC represents Unit 4, composed of about 3,000 academic support professionals such as Credential Analysts and Student Services Professionals. CSU and APC reached a tentative agreement in July, and APC members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the contract. Most portions of this contract maintain the status quo.
  • Additional fees for students doing things like earning lots of units before graduating, taking a higher course load, and repeating classes.

About Trustees Meetings

For the most part, the discussion happens in the Committee meetings, and then the full Board meets in plenary session and approves whatever is before it.
Meetings are open to the public. Anyone can attend. Anyone can address the Board of Trustees in person, or write to them. See the main agenda for specific instructions.
Minutes of the previous meeting(s) — not yet approved, sometimes containing mistakes — are in the various agendas for the current meetings.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ballot Measure Results Align With CSUEU Recommendations

Ballot counting continues, but with nearly all counties having reported their final election night update to California's Secretary of State, the outcome is evident for statewide ballot measures. Huzzah!

  Ballot Proposition    CSUEU's Position    Election Result  
Temporary Taxes to Fund Education
State Budget, State and Local Government
Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction
Tax for Education. Early Childhood Programs
Business Tax for Energy Funding
Redistricting State Senate


Monday, November 5, 2012

CSUEU recommends: Yes on 30, No on 32 and 38

CSUEU has taken positions on several statewide initiatives and candidates. Here are three to remember as you vote tomorrow:

Yes on 30:
Temporary taxes to support education and safety. Helps stabilize California's budget, prevents deeper cuts to education including the CSU. If this fails, or passes with fewer votes than 38, the CSU faces $250 million in budget cuts for the 2012-13 budget year.
No on 32:
The "Special Exemptions Act" pretends to be aimed at keeping special interests out of politics, but really it's aimed at weakening union members' voices while leaving corporate political funding essentially untouched.
No on 38:
Raises taxes for most Californians to fund K-12, preschool, child care programs, and to make debt payments. Higher education and other services are left out. Trigger cuts would take effect. If this passes with more votes than 30, the CSU faces $250 million in budget cuts for the 2012-13 budget year.


Handy Voting Information

A few bits of handy information for folks who didn't already vote:

Voting In Person

Check your polling location if you don't have your sample ballot handy. Polling locations change, so "I always go to X" might not cut it.
Problem? Cast A Provisional Ballot
If the poll workers can't find you on their list, you can cast a provisional ballot anyway.
If your vote-by-mail ballot never arrived, you can cast a provisional ballot at your polling place.
Your provisional ballot will be counted after local elections officials verifies your registration and that you didn't already vote.
Did the Machine Record Your Vote Accurately? Check It.
Voting machines are required to display your ballot choices on a printed paper record, before you finalize your ballot. Check that carefully.
You can review your county's voting machine instructions online before you go to the polls, so that you aren't trying to learn unfamiliar machinery while voting.
Voter ID: Not Required, Rarely Requested
Most people won't be asked to show identification at the polls.
You may be asked for identification if you are voting for the first time after registering by mail and did not provide your driver license number, California identification number or the last four digits of your social security number on your registration form.
You have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if you don't have your identification.
Time Off to Vote
The good news: If you can't vote otherwise, the contract provides for up to 2 hours paid time to vote.
The bad news: You needed to request that 2 working days in advance. But if you're stuck and won't be able to vote if you work your regular hours, it can't hurt to ask your manager anyway.
15.22     An employee who would otherwise be unable to vote outside of his/her regular working hours may be granted up to two (2) hours of work time without loss of pay to vote at a general, direct primary, special, or presidential primary election.
An employee shall be required to request such leave time in writing from the appropriate administrator at least two (2) working days prior to the election.

Voting By Mail

It's a bit late to count on the mail, so turn in your vote-by-mail ballot directly to elections officials:
  • Today, you can return it in person to your county elections office.
  • On Election Day you can take the sealed envelope to any polling place in your county (it doesn't have to be your own precinct), or to your county elections office, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
If you can't return it yourself, the California Secretary of State's office says:
If, because of illness or physical disability, you are unable to return the ballot yourself, you may designate a spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or a person residing in the same household to return the ballot to the elections official or the precinct board at any polling place within the jurisdiction.
If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot, and haven't returned it for any reason (never got it, lost track of it, the dog chewed it up), you can cast a provisional ballot at your local polling place.