Friday, March 15, 2013

BUC 9 Report for February 17, 2013 Meeting

Bargaining Unit Council 9 (BUC 9) met last month as part of the all-BUC meeting weekend in Sacramento, February 16-17. Here is the report of the Chair, Rich McGee, prepared for this weekend's Board of Directors meeting:

Bargaining Unit Council 9 Meeting
February 17th, 2012

On February 16, 2013, Bargaining Unit Council (BUC) 9 met with BUCs 2, 5, and 7 to begin planning for full contract bargaining, which gets underway early next year. Now is the time to start collecting ideas for our next contract. If you have a comment or suggestion for improvements, please send them to Unit 9 Chair Rich McGee.
BUC 9 met separately on February 17th. We welcomed Matt Kay, the new Bargaining Unit Representative (BUR) 9 at Sacramento State. A request for all BURs: If there is any turnover in chapter officers, please let the BU Chair and headquarters know, so we can update the appropriate contact lists.
Here's what we discussed:
SLRR Support
Teven Laxer, the Senior Labor Relations Representative (SLRR) who was assigned to Unit 9, has retired. He is now a part-time consultant to CSUEU. As a cost-saving measure, his position will remain vacant for now. This means that SLRR Lois Kugelmass has been reassigned to cover all bargaining units. If you have a problem or issue that you believe requires the services of a SLRR, please work through your local Labor Relations Representative (LRR) first, or contact Chair Rich McGee for assistance.
Job Merging
Job merging continues to increase within the CSU, as duties from different classifications get blended into that vague other duties as required portion of the position description. Continue to formally challenge these wherever you find them. Doing so helps create record of the problem even when there is no immediate change.
In-Range Progressions (IRP's)
The 2012-2014 contract includes new language allowing an employee denied an IRP for lack of funds to request that their IRP application be re-evaluated the following fiscal year. Each chapter should educate employees about this, and urge affected employees to request the re-evaluation.
Outsourcing/Contracting Out
Contracting out continues to be one of the largest issues facing Unit 9. For many new IT projects, we're discovering that outside contractors appear to be the CSU's employee of choice — even though study after study has shown that outside contractors can cost far more than performing the work in-house, and usually results in an inferior product. Please notify Chair Rich McGee whenever you become aware of outsourcing, to make sure we know about it and can bargain over it if necessary.
Data Center Initiative & Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC)
CSU's data center initiative, the move to consolidate all CSU data centers into two regional locations, may be fracturing. Unit 9 employees report that some campus administrators are saying We're not going to let our data center be closed, or We're going to become one of the regional centers when no decision has yet been made as to their locations. CSUEU has been assured by the Chancellor's Office that all current employees will be retained despite any data center re-alignment. If you hear any talk of layoffs, please immediately notify your Bargaining Unit Chair directly.
Meet and Confer Updates
There have been a number of Meet and Confer sessions on Unit 9 issues over the past several months. Among them are:
SFSU Health Center
The campus Health Center at San Francisco State is determined to pay more than $10,000 per month for Information Technology (IT) support — to a vendor who is only on-site one day a week. They claim this is cheaper than using a staff member. Yet they also are using a Unit 7 staff member to assemble computer equipment, erase confidential data, and other Unit 9 tasks which are not in that employee's classification.
CSULB Cell Phone Policy
After several months of effort, CSU Long Beach finally has an acceptable cell phone policy in place. If your campus decides to adopt any type of policy regulating the use of cell phones, whether campus-owned or employee-provided, please let the Chair know, since it may require a Meet and Confer.
Note: Whether something requires bargaining is not decided at the chapter/campus, since there may be factors which chapter officers or assigned staff not aware of. Send the information you have to your Chair, and let the bargaining team figure it out.
Data Security
Many campuses are requesting that employees sign and agree to data security policies. There is no centralized CSU data security policy, so each campus appears to be creating their own. Some, such as CSULA, are perfectly fine, and acceptable to the Union, while others appear to go far beyond the provisions of the contract, and a Meet and Confer may be necessary to discuss them.
Distance Learning and Unit 9
The Unit 9 Council has been asked by the CSU Labor Council to monitor and track the CSU's online learning programs CSU Online and CalState Online. If you know or hear of any issues with either of those two programs, please send that information to the Chair.
IT Career Growth and Training
The council had a short discussion regarding IT career paths and training. When asked who in attendance had received training within the past year, the group laughed. In past layoff negotiations, one of the CSU's favorite questions has been What has this employee done to improve their skill set? Every employee should work with their manager on a career development plan, and request whatever specialized training may be necessary. Even if the request is denied, it puts the CSU on record for having denied training. That record can be useful during bargaining.
Classification and Qualification Standards (CQS) Revisions
The final discussion item was an overview of the re-working of the CQS for certain Unit 9 classifications, as requested by the Chancellor's Office. This will be a tremendous amount of work, and is expected to involve all members of the Council, both in participating in the revision of the descriptions as well as finding members who are willing to testify about their spectific job duties and skills.

Respectfully submitted,
Rich McGee
Chair, CSUEU Bargaining Unit Council 9