CSUEU E-News: June 2, 2011
Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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CHANNEL ISLANDS SUPPORTS LAID-OFF WORKERS
SAN DIEGO AND SAN JOSE CHAPTERS PLAN RALLIES
USE CAPWIZ TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
SURVEY: CALIFORNIANS WANT A VOTE ON EXTENSIONS
NATIONAL WORKFORCE NETWORK LAUNCHES TODAY
OPINION PIECE ON PENSION REFORM PACKS A PUNCH
UNION-BUSTING BILLS VIOLATE ILO CONVENTIONS
NEW WEB PAGE PROVIDES LSS RESOURCES
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Channel Islands Chapter Shows Its Support for Laid-Off Workers
By Jennifer Schweisinger, President, Chapter 324
During the lunch hour on Tuesday, May 24, CSU Channel Islands Chapter 324 held an informational march and rally to protest the layoff of nine instructional support and equipment technicians. Approximately 50 staff, faculty, and students participated in the march, which started at the campus Bell Tower, proceeded past the President’s office, and ended with a rally on the South Quad. Speakers included VP for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks and VP for Member Engagement Joseph Dobzynski, Jr., who produced a three-minute video about the event that is available in the "Favorites" section of CSUEU's YouTube page.
The May 24 event coincided with two days of layoff bargaining with Channel Islands administrators. Because no agreement was reached, another session has been scheduled for tomorrow, June 3.
At issue is the elimination of 12-month positions for the nine instructional support and equipment technicians; administration has proposed moving them to 11-month positions. Management justifies these layoffs as being necessary due to both “lack of funds and lack of work.”
From CSUEU’s perspective, management is taking advantage of a poor budget to reduce the time-base of these nine employees. CSUEU takes the position that these reductions are in fact layoffs; if the employees don’t agree to the reductions, they will lose their jobs.
In addition to bargaining and rallying, Chapter 324 is actively fighting the layoffs through posting of video testimonials of impacted employees and circulation of both a campus-wide petition and a “Channel Islands Layoffs FAQ.” For more information, visit the chapter’s web site at www.csueu.org/chapter324.
San Diego and San Jose Chapters Plan Rallies
San Diego State Chapter 318 is busy planning a rally for union rights this Wednesday, June 8, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Taking place north of Love Library in the seating area under the trees, the action coincides with contract bargaining taking place on the campus over three days, June 7-9. For details, contact chapter President Sue Henry.
And San Jose Chapter 307 is planning a march and rally in support of the CSUEU bargaining team for Wednesday, June 15, starting with a rally behind the Martin Luther King Library at 11:30 a.m., followed by a short march and outdoor lunch. This event coincides with bargaining sessions taking place at San Jose State June 14-16. For further information, contact chapter President Vera Acevedo.
Following is the full list of remaining scheduled sessions:
- San Diego State 6/7-9
- San Jose State 6/14 - 6/16
- CSU Fullerton 6/28 - 6/30
- Office of the Chancellor 7/5 - 7/7
- CSU Long Beach 7/13 - 7/15
Two new posters are now available for download emphasizing key aspects of the 2011 Defense Campaign:
For details on the campaign, contact your chapter’s organizing chair.
Use Capwiz to Contact Your Republican Legislators
CSUEU needs your help with a CapWiz campaign targeting Republican legislators across the state.
Gov. Brown’s plan to handle the budget deficit includes the extension of a handful of temporary taxes which will expire on June 30 unless a two-thirds majority in both houses support extending them. To achieve that majority, just two Republicans in the Assembly and two in the Senate must agree.
The CSU budget cut could go as high as $1 billion without the tax extensions but won’t go beyond $500 million if they are approved. If those deeper cuts are made, it will be equivalent to the state funds that serve 85,000 CSU students.
We need your help to reach out to Republican legislators in your area, urging them in your own words to vote for these revenue extensions. If you live in the Central Valley, your Republican representatives are particularly important, but we need to contact all Republicans across the state. Let your lawmakers know that the majority of voters support strong funding of California’s higher education system. Students from all backgrounds must have open access to our state’s public universities.
These tax extensions would cost each person in the state about 71 cents per day—a fee that we’re already paying now, so they wouldn’t add any new burdens.
Please use CapWiz to help convince those legislators who believe in cuts-only solutions that the voters don’t agree and that higher education must be supported for the good of California. On the CapWiz site, you’ll find a letter that you can edit, if you wish, to include your own personal perspectives. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can then send your completed letter to your Republican legislators.
More than 110 represented employees have sent messages since this campaign was launched on May 25; if you haven’t yet participated, please do so now.
Note that this campaign targets only Republican legislators; if all your representatives are Democrats, CapWiz will be unable to complete your alert.
Now, more than ever, we need to come together and do what’s best for our state. Unfortunately, there are some extremists who are trying to stop any compromise, and too many legislators are listening to them. We’re here to tell legislators to stand up for California--no more cuts!
PPIC Survey: Californians Want a Vote on Tax Extensions
The vast majority of Californians think voters should have a say in budget decisions this year, according to a statewide survey that the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released yesterday, June 1. In the survey, conducted with support from The James Irvine Foundation, 77 percent of adults say that voters should make some of the decisions about taxing and spending.
On the specific question of whether there should be a special election on Brown’s proposed tax and fee package to prevent further budget cuts, 68 percent of adults and 62 percent of likely voters say a special election is a good idea.
Majorities of adults (64 percent) and likely voters (62 percent) favor the governor’s revised budget proposal, which includes an $11 billion reduction in the budget deficit already approved and would close the remaining gap through temporary tax increases, tax revenues that have been higher than expected, and more spending cuts.
But most Californians oppose the specifics of his tax and fee package. Fewer than half of adults (41 percent) or likely voters (46 percent) support his proposal to extend temporary increases in state sales tax and vehicle license fees for five years and to reinstate a temporary income tax increase in 2012 for four years.
“Californians have favorable views of the governor’s revised budget plan and his special election idea,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “Yet the fact that fewer than half support his tax and fee package raises questions about the outcome if the voters have their say.”
CSUEU supports a straight vote by the legislature instead of a special election. “The legislature needs to do their job, and this includes passing a budget which takes a realistic and balanced approach to the current fiscal crisis,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “It is commendable that the governor wants to take the issue to the voters, but our elected leaders are here to make the difficult decisions and to serve the citizens of this state. That means rolling up their sleeves and getting a budget passed.”
Read PPIC’s June 1 press release.
National Workforce Network News Launches Today
The National Workforce Network (NWN), labor’s first online news channel covering North America’s middle class, launches with its first webcast today.
Today’s lead story deals with balancing the budget on the backs of state workers: dozens of states are facing major budget battles, and employees are being targeted to fix the revenue problems. NWN’s report highlights what public employees in several states are doing and how corporations are using a major loophole to skip out on paying their taxes. One state is working to privatize medical care while sidestepping the collective bargaining process. NWN will show how employees are banding together to force the state back to negotiations.
NWN’s mission is to connect middle-class families and individuals, labor organizations and their allies and to inspire viewers to become more active in the issues that matter to their families and their jobs.
You can now see NWN’s webcasts from the bottom center of the CSUEU home page, www.csueu.org. New editions will be posted every other Thursday.
Opinion Piece on Pension Reform Packs a Punch
In a hard-hitting opinion piece published Tuesday in the Sacramento Bee, teacher’s assistant and California School Employees Association activist Martha Penry takes apart arguments advocating pension reform.
Public employee pensions, she points out, amount to just three percent of California’s budget. The growing number of politically motivated proposals to overhaul California's public pension system will not make a dent in the state’s current budget shortfall. Not by any calculation. Not now and not anytime soon.
Read the article.
Union-Busting Bills Violate ILO Conventions
In a newly published opinion piece on the AFL-CIO’s web site, San Francisco State University Labor Studies Professor John Logan points out that proposals to hinder collective bargaining by government workers violate worldwide agreements on union rights. He argues that the International Labor Organization, a tripartite organization composed of representatives from governments, employers and unions, must condemn these proposals.
As he puts it, the anti-union bills in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere almost by definition violate the ILO’s “Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work,” which states that countries will work to promote and to realize fundamental rights, including freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
Most advanced countries have a good record ratifying fundamental labor rights conventions. All 27 members of the European Union have ratified two of the ILO’s key conventions, including Convention 98 on the promotion of collective bargaining and Convention 87 on freedom of association. The U.S., in contrast, has a poor record on ratification of the most important ILO conventions.
Read the entire article.
New Web Page Provides LSS Resources
Following up on the recent CSUEU E-News article announcing implementation of the Library Services Specialist classification, a new web site provides a more in-depth version of that article, along with important links to a wide variety of supporting documents.
Visit the new LSS News web page.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 6/2/2011 |