CSUEU E-News: June 16, 2011
Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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GOV. BROWN VETOES BUDGET BILL
URGE GOV. BROWN TO SUPPORT CSU TRANSPARENCY
SAN DIEGO STATE CHAPTER HOSTS SPIRITED RALLY
SAN JOSE STATE CHAPTER’S BUSY WEEK
AGREEMENT ON UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION DISCLOSURES
CSU CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY
SIGN UP FOR CSEA MEMBER BENEFITS NEWSLETTER
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO STAY CONNECTED WITH CALPERS
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Gov. Brown Vetoes Majority-Vote Budget Bill
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed his own party’s budget this morning, less than 24 hours after Democratic lawmakers sent him a majority-vote plan filled with risky solutions.
Read today’s press release about the veto from the governor’s office.
In a letter to lawmakers, he said that the Democratic plan is “not a balanced solution. It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars in new debt. It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings. Finally, it is not financeable and therefore will not allow us to meet our obligations as they occur.”
The governor’s veto letter didn’t mention the nearly 20 other “trailer” bills associated with that budget, one of which is of great concern to CSU staff, as it eliminates certain CSU financial audits (see the CapWiz article below).
“As the state budget process proceeds, CSUEU will continue to review the trailer bills to be on the look-out for impacts on CSUEU-represented employees,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “In addition, we’ll watch closely to see how individual campuses may adjust their budget planning modules.”
These were the primary components of the vetoed package:
- $150 million in CSU cuts (on top of the $500 million cut announced earlier this year) and another $150 million to the University of California.
- $3.4 billion in deferred payments to K-12 schools, community colleges and the University of California. Schools could maintain programs as long as they borrow to fund them.
- $1 billion in taking First 5 funds, a move already under legal challenge.
- $1.7 billion by asking redevelopment agencies to contribute money to the state under threat of elimination.
- $740 million in borrowing from state special funds.
- $700 million in federal funding to correct past Medi-Cal errors.
- $150 million cut to state courts.
- Smaller reserve of $570 million, compared to Brown's proposed $1.2 billion.
It relied on higher revenue projections and such maneuvers as bringing back an abandoned proposal to sell state buildings and tapping into funds meant for health and educational programs for young children. It proposed a 0.15 percent extension of a higher state vehicle tax to provide $500 million for local law enforcement programs.
Brown’s veto will place the budget back in limbo with only 14 days left in the fiscal year. He has only two weeks to convince Republicans to extend taxes on vehicles and sales, as well as establish a special tax election. Democrats consider the multi-month “tax bridge” (the period between signing of the budget bill and that special election this fall) to be crucial.
“With the CSUEU/CSU contract expiring in just two weeks, our bargaining team needs your support more than ever,” said Gantt. “To be in the midst of contract negotiations in this type of unstable economic environment is most challenging, and the team really benefits from knowing that our represented employees back them.”
Use CapWiz to Urge Gov. Brown to Support CSU Transparency
The budget proposal for the 2011/12 fiscal year contains a trailer bill to eliminate a requirement for financial audits that currently must be conducted biennially for each CSU campus.
This language, no doubt intended as a cost-cutting measure, would have a negative impact on all CSUEU-represented employees, because it would reduce the ability of staff to obtain financial statements on how the university spends its money. Independent analyses of campus finances, which have been so helpful to staff in the past, are based almost entirely on these audits. Read the “Trailer Bill” language.
Beyond decreasing financial transparency, this trailer bill could have specific impacts on CSUEU-represented employees:
- It could potentially reduce the number of BU 7 and BU9 support staff on some campuses
- These would be the very jobs that maintain fiscal integrity across the campuses
- It could create new reporting requirements are not well defined at this time
During this state budget crisis, the CSU and all state agencies need to maintain or even increase audit processes to ensure that public funds are used in taxpayers’ best interests. Over the past few years, CSU administrators have proven time and time again that we should be watching them more closely, not less.
Please send the governor a message to protect transparency in the CSU by going to: http://bit.ly/mhbxBb
San Diego State Chapter Hosts Spirited March and Rally
by San Diego State Chapter 318 President Sue Henry
What an AMAZING turnout we had for our June 8 march and rally to support our collective bargaining efforts and our team!
About 150 members of the campus community—almost 15 percent of our represented employees—turned out to demonstrate their concern and support for the future of higher education in California. This was an amazing turnout, given that it was already summer, and many are on vacation.
I saw a sea of teal union shirts! I’d like to send a special thanks to CSU San Marcos and our Imperial Valley Campus for sending representatives to stand strong alongside our local employees!
Through this special event, we collectively spoke out about the need for Office of the Chancellor representatives at the bargaining table to recognize that we are the oil that keeps the CSU system running smoothly:
- Without us, there will be no economic recovery
- Without us, there will be no four-year path to graduation for our CSU students
- Without us, there will be no need for faculty positions because there would be no CSU
It is you and I who hold the CSU system together.
The next few months will tell us just how much—or how little—higher education is valued in the state of California.
Now is the time to contact your representatives. Let them know that you will not vote for them if they throw education out the window!
The CSU system drives the economic engine of California, and we keep that engine running. Do not be silent. Silence tells our legislators that they can do what they want and that they can make the rules. Silence suggests that we are okay with huge prison budgets to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, all while reducing funding for education.
Speak up! Make your voice heard! I am, and I urge you to do so as well!
San Jose State Chapter’s Busy Week
With contract negotiations taking place Tuesday, yesterday and today on the San Jose State campus, Chapter 307 turned out en masse for a large rally yesterday in support of the bargaining team. On the noon hour, more than 110 supporters sporting bright gold and blue “Staff” t-shirts gathered outside MacQuarrie Hall, where the bargaining sessions are taking place, for a rally that featured talks by such bargaining team members as VP for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks. Also on hand were supporters from other chapters, including the California Maritime Academy, CSU Stanislaus, San Francisco State, CSU East Bay, and CSU Channel Islands. View photos of the event.
The chapter’s busy calendar included an e-board breakfast last Friday morning with local Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr. (D-San Jose), who walked over to the San Jose State library from his nearby regional office for the special event.
The resulting open discussion, facilitated by chapter President Vera Acevedo, covered the state budget, concerns about potential layoffs across the state, and CSU management of funds, among many other topics. Beall, a San Jose State grad with many ties to the campus, waxed nostalgic about his days as a student and—somewhat to the surprise of everyone in the room—didn’t hold back on his disdain for the Office of the Chancellor as it’s currently being administered. The event came about as a result of CSUEU’s visit with Beall during Lobby Day on April 12, when he proactively requested the campus meeting.
All in all, a fascinating discussion and an action-packed week for the San Jose State chapter!
Assemblymember Beall (back row center), his legislative assistant, Rachel Zlotziver (right) and the San Jose State chapter executive board, including chapter President Vera Acevedo (seated, right)
Agreement Reached on University Foundation Disclosures
State university officials who’ve fought to keep secret the financial details of how campus foundations manage nearly $2 billion have withdrawn their opposition to public disclosure under a compromise with Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco.
The agreement, meant to protect the identities of most donors, means the public is a step closer to being able to scrutinize CSU and UC foundations.
University officials say they will no longer oppose SB8, introduced by Yee, which would require campus foundations and other “auxiliary enterprises” such as campus bookstores to operate under the California Public Records Act.
CSU has at least 23 foundations raising money for its campuses and dozens of auxiliary enterprises, all managing more than $1.3 billion.
Yee’s bill, sponsored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association and CFA, is making its way through the legislature. If signed into law by Gov. Brown, it would allow the public to examine the foundations’ financial records, contracts and correspondence.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed two similar bills by Yee after hearing vigorous opposition from UC and CSU. University officials had feared the scrutiny would unfairly disclose the names of donors wishing to remain anonymous and prevent some from donating at all.
Under the new bill, donors would be identified only if they accepted a gift or services from the university valued at $2,500 or more, or if they won a no-bid contract within five years of their donation.
CSU Celebrates 50th Anniversary
During this past academic year, the CSU has celebrated its 50th anniversary as the nation’s leading university system. On May 23, the California State Assembly passed a resolution in recognition of the milestone.
The CSU has awarded nearly 2.6 million degrees since its creation by the signing of the Donahoe Higher Education Act in 1960.
View the CSU’s timeline from the system’s creation through today.
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You can have it delivered directly to your email inbox once a month just by subscribing at the Member Benefits web site—an easy way to save money through your Member Benefits department.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 6/16/2011 |