CSUEU E-News: July 27, 2011
Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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LAYOFF NOTICES AT STANISLAUS AND FRESNO
CONTRACT BARGAINING SET TO RESUME NEXT MONTH
DON’T SIGN ANTI-UNION PETITIONS
NEW BILLS WOULD LIMIT CSU EXEC PAY RAISES
CSUS STUDY: QUALITY OF HIGHER ED IS DECLINING
CALPERS RETURN: BEST PERFORMANCE IN 14 YEARS
WEBINAR SET FOR LIBRARY ASSISTANTS
CONNECT WITH CSUEU VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
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Layoff Notices at Stanislaus and Fresno
On July 18, the CSU Stanislaus and CSU Fresno administrations notified CSUEU that 11 Stanislaus and two Fresno staff positions will be subject to workforce reductions by layoffs. The Stanislaus layoffs are effective September 30, 2011, while the Fresno layoffs take effect on October 17, 2011.
At both campuses, chapter executive boards are working on mitigation efforts with the bargaining team and impacted employees. CSU Stanislaus Chapter 308 President Frank Borrelli reports that an Instructional Support Tech II position on his campus has been saved during just the last few days.
Nine of the positions (eight at Stanislaus and one at Fresno) are in Bargaining Unit 9. The remaining positions are three at Stanislaus in Bargaining Unit 5 and one at Fresno in Bargaining Unit 7. This development follows recent notifications of time-base reductions or layoffs at CSU Channel Islands and the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach.
“We hope these notifications aren’t a forecast of widespread layoffs to come,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “In fact, we’re cautiously optimistic that system-wide layoffs can be averted despite this year’s historically large budget cuts. Even one or two dozen layoffs, however, are too many, as they’ll inevitably have an impact on workload, campus infrastructure and student services. We are committed to mitigating each and every one of these notices.”
Article 24 of the CSUEU/CSU contract specifies conditions under which layoffs may occur. The union will pursue strict enforcement of this article.
Contract Bargaining Set to Resume Next Month
On July 15, the CSUEU bargaining team finished three days of contract negotiations with representatives of the CSU at Long Beach State. The next sessions are scheduled for mid-August and early September.
During the Long Beach negotiations, CSUEU countered (in bargaining, “countered” is used when one side passes an article that has been discussed once or more in earlier sessions):
• Article 3 -- Management Rights
• Article 7 -- Grievance Procedure
• Article 9 -- Employee Performance
• Article 10 -- Evaluations
• Article 15 -- Leaves of Absence With Pay
• Article 17 -- Assignment/Reassignment
• Article 23-x* -- Health and Safety/Workplace Bullying
• Side-Letter, LMC on Long-Term Compensation Strategy
The CSU countered:
• Article 3 -- Management Rights
• Article 5 -- Union Rights
• Article 17 -- Assignment / Reassignment
We have tentatively agreed to Article 15 (leaves of absence with pay) and a side letter dealing with the Labor-Management Committee on Long-Term Compensation Strategy. Such tentative agreements remain subject to change up until the entire contract is approved.
The CSU has still failed to pass (that is, open up for discussion) all of the articles they “sunshined.” Thus we are waiting for either proposals or withdrawals of Articles 20 (salary), 21 (benefits) and 24 (layoffs) at the upcoming meetings. The remaining sessions are scheduled for CSU Dominguez Hills from August 17 to 19 and the Office of the Chancellor from September 7 to 9.
As reported in late June, the Office of the Chancellor has denied the union’s request for a temporary contract extension. Given that the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the CSU expired on June 30, the CSU is obligated to continue the terms and conditions of the contract, with two exceptions:
1. Because the arbitration provision does not survive the expiration of the agreement, grievances dealing with events that arise after June 30 will not be subject to arbitration.
2. In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that all overtime hours worked by non-exempt employees be compensated in cash.
* The “x” is a place-holder until this item is eventually assigned a number.
Don’t Sign Anti-Union Petitions and Report Signature-Gathering!
A petition for a ballot measure that would essentially end union expenditures on political action is open for signatures now. CSUEU urges voters to not sign the petition and to call (877) 440-9585 to report where signature gathering is taking place.
The petition is financed by an anti-union group that is paying signature gatherers to stand outside shopping areas to collect signatures to place the issue on the fall 2012 election ballot. It’s similar to Prop. 75 and Prop. 226, which a coalition of community groups and unions successfully fought in 2005 and 1998 respectively. Supporters have to collect more than 500,000 valid signatures by October 24.
Although the initiative appears to limit both business and union political contributions, in fact it focuses on unions by making it unusually difficult for unions to fund their own Political Action Committees. Following is a summary:
Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute. Proponent: Ashlee N. Titus
Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. Other political expenditures remain unrestricted, including corporate expenditures from available resources not limited by payroll deduction prohibition. Limits government contractor contributions to elected officers or officer-controlled committees.
Read the full text of the initiative.
Learn more about the history of Props. 75 and 226.
Download SEIU State Council’s flyer (PDF).
New Bills Would Limit CSU Exec Pay Raises
Days after California’s public universities handed out several lucrative executive pay and bonus packages while raising student tuition, several state senators are introducing bills to make such pay increases illegal in tough economic times.
Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara) has drafted Senate Bill x1-25, which would prevent CSU from giving administrators raises above 10 percent in any year the university increases tuition for students. It would include sitting executives and new hires.
“Top-level CSU employees ought not to be given raises on the backs of higher student fees,” Alquist said. “That’s unconscionable.”
Last week, Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would prohibit executive pay increases at the CSU and UC in years when the state does not raise its allocation to the schools.
This year, California slashed $650 million from each university system. In response, CSU trustees raised tuition two weeks ago for the second time in less than a year. CSU tuition is 23 percent higher than it was last fall. At the same time, CSU trustees approved a $400,000 salary for Elliot Hirshman, incoming president of the San Diego campus, that is $100,000 higher than his predecessor’s.
Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who wrote a letter to CSU trustees asking them to rescind the $100,000 increase, said he plans to introduce his own bills on the matter next month.
Read a July 16 Sacramento Bee article about lawmakers’ efforts to curb salaries.
Sen. Yee’s July 18 press release announcing his bill.
Read a July 19 San Francisco Chronicle article about Yee’s bill.
CSUS Study: Quality of California Higher Ed Is Declining
The performance of California higher education is continuing to decline, according to the findings of a new report by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy (IHELP) at Sacramento State.
“As the state cuts general fund support, the CSU is forced to stretch resources,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “It unintentionally sacrifices quality and service as it focuses on dollars instead of people.”
The new report, titled Consequences of Neglect: Performance Trends in California Higher Education, uses national data to take an in-depth look at California higher education. Researchers found that California’s higher education performance is average, at best, and trending downward.
“California is suffering the consequences of resting on past reputations and outdated policies—or no policies at all to guide some critical aspects of higher education,” said IHELP Director Nancy Shulock, “and is producing young generations not as well educated as we need.”
Read a July 20 Sacramento State press release with complete details.
Read the 44-page report (PDF).
Read a July 21 Los Angeles Times article about the report.
CalPERS 2010-11 Return Marks Best Performance in 14 Years
On July 18, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) reported a 20.7 percent return on investments in preliminary estimates for the one-year period that ended June 30, 2011. The performance was the strongest since the 20.1 percent return of 1997 and the highest since the 2007-09 recession.
“This is a great one-year achievement that powerfully affirms our strategy and the skills of our investment team,” said Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear. “While we can’t assume that we’ll sustain this high level of earnings, we have averaged a net return on investments of 8.4 percent for 20 years.”
“These strong returns are a testament to our commitment to our long-term investing principles,” said CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Anne Stausboll, who was a featured guest speaker at a CSUEU Board of Directors meeting in late 2009. “Our members, employers and California taxpayers all benefit from our disciplined approach to investing.”
Read the CalPERS press release.
See a KCAL-TV (Los Angeles) report about this news.
In related CalPERS news, “The Economic Impacts of CalPERS Pension Payments in 2010” is a new study that was released two weeks ago detailing the effect that CalPERS retirement payments have on California and its 58 counties. The study was conducted by Dr. Robert Fountain, professor emeritus at Sacramento State and founder of the CSUS Applied Research Institute.
Key findings include:
• CalPERS sent $11.5 billion in retirement checks to 431,373 California residents last year.
• The payments spurred an additional $14.6 billion in business revenue, generating a total of $26.2 billion in economic activity in the state.
• The economic activity supported 93,651 statewide jobs with a total compensation of $4.8 billion.
• The number of state jobs supported by retirement payments is greater than the number of jobs supported by the air transportation, broadcasting and utilities industries.
• State retirees receiving CalPERS payments generated $1 billion in state and local taxes, including almost $620 million in property and sales taxes.
• Each dollar contributed by state and local governments to the CalPERS Fund is invested, grows over time and, when paid to beneficiaries in 2010, generated more than $10 of activity in the California economy.
Read the full study, which features individual examinations of each county and the nine regional economies.
Webinar Set for Tomorrow at Noon for Library Assistants
At noon tomorrow, July 28, CSUEU sponsors a webinar designed to help library assistants (LAs) rewrite their position descriptions.
Read the announcement in the last edition of CSUEU E-News for complete details.
Connect with CSUEU on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter
It’s easier than ever to connect with CSUEU, since the union has a presence on three of the most popular social networking sites—Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
On Facebook, where we’re listed as the “CSU Employees Union,” you can find photos, videos and links to relevant articles. More than 160 followers have “liked” us. Please join them!
On YouTube, uploaded and favorited videos and slide shows are available, covering rallies, protests and other actions over the last couple of years.
By following us on Twitter, you’ll be the first to know whenever pertinent items are posted to the web, since you’ll get a tweet as soon as new items are available. Over 165 people have subscribed so far, and the number keeps growing.
Links to all three sites can be found at the bottom of this and all pages at the CSUEU web site, www.csueu.org.
For nearly two years, chapter stewards and other leaders have been able to discuss union issues via special forums on the Activist, a secure web site launched in the summer of 2009 as a resource for CSUEU activists. If you’re a steward, log in and join the discussion! If you have questions about your password or other details, contact Communications Officer John Watson for assistance.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 7/27/2011 |