Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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TENTATIVE AGREEMENT BALLOTS ARE DUE MARCH 15
THOUSANDS HIT CAPITOL FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
OCCUPY EDUCATION WALK: A FIRST-PERSON ACCOUNT
VAN HALEN RETURNS WITH UNION SHOUT OUT
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Tentative Agreement Ratification Ballots Are Due March 15
Over the last month, chapters across the state hosted informational meetings to acquaint all CSUEU-represented employees with the three-year tentative bargaining agreement’s key changes.
The agreement is subject to ratification by each bargaining unit, and ballots have been mailed out to all CSUEU members and fee payers. Fair share fee payers are invited to sign up for membership in order to participate in the vote and make their voices heard.
Ballots are due to headquarters in Sacramento no later than 5 p.m. this Thursday, March 15.
Your CSUEU bargaining team recommends ratification!
Thousands Join Capitol Rally for Higher Education
An estimated 8,000 students, educators and supporters from across California flocked to Sacramento Monday to stage a mass demonstration in support of California’s public universities and colleges.
Frustrated by the rising cost of education and ongoing deep cuts in state funding, the army of sign-wielding protesters marched on the state capitol to demand that legislators restore funding to public higher education.
The day started with a spirited, one-mile march from Southside Park to the Capitol Mall. On hand were VP for Member Engagement Joseph Dobzynski, Jr., joined by a large contingent of CSU Channel Islands students, as well as CSU San Marcos Chapter 321 President Mike Geck and Senior Labor Relations Representative Teven Laxer.
At noon, the coalition of students, educators and unions staged a rally on the west steps of the Capitol as part of the “March in March” event, chanting “enough is enough” and “fund our future,” before warning lawmakers to “hear us out or we’ll vote you out.” Student speakers representing CSU, UC, and community college system campuses whipped up emotions among the crowd as they delivered their message to lawmakers and California voters.
Top Democratic leaders from both houses, who negotiated and voted for the cuts in recent years, spoke at the rally, which was organized by the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, the California State Student Association, and the University of California Student Association.
Police lines formed as the Capitol building's 6 p.m. closure deadline approached
The day ended with a show of labor solidarity from 5 to 6 p.m. CSUEU President Pat Gantt was among many union and community leaders speaking at a Sacramento Labor Council rally on the north steps of the Capitol. Members and staff held CSUEU banners aloft as Gantt passionately urged the crowd to fight on for full funding of California’s public higher education systems.
During the afternoon, hundreds of students and their supporters entered the Capitol and filled conference rooms and hallways inside. Some met with lawmakers to lobby for increased funding for higher education, while others headed for the rotunda and eventually declared it “occupied” for higher education. The activists debated the merits of their five key demands: fully fund all education, increase taxes on the wealthy to fund education, democratize CSU’s and UC’s boards, cancel all student debt, and reform Prop. 13.
“It was an exciting day that fired everyone up to fight on behalf of higher education funding,” said Gantt. “Only by working together with the widest campus community can we convince legislators and the public of the urgent need to fully fund the CSU.”
View a photo gallery of Monday’s events.
Read VP for Member Engagement Joseph Dobzynski’s blog account of the day
Occupy Education Walk from Oakland to Sacramento, March 1–4
By VP for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks
A rag-tag band of approximately 50 to 60 people started out from Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland on Thursday afternoon, March 1, for a 99-mile stroll to Sacramento. Our ranks were formed out of Occupy Education, a coalition group made up of concerned citizens who work in, with, at, or around public education.
The common thread among us was the belief that California’s public education system isn’t working for the working class. We marched behind a hand-painted banner and a home-made 99% sign. Our controversial upside down American flag read in words of tape: “Education is in distress.”
(BTW—an upside-down flag is an internationally recognized sign of distress, like opening the hood of a car when broken down at the side of the road. The walkers held a General Assembly to discuss the pros and cons of the flag. There is no doubt that it garnered attention, some of it misunderstood as disrespect, but it was a powerful statement and not enough to divide the group over.)
Along the way, we were mostly cheered and occasionally jeered, hosted and fed by churches, welcomed and honored by Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, and even provided breakfast by the CSU Maritime Academy, arranged by our friends in the CFA.
We were heading to Sacramento in time for the annual student association rally and lobby day. Some of us planned to join in holding a General Assembly in the capital rotunda at the heart of California’s government—the idea of bringing the Occupy Movement’s direct democracy model to Sacramento being a powerful one. There were still others who wanted to support the civil disobedience action afterward by staying beyond closing time. Our own VP for Member Engagement Joseph Dobzynski, Jr., and San Marcos Chapter President Mike Geck played supporting roles for these actions.
Read the entire article.
Van Halen Returns with New Album, Union Shout Out
Van Halen has reunited with original lead singer David Lee Roth—and the rock group’s first studio album in 14 years, titled “A Different Kind of Truth,” is headed to the top of the charts. One of its songs, “Tattoo,” features this great union shout out:
Uncle Danny had a coal tattoo.
He fought for the union; some of us still do.
On my shoulder is the number of the chapter he was in.
That number is forever like the struggle here to win.
Roth explains that a “coal tattoo” is the permanent mark left on miners’ skin after years of having black coal seep into their pores.
View a video performance of “Tattoo”.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 3/8/2012 |