Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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CHANCELLOR REED ANNOUNCES HIS RETIREMENT
CSU SPENDS $2M ON PRESIDENTS’ HOME RENOVATIONS
SEIU 25TH ANNUAL CONVENTION
'MIDDLE-CLASS SCHOLARSHIP' PASSES ASSEMBLY
CSEA LAUNCHES HISTORY PROJECT WEB SITE
CSUEU.ORG WEB SITE TIPS
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE MEMBER BENEFITS NEWSLETTER
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Chancellor Reed Announces His Retirement
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed announced one week ago that he will step down by the end of this year after 14 years leading CSU.
Reed, 70, has presided over an unprecedented era of budget cuts and tuition increases. Students have blamed him for declining conditions--student fees have more than quadrupled since 2002--and have often demanded his resignation, while faculty have been involved in contentious contract talks under his administration.
In the past few months, he's come under particular fire for raising campus presidents' pay at a time when the university has raised tuition by 9 percent.
“Reed’s retirement provides a chance for the CSU Board of Trustees to bring in a new era of administration more aligned with the California Master Plan for Higher Education’s goals of low-cost access to the highest standards of excellence in public higher education,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “It’s imperative for the trustees to choose the next chancellor in as open and transparent a way as possible.”
In related news, just over two weeks ago CSU Board of Trustees member Linda Lang, CEO of Jack in the Box, resigned her trustee position to avoid any conflict of interest as one of her company’s subsidiaries pursues an agreement to open a restaurant on a CSU campus. That makes six trustee vacancies that are now awaiting appointment by Governor Brown.
CSU Spends $2 Million on Presidents’ Home Renovations
In an article posted last Tuesday, May 29, California Watch reported that CSU campuses have in the last 10 years spent more than $2 million renovating eight university-owned presidents’ residences – rehabbing kitchens, expanding garages and hiring interior designers, according to figures provided by the university.
At least half of the spending came from state funding sources, and the figure does not include annual maintenance and repairs.
CSU Fullerton took heat earlier this month for providing incoming President Mildred Garcia with a $300,000 remodel to the historic El Dorado Ranch, which is the president's residence, while CSU Northridge received criticism for spending $115,000 to rehab the home of newly named President Dianne Harrison.
But Garcia and Harrison are among five campus leaders in the past 10 years whose appointment as a CSU president came with a six-figure renovation to their university-owned residences. Presidents’ homes often double as the location of official university functions.
California Watch, associated with KQED-FM public radio, was founded in 2009 to pursue in-depth investigative reporting on education, public safety, health care and the environment.
Read the entire California Watch article.
Read a May 22 California Watch story announcing that the CSU has canceled a $200K plan to hire an executive pay consultant.
SEIU 25th Annual Convention
This was a big week for SEIU International, which held its first convention since 2008 over the last few days, with CSUEU’s four statewide officers and several members participating.
Highlights of the Denver event included the re-election of SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry, as well as a Tuesday morning rally in front of a downtown Denver Wells Fargo building that drew well over 1,000 people demanding that the nation’s wealthiest 1 percent pay "their fair share" of taxes.
The demonstration underscored the convention’s commitment to the Occupy movement. At the conclusion of the program, Henry sent out a widely distributed memo declaring that SEIU has launched an “in-to-win-for-the-99” campaign. “We will join together,” she said, “to insist that that the rich pay their fair share, that we get fair immigration laws, that Congress protect vital services like Medicare and Social Security, and that government and corporations get serious about creating good jobs for everyone.”
“SEIU reaffirmed its focus on winning for its members and restoring a just economy for the 99 percent,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt, who was re-elected to the SEIU board of auditors after being nominated as part of Henry's team. “With SEIU’s support, broad-based coalitions are building across the U.S. and the international labor movement.”
The three-day program was preceded by a day of committee and caucus meetings last Sunday, during which CSU Northridge Chapter 312 member Jillian DaCosta discussed transgender healthcare benefits at a forum titled “Labor Around the Fight for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Equality.” As co-chair for the western region of the SEIU Lavender Caucus, a position to which she has just been re-elected, DaCosta was an invited guest of SEIU, which sponsored her attendance. In addition, DaCosta, who has been helping develop CSUEU’s recently formed Lavender Caucus, was elected as recording secretary to the national board of the SEIU Lavender Caucus.
“This has been an exciting and invigorating experience for all of us,” said VP for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks. “The convention has featured an inspiring emphasis on coalition-building across all lines to build an ever-stronger progressive movement during this pivotal election year.”
'Middle-Class Scholarship' Passes Assembly
Legislation to provide nearly a billion dollars in middle-class college and university scholarships passed the state Assembly yesterday, but lawmakers have not yet taken up a companion bill to provide funding. That funding measure faces far tougher sledding getting the required two-thirds super-majority vote in the legislature.
Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez touted his as-yet-unfunded scholarship measure as a vital way to provide much-needed relief to middle-class families slapped by skyrocketing college and university fees the past five years. The final vote was 55-17.
The bill would save eligible students approximately $3,700 per year at CSU campuses, where annual tuition is about $6,000. It targets families earning less than $150,000 per year.
Democrats supported Pérez's scholarship proposal, but only three Republicans did -- Kristin Olsen of Modesto, Cameron Smyth of Santa Clarita, and Jeff Gorell of Camarillo.
CSEA Launches History Project Web Site
The history of California state employees begins with the fight for the first retirement plan in 1931, led by the California State Employees Association, of which CSUEU is an affiliate. That history runs all the way to the present, when we’re fighting to preserve and extend the achievements of these 80-plus years.
The CSEA History Project was created a year ago to tell that story—to preserve our important photos and documents, to create members oral histories, and to make all this information easily accessible.
The project has taken a big step forward with the recent launch of the CSEA History Project web site, featuring some 8,000 photos, many historical documents, CSEA-produced videos, news coverage, and a collection of oral histories.
Everyone is encouraged to browse through the site and go to the “share” tab to become a registered user. Once registered, you can help build the site by correcting any inaccuracies, identifying people you know in the photographs, and sharing your CSEA memories. And make sure to keep checking back as CSEA adds more content in the months to come.
CSUEU.org Web Site Tips
You can find contact information for all key activists, including chapter e-board members, through the CSUEU online directory, accessible from the Contact tab on the home page.
You can sign up to receive notices whenever important documents like the CSUEU Policy File are updated. Just log in at the upper right corner of the home page, then go to the Library by clicking on the Library tab on the home page, find a document you wish to track, and click on the envelope icon for that document. You’ll receive an email whenever a new version of that document is uploaded.
When using the Library, click on the plus signs next to folder names in order to reveal sub-folders.
You can be alerted whenever there’s union-related breaking news or updates to the CSUEU web site by following us on Twitter. More than 200 members are already following us. To sign up, go to www.twitter.com/CSUEU.
Sign Up to Receive the Member Benefits Newsletter
The June edition of the CSEA Member Benefits newsletter features discounts for CSUEU-represented employees on gifts, electronics, special events, travel destinations, insurance, and more.
Having your Member Benefits newsletter delivered directly to your email inbox once a month is an easy way to save money. Subscribe at the Member Benefits web site.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 5/31/2012 |