Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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NO ON 32, YES ON 30!
LEGISLATURE APPROVES PENSION REFORM BILL
RUSSELL KILDAY-HICKS: NEW CSEA VP
CONTEST: IDENTIFY THE CAMPUS
CONNECT WITH CSUEU ON SOCIAL MEDIA
SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE MEMBER BENEFITS NEWSLETTER
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No on 32, Yes on 30!
More and more newspapers across the state are editorializing against Prop. 32, the ballot initiative that targets funding of union political action committees while disguised as campaign finance reform. Here’s just a sampling of the many editorials and influential columns that have been published in recent weeks:
• San Jose Mercury News editorial
• Los Angeles Times opinion column
• Orange County Register editorial
• Sacramento Bee opinion column
• Ventura County Star editorial
• Woodland Daily Democrat editorial
• TheHill.com opinion column
• The Hanford Sentinel opinion column
• Santa Rosa Press Democrat opinion column
• UnionReview.com opinion column
CSUEU chapters across the state are working to defeat Prop. 32 and to ensure that Prop. 30 passes. Without passage of Prop. 30, which provides the state with much-needed temporary revenues, the CSU will be hit with at least $250 million in trigger cuts.
Many chapters have already held meetings to discuss both propositions in detail. See photos of a lunch meeting at the California Maritime Academy on August 16.
And here are just a few of the upcoming meetings (listed in chronological order):
• CSU East Bay: Thursday, September 20, noon, New University Union 1001
• CSU Northridge: Wednesday, September 26, noon, USU Northridge Center
• CSU Monterey Bay: Monday, October 1, noon, World Theatre
• San Francisco State University: Tuesday, October 16, noon-1 p.m. Cesar Chavez Student Center Rosa Parks Room
• CSU Stanislaus: Wednesday, October 17, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., location TBD
It’s important for everyone to do their part to defeat Prop. 32 and work for passage of Prop. 30!
Download a Prop. 30 fact sheet (PDF).
Download a Prop. 32 fact sheet (PDF).
Legislature Approves Pension Reform Bill
On August 31, the state legislature approved AB 340, a bill to reform all public employee pension systems in California. It’s scheduled to hit Gov. Brown’s desk for signature within days.
For new employees, it caps benefits, increases the retirement age, and requires them to pay at least half of the normal pension costs. It represents the largest rollback in providing a secure retirement to public servants in California history.
Impacts on current employees are still being evaluated, but it’s clear that they’ll no longer be able to purchase nonqualified service, or “airtime,” unless a request is made prior to January 1, 2013. There will be new restrictions on post-retirement employment. AB 340 also prohibits retroactive pension benefit enhancements.
All employees who become a member of CalPERS for the first time on or after January 1, 2013, will be required to pay half of the normal costs of their pension benefit. Currently, normal costs are approximately 7 percent, so new employees would pay 3.5 percent at that rate. However, the normal cost percentage is subject to change, as it’s calculated by deducting the unfunded liability and other costs (which vary over time) from the total contribution rate.
For new employees, AB 340 also reduces the benefit formula and increases the retirement age.
On August 28, when Gov. Brown announced the agreement that led to this bill, CSUEU distributed a statement that read in part: “While CSUEU supports common-sense changes to end spiking and abuse of the system, this draconian package goes much further by unfairly and unilaterally slashing pensions for middle-class, working families. We oppose solutions of this kind, which seek to solve the state’s systemic financial problems and legislative gridlock on the backs of its hard-working employees.”
Earlier versions of the package had even worse ramifications for public sector workers, but a coalition of unions and community groups rallied to change the legislation for the better. The preliminary plan would have forced low- and middle-income workers to retire into poverty with a hybrid plan that rewarded Wall Street over workers. It would have required workers to work to age 67 to get the minimum retirement, not the maximum benefits, and it would have imposed new costs on all current workers without an opportunity to bargain.
This CSUEU FAQ provides further details about this legislation and its impacts.
Russell Kilday-Hicks: New CSEA Vice President
CSUEU’s Russell Kilday-Hicks, who ended a three-year stint as the union’s VP for Representation last June, has taken on a new role as vice president of the California State Employees Association. In an officer election at CSEA General Council in Los Angeles this past weekend, Kilday-Hicks handily won a decisive majority of votes and started his new three-year position effective immediately. He won 532 votes, compared to the 272 votes garnered by his competitor.
More than 100 CSUEU delegates participated in the 66th CSEA GC at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, August 31-September 2. They and the approximately 800 other delegates participated in elections for officers and voted on the CSEA operating budget and revisions to CSEA’s bylaws.
CSEA is a federation of four affiliated organizations, including the Association of California State Supervisors, California State Retirees, SEIU 1000, and CSUEU. The newly elected CSEA president is Marilyn Ferrasci-Hamilton of California State Retirees, and California State Supervisors’ David Okumura begins his third term secretary-treasurer.
Contest: Identify the Campus
In our last edition, we inaugurated a new contest to identify campuses from landscape photos. The prize: bragging rights! That was enough to spur some 40 members to send in their best guesses as to which campus was pictured in that last edition, and about a quarter got it right. The depicted campus: CSU Chico.
Following are the winners:
• Cal Poly Pomona: Karen Mitchell
• Cal Poly San Luis Obispo: Tessa Betz, Cindy Jones, Jolene Ross
• CSU Fullerton: Jim Kiser, Allison Quigley
• CSU Stanislaus: Corey Cardoza, Laura Vawter
• Office of the Chancellor: Paula Frymire
• San Francisco State: Loretta Seva'aetasi
• San Jose State: M. Elma Arredondo
Congratulations to all! And here's this edition's mystery photo:
Just to keep it from being too easy, you won't be eligible if you work at the campus depicted in the photo. Send your entry with "Contest" in the subject line, along with your full name and chapter, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and good luck!
CalPERS Open Enrollment Kicks Off in September
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) members may enroll in its Health Program during the CalPERS Open Enrollment Period from September 10 through October 5. During Open Enrollment, members may also make changes to their existing health plans or add eligible family members. Open Enrollment changes take effect January 1, 2013.
For complete details, read this September 5 CalPERS press release.
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 225 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 205 people have subscribed so far, and the number keeps growing.
Links to all three sites can be found at the bottom of all pages at the CSUEU web site, www.csueu.org.
For more than three years, chapter stewards and other leaders have been able to discuss union issues via special forums on the Activist, a secure web site specially created as a resource for CSUEU activists. If you’re a steward, log in and join the discussion! If you have questions about your Activist account, contact John Watson for assistance.
Sign Up to Receive the Member Benefits Newsletter
The September edition of the CSEA Member Benefits newsletter features discounts for CSUEU-represented employees on gifts, electronics, special events, travel destinations, insurance and more. It’s easy to save money through your Member Benefits department by having the newsletter delivered directly to your email inbox once a month and taking advantage of all the discounts. You can subscribe at the Member Benefits website.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 9/6/2012 |