Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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BILL CLINTON BACKS PROP. 30, OPPOSES PROP. 32
HAS YOUR MAIL BALLOT ARRIVED?
CALPERS: HUGE HIKE FOR LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE
ALMANAC PAINTS A STARK CALIFORNIA PICTURE
RAY FINNELL SPEAKS AT CSU BAKERSFIELD
CONTEST: IDENTIFY THE CAMPUS
THIS DAY IN HISTORY
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Bill Clinton Backs Prop. 30, Opposes Prop. 32
At a UC Davis rally last week, former President Bill Clinton encouraged Californians to vote Yes on 30 and No on 32.
In supporting Prop. 30, he joined a broad coalition of education leaders, businesses, community organizations, and major newspapers across the state recognizing Prop. 30 as the only ballot measure that will stop another $6 billion in cuts to our schools this year.
At CSUEU’s Elections website, you can view an informative new Yes on 30 video from SEIU State Council featuring San Jose State Chapter 307 President Vera Acevedo.
Next Thursday, October 25, noon to 1 p.m., Sonoma State Chapter 304 joins a coalition of local groups for an Election 2012 Rally on the Stevenson Quad. Speakers giving their reasons why the campus community should vote Yes on 30 will be campus President Ruben Armiñana and representatives from the Sonoma County Office of Education and the Chamber of Commerce. Sponsored by the Sonoma State Academic Senate, the rally’s co-sponsors include CSUEU, Academic Students Inc, CFA, and Academic Professionals of California. For more details, contact Chapter 304 President Leeanne Bowes.
Vote YES on Proposition 30!
Yes on Prop. 30 is polling fairly well as of today—far better than No on Prop. 32, the deceptive Special Exemptions Act appearing on the November statewide ballot.
Proposition 32 claims to be political reform but in reality is written to create special exemptions for billionaire businessmen and business special interests, giving them even more political power to write their own set of rules. It exempts super PACs and big businesses that aren’t technically “corporations” but rather are “LLCs” or “real estate trusts” or any other form of business structure. Even corporations themselves aren’t impacted, as the measure involves payroll deductions for political action committees, and corporations generally don’t utilize payroll deductions for this purpose.
At the same time, it restricts the right of working Californians and their unions to participate in the political process.
In taking a stand against Prop. 32, Clinton joins California’s leading government reform groups and hundreds of public safety, labor, education, health care, consumer, environmental, religious, and senior organizations, as well the state’s leading newspaper editorial boards. News outlets have widely described the measure as a “phony veneer of fairness,” “dripping with cynicism,” “deceptive,” and “a fraud to end all frauds.”
Read an informative Prop. 32 overview from UnionReview.com.
Vote NO on Proposition 32!
Has Your Mail Ballot Arrived?
Voting has already begun for thousands of Californians. Make sure to vote No on Prop. 32 and Yes on Prop. 30.
Hundreds of thousands of voters should have received their ballots this week, and, if you’re registered to vote by mail, it’s important for you to cast your ballot in time to be counted.
For your vote to be counted, vote-by-mail ballots must be received by a state or county election official no later than the close of polls at 8 p.m. on election day, Nov. 6. If you forget to mail it, you can drop it off at any polling place in your county or to your county elections office on election day.
And, if you haven’t yet registered to vote, you can now register online at http://registertovote.ca.gov/. The registration deadline is October 22.
CalPERS Board OKs Huge Hike for Long-Term Care Insurance
On Wednesday, October 16, the Sacramento Bee reported that a CalPERS committee had recommended a whopping 85 percent premium increase for early purchasers of its Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Program policies. Then, in an October 17 press release, CalPERS confirmed that its Board of Administration had just approved the hike.
According to CalPERS, the increase, to be spread over two years, is being implemented to help stabilize the program’s underlying Long-Term Care Fund and will take effect July 2015. Members who opt to cover the increase in a single year will pay only 79 percent.
Policyholders affected by the increase purchased two types of policies between 1995 and 2004: policies with lifetime benefits with inflation protection, and policies with lifetime benefits without inflation protection (California Partnership policies will be excluded).
The press release goes on to state that the premium increase is necessary to offset the effect of higher-than-expected claims, lower-than-expected investment income, the Board’s adoption of a more conservative LTC Fund investment mix, and a lowering of the Fund’s investment discount rate to 5.75 percent to align with the more conservative investment portfolio.
The Board also approved three new optional alternative benefit plans that will provide the affected CalPERS LTC policyholders with options for relief from the financial impact of the 2015 rate increase. These new alternatives will allow policyholders to avoid further premium increases by converting to policies that will still provide adequate protection and possibly lower their premiums.
Affected policyholders will be given the opportunity to convert their policies to these new options in the spring of 2013. The policy changes will take effect July 1, 2013. View a list of the proposed new policy conversion options (PDF).
“The CalPERS Board had to choose between bad options,” explains CalPERS board member JJ Jelincic. “The increase applies only to plans with lifetime, inflation-adjusted benefits. Those who are enrolled in the three-, six- and new nine-year plans will not be seeing the big increase.”
He adds, “Since the program is completely funded by premiums and investment earnings on those premiums (it doesn’t have access to either the taxpayers or the retirement trust fund), the greatest risk is that the fund will run out of money and can’t pay claims.”
Almanac of Higher Education Paints a Stark California Picture
The Chronicle of Higher Education has released its annual Almanac of Higher Education 2012, providing data about the nation’s public and private higher education institutions during fiscal 2011-12, which ended on June 30.
- At $7,357, tuition at California’s public four-year institutions, including the CSU and UC systems, is now higher than the national average of $7,136, so it’s no longer a bargain to enroll in the CSU or UC systems, despite the lofty goals of the California Master Plan for Higher Education
- State funds for higher education operating expenses dropped by a whopping 13.5 percent in California from the previous fiscal year, compared to an average of just 7.5 percent nationally
- Total spending on research and development by California colleges and universities went up by only 2.3 percent in 2011-12, just one-third as much in the rest of the country at 6.9 percent
According to the almanac, California is suffering some of the most severe economic difficulties in the nation. For instance, state appropriations for the University of California have fallen by 20 percent in each of the past two years; the system receives less from the state now than it did in 1998, when it served 75,000 fewer students. Whether state funds for 2013 will remain at their current level is contingent upon voters’ passage of Prop. 30, a November ballot initiative to raise income and sales taxes. If Prop. 30 fails, it will trigger an automatic cut of close to $1 billion in support for California’s three higher education systems.
“The challenge for all Californians is to look deep inside and decide what kind of state they really want to live in,” comments CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “The best prospect for California is to pass Prop 30 and then look at stabilizing funding for public higher education in the long term so that every generation will have the opportunity to fulfill the California dream with a college diploma.”
Read the entire article.
Ray Finnell Speaks at CSU Bakersfield University Day
CSU Bakersfield Chapter 310 President Ray Finnell spoke from a personal perspective on behalf of Yes on Prop. 30 and No on Prop. 32 at last month’s University Day, an annual convocation of staff, administrators, faculty, and students designed to welcome newcomers to the campus.
A member and past chair of the CSUEU Communications Committee, he recounted his family’s union history as background for the reasons everyone needs to vote Yes on 30 and No on 32.
See a video of Ray’s remarks (go to the 20:45 mark; requires Apple Quicktime).
Read a transcript of Ray’s comments.
Contest: Identify the Campus
In selected editions of E-News, we show a photograph of a different campus and invite readers to identify the campus. The prize: bragging rights and the thrill of seeing your name and chapter mentioned in E-News! 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! Here's this edition's mystery photo:
This Day in History
On October 20, 1980, then-presidential candidate Ronald Reagan wrote to the president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization with this promise: If the union endorses me, “I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety.” He got the endorsement. Nine months after winning the election, he fired the controllers.
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 10/18/2012 |