Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
If you would like to receive CSUEU E-News directly via email, please sign up at the CSUEU site.
CSUEU LAUNCHES ELECTIONS WEB SITE
CHAPTERS GATHER MORE THAN 2,700 SIGNATURES
CSUEU REVIEWS CLASSIFICATIONS
STUDENTS BEGIN HUNGER STRIKE AT SIX CAMPUSES
STUDENT LOAN DEBT CLOCK
$300,000 TO REMODEL FULLERTON PRESIDENT’S HOUSE
MAY DAY IN SAN DIEGO
SIXTH ANNUAL MEMBER BENEFITS FAIR
* * *
CSUEU Launches Elections Web Site
This is an important election year for CSUEU members, in part because proposed initiatives for the general election this fall will have special impact on the CSU budget and on unions. On Tuesday, CSUEU launched www.csueu.org/elections, filled with information about both the primary and general elections, where you can track the progress of important proposed initiatives and learn more about all the candidates as well.
“This site is designed to help CSUEU-represented employees understand the complexities of California’s governance, including legislative support and funding for the CSU,” says CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “Support for higher education is support for CSUEU and for you. Vote—your future depends on it!”
CSUEU Gathers More than 2,700 Signatures for Governor’s Plan
As of today, May 3, CSUEU members and staff have collected 2,730 signatures from registered voters to help qualify the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act of 2012 for the November ballot.
The initiative would temporarily raise income taxes on the wealthiest Californians as well as restore sales taxes to the level of a year ago in order to avoid huge cuts to education, including some $200 million in cuts to the CSU, and guarantee funding for local public safety. Sponsored by Gov. Jerry Brown and a wide coalition of business, labor and community groups, it needs a total of 807,000 signatures to qualify.
SEIU State Council’s goal had been just over 89,600 signatures, which it exceeded by bringing in some 98,800 signatures. Earlier this afternoon, State Council Political Director Alma Hernandez informed us that CSUEU’s numbers now put State Council’s total over the 100,000 mark. As she put it in a congratulatory email, “Thanks! You guys are awesome!”
Kudos go out to San Francisco State Chapter 305, which single-handedly brought in 530 signatures. Many other chapters across the state brought in scores or hundreds of signatures as well.
The governor had hoped to gather as many valid signatures as possible by April 27 to qualify the measure. This deadline, earlier than necessary by law, provides him with time to make adjustments to his May revise of the state budget, based on whether or not the measure qualifies for the ballot.
“Our members know the importance of these services, and that’s why so many of us have taken the time to support California and sign the petitions,” CSUEU President Pat Gantt said.
Read a May 3 Sacramento Bee article about Gov. Brown's announcement that he has now collected enough signatures to qualify his tax initiative for the November ballot.
CSUEU Reviews Accounting/Budget Classifications
By Russell Kilday-Hicks, VP for Representation
A CSUEU team is working with CSU administrators to review and revise the accounting and budget classifications in bargaining units 7 and 9.
We met with management for three days in Long Beach from April 30 to May 2 and discussed their proposals; among other changes, they are proposing a new Budget Analyst III classification. We also talked among ourselves about our own goals, not just in these classifications, but in all the professional classification series.
Broadly speaking, we aim to clarify the distinctions between classification levels so that employees can move through both their careers and the salary ranges. Too many of our represented employees are career-stuck, either doing appropriate work but at the bottom of the salary range or performing work in a higher classification without being reclassified or adequately compensated. We need to take some of the mystery out of reclassification and career progression.
The classifications under review include: Accounting Clerk, Accounting Technician I-III, Accountant I-III, and Budget Analyst (Assistant and Associate). If you are in these classifications or in another one that is doing this work, let us know if you are interested in reviewing these proposals and having some input. If you were denied a reclassification or IRP we want to hear from you. We also would like to know to what extent students are performing this work in your office.
We will be meeting again later this month, May 22-23.
CSUEU team members (in alphabetical order):
Peggy Allen (Office of the Chancellor)
BU 7 Chair Michael Brandt
BU 9 Vice Chair Alisandra Brewer
Cecilia Calderon (Long Beach)
Pat Heath (Chico)
Julia Hubbard (Monterey Bay)
VP for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks
Sr. Labor Relations Representative Lois Kugelmass
BU 9 Chair Rich McGee
BU 7 Vice Chair John Orr
Shirley Staton (Fresno)
Students Begin Hunger Strike at Six Campuses
Students at six CSU campuses began a hunger strike yesterday, May 2. Over a dozen students with Students for Quality Education, which CSU students founded in 2007 to build a movement for educational rights, are participating at the Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento and San Bernardino campuses.
They say they’ll fast until university leaders freeze tuition, roll back salaries and meet other demands, including a meeting with Chancellor Reed and Trustees Chair Robert Linscheid.
Since 2008, the CSU system has lost nearly $1 billion in state funding, forcing cuts in classes and faculty and denial of entry to thousands of students. Tuition has increased over the past six year, bringing the total cost for undergraduates for the 2012-13 school year to $5,970.
The Office of the Chancellor also recently announced plans to freeze enrollment for the spring 2013 term part of a cost-cutting strategy to reduce enrollment by 16,000 students next spring.
An estimated $200 million in cuts are still to come this fall, if the governor’s proposed tax initiative either fails to qualify or is defeated on the November ballot.
Read more details in this May 3 Huffington Post article.
Student Loan Debt Clock
Total student loan debt is increasing at a rate of about $2,853.88 per second, as can be seen quite dramatically on the Finaid.org’s student loan debt clock.
In June, 2010, total student loan debt exceeded total credit card debt outstanding for the first time. Student loan debt has been growing steadily because need-based grants have not been keeping pace with increases in college costs.
FinAid.org was established in 1994 as a public service and, through the years, has grown into one of the most comprehensive sources of student financial aid information, advice and tools.
CSU Fullerton Spends $300,000 to Remodel President’s House
In addition to a controversial 10 percent pay raise, incoming CSU Fullerton President Mildred Garcia will receive another benefit when she arrives on campus: a $300,000 remodel on the eight-bedroom historical house where she will live.
In March, the CSU Board of Trustees voted to give Garcia – the outgoing president of CSU Dominguez Hills in Carson – the maximum pay raise allowable under a new executive compensation cap approved by trustees in January. In addition to her base salary of $324,500, she gets free housing at the estate and a $12,000-per-year car allowance.
“A $300,000 remodel of a CSU campus president’s house suggests there may be serious seismic issues or a serious maintenance problem,” said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “The cost of this remodel is a lot more than the value of homes that many staff members can afford to live in or their upper limit to qualify for a mortgage.”
Read full details in this April 27 San Diego Union-Tribune article.
May Day in San Diego
CSU San Marcos Chapter 321 President Mike Geck kept busy in San Diego on May Day, giving a speech at the Union del Barrio International Workers Day rally at Chicano Park and participating in a rally to keep a new Walmart out of the Sherman Heights neighborhood.
Sixth Annual Member Benefits Fair
CSUEU President Pat Gantt at the 2010 Member Benefits Fair
Join us on Thursday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for the 6th Annual Member Benefits Fair on the south side of the State Capitol, along N Street at 11th Street.
This event is designed to showcase the wide range of benefits that CSEA provides to our members throughout California. Benefit providers will be on hand to give members valuable information about products and services. Don’t forget to stop by the CSUEU booth and say hello to members and staffers who will be at the booth throughout the day.
You can learn more about all the Member Benefits activities and special offers by signing up to receive the monthly benefits newsletter. The May edition features discounts for CSUEU-represented employees on gifts, electronics, special events, travel destinations, insurance, and more.
Having your Member Benefits department’s newsletter delivered directly to your email inbox once a month is an easy way to save money. Subscribe at the Member Benefits web site.
* * *
See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
— End —
Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 5/3/2012 |