Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union. If you would like to receive CSUEU E-News via email, sign up here.
Governor Set to Slash State Workers’ Pay
Ever since it was announced late Wednesday, July 23, that the Governor proposes temporarily slashing state employees’ pay to federal minimum wage in response to the state budget crisis, strong opposition has been pouring in from all over the state. CSU is exempt from the plan, but the Governor has asked that the system voluntarily comply; the CSU Office of the Chancellor has distributed a press release declaring CSU’s intention to keep its employees’ salaries intact.
For his part, State Controller John Chiang distributed a press release on Wednesday evening expressing his opposition to the plan, stating that the proposed order would only invite extensive, expensive litigation.
"CSUEU stands in solidarity with all state employees who will be impacted if this plan is implemented," said CSUEU President Pat Gantt. "This is a blatant attempt to use state workers as pawns in the contentious state budget battle, without regard for the value they bring to state government or to the suffering that this draconian measure would impose on them. We categorically oppose this cynical move on the part of the Governor."
Both CSU San Luis Obispo Chapter 315 President Joan Kennedy and San Francisco State Chapter 305 President Russell Kilday-Hicks were interviewed by local television news crews on the evening of July 23 and morning of July 24. In his interview on ABC affiliate KGO-TV, Kilday-Hicks emphasized the fact that state employees are indeed being used as pawns in the budget debate. In her interview on KSBY-TV, Kennedy said, "I think it’s terrible to attack the working class. We’re providing a service to the state, and to attack us in this fashion is unforgivable."
Keep checking the CSUEU home page for updates on this issue as new information becomes available.
Send an Email to the ‘Big 5’ to Protect CSU Funding
With budget negotiations still underway among the "Big 5" elected leaders, the Alliance for the CSU continues to advocate for the inclusion of all $288 million in promised CSU funding in the final state budget.
In the last two weeks alone, the Alliance for the CSU has generated nearly 20,000 emails to the "Big 5" elected leaders – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senate Pro Tem Don Perata, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines and Senate Republican leader Dave Cogdill.
The "Big 5" are continuing their closed door negotiations, and the Alliance for the CSU asks its supporters to continue to send emails to these key elected leaders to let them know that the proposed budget cuts to the CSU are unacceptable.
To send an email to the "Big 5 today," go to: www.allianceforthecsu.org/send_message.php
Access, Affordability to Be Addressed at CSULA Budget Forum Hosted by Students
On Friday, July 25, Southern California-based members of the CSU Students for Quality Education will host a community town hall at CSU Los Angeles to raise awareness about the impact of the state budget crisis on college students. The goal of the event is to discuss the state of the CSU budget and the impact the budget cuts are already having on California's working families.
A key speaker will be CSULA Chapter 311 President Linda Nunez, who will outline CSUEU’s involvement with the Alliance since its founding earlier this year and will underscore CSUEU’s support of the current campaign to lobby "the Big Five" elected leaders.
"This is a student event, and the students have invited CSUEU and other Alliance members to participate," Linda explains. "Our members will be there in force, manning various tables and bringing their friends and families as well. We’re helping out in any way we can."
Other speakers will include CFA President Lillian Taiz, Assemblymembers Mike Davis and Warren Furutani, and Rev. Brenda Lamothe of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles, as well as representatives of the state Democratic Party and the advocacy group Inner City Struggle.
Food and beverages will be provided, along with entertainment by singer/actress Lysa Flores and the band Miel. This special event takes place starting at 6 p.m. in the campus’ Golden Eagle Ballroom #1. For more information, call (323) 343-5310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russell Kilday-Hicks on the AFSCME Strike Against UC
From San Francisco Chapter President Russell Kilday-Hicks’ chapter newsletter last week:
I wanted to bring to your attention an important event happening just this week, July 14-18. You may have heard that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is on a one-week strike against the UC system. A couple of aspects of this strike are significant to us; we should be paying close attention. For one, although our faculty threatened to strike last year, strikes in public higher education are pretty rare in California. As a matter of fact, on this campus you have to go back 40 years to 1968, when the students, faculty, AND staff were on strike together. I hope they stay rare, but with the economy going into the toilet, who knows what is on the horizon for us.
AFSCME Local 3299 represents UC service employees, and their big issue, starvation wages, hits close to home for us, too, as we have janitors and laborers on this campus who have to work two and three jobs to make it in the S.F. Bay Area (not to mention office workers, too!). Strikes are known sometimes as the "nuclear" option--no union should take it lightly, and a key to success is community support. If we were in a similar place, we would welcome AFSCME’s support, so that is what I'm asking you to do. From writing a letter to joining the picket line, everything helps. For more information go to www.afscme3299.org/ .
The other thing to watch with this strike is how the UC administration is playing hardball with the courts, first getting an injunction and now saying that the strike is illegal, even though the union seems to have followed the direction of the court by giving the UC notice of their intent to strike. The UC says that those on strike will be disciplined. Like I said, a strike is a drastic tactic to use, but, ultimately, it really is the only true weapon that labor has. It will not bode well for all public employees in California if they fail.
For the AFSCME perspective, read an article from the July 21 edition of UCLA’s Daily Bruin by Lakesha Harrison, a licensed vocational nurse at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and president of AFSCME Local 3299
CSEA Foundation Nominations
On September 27, the CSEA Board of Directors will select new members to fill the two vacancies on the CSEA Foundation Board. Members in good standing of a CSEA affiliate may apply for candidacy. The deadline is close of business September 5.
The CSEA Foundation was formed in 1984 as a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation to provide an educational scholarship and loan program for qualified children of CSEA members. It was formed with the intent of expanding the program through fundraisers, tax-deductible contributions, and public and member support.
Likely the only interest-free loan program of its kind in existence, the program has been a tremendous value to the members of CSEA in helping their children prepare for the work world. With ever-increasing tuition fees and cutbacks in government assistance, the program has become increasingly relevant with each passing year.
To apply for one of the CSEA Foundation Board of Director positions, send your resume and a letter indicating willingness and desire to serve as a Foundation board member to: CSEA Foundation, c/o Gae Van Wagoner, 1108 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
For details, call (916) 326-4228.
Friday, July 25
CSULA Budget Town Hall
6-8:30 pm, Golden Eagle Room
Email for more information
Tuesday, July 29
Dominguez Hills budget town hall with Assemblymembers Bass and Furutani
6 p.m. Loker Student Union, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson
For more information, call (310) 243-2168
August 30, Sat
Alliance Night at Chico Outlaws baseball game
Email for more information
Saturday-Sunday, August 16-17
Northern regional organizing training. California Maritime Academy, Vallejo
Saturday-Sunday, September 6-7
Southern regional organizing training. Coast Hotel Long Beach (site tentative)
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 7/24/2008 |