CSUEU E-News: August 6, 2009
Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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FIRST FURLOUGH DAYS ROLL OUT
CSUS CHAPTER PRESIDENT QUOTED ON FURLOUGHS
FINAL BUDGET PLAN HURTS CALIFORNIANS
INTRODUCING CSUEU’S NEWLY ELECTED OFFICERS
SHARPEN YOUR GRIEVANCE SKILLS
CALPERS HEALTH PREMIUM HOLIDAY
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First Furlough Days Roll Out
As the first furlough days roll out over the next few weeks on all CSU campuses, the Organizing Committee and Legislative Committee are working jointly on a furloughs campaign that includes:
• emailing your legislators via Capwiz to voice your concerns
• taking action on your first furlough days to make your voice heard
• visiting your legislators’ regional offices next month, upon their return from August recess
To find a Capwiz message customized to your chapter, visit the Capwiz Issues & Legislation page, then click on the link to your chapter to send a letter to your local legislators.
Check the home page and contact your chapter leaders for further details about the campaign as they become available.
CSU Sacramento Chapter President Quoted in Bee on Furloughs
CSU Sacramento Chapter 303 President Kim Harrington was quoted in Tuesday’s Sacramento Bee discussing the logistical difficulties of coordinating furlough days with campus management. As she explains it, the spouses of many CSU Sacramento staff members are state employees who have set furlough days, so CSU staff in many cases are pushing for the same furlough days wherever possible, which is proving to be a challenging request for management to fulfill.
“Not knowing is the problem,” she said. “We need a long-range plan for our folks.”
Final Budget Plan Hurts Californians
With the ink barely dry on the state budget deal, families, children, college students, seniors and people with disabilities are already feeling the devastating effects of this flawed spending plan.
This year’s budget will mean that:
• Up to 785,000 children could lose healthcare
• 1.3 million seniors and people with disabilities will have their income cut, again
• Tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities could lose home care services
• 6.3 million children will go to schools that are overcrowded and understaffed
• Over $3.7 billion has been taken away from our local cities, counties, and redevelopment agencies for vital local services and projects
• Colleges and universities will furlough faculty and staff, turn away qualified students, cut classes and raise fees, seriously affecting the quality of higher education in California
While these cuts are devastating, things could have been much worse had CSUEU members and labor allies not ratcheted up public pressure on the governor and members of the legislature by making phone calls, visiting lawmakers and participating in rallies to make sure the voice of the CSU was heard.
And as a result of this work, several critical programs may have been cut deeply but weren’t eliminated:
• Cal Grants for college students
• In-Home Supportive Services
• Healthy Families Health Insurance
• K-14 education
For an analysis of the governor’s budget plan, read the latest publication from the California Budget Project.
Introducing CSUEU’s Newly Elected Officers
Following the statewide elections in late June, CSUEU officers are settling into their two-year terms. Following are profiles of a cross-section of these CSUEU movers and shakers—a healthy mix of new faces and re-elected leaders—all of whom are destined to play important roles in shaping our organization in the years to come.
Loretta Seva'aetasi (pronounced sevah-TAH-see), newly elected as vice president for finance, is native San Franciscan who serves as a graduate operations specialist in San Francisco State University’s College Of Education. A scholarship and Assumption Program for Loans in Education coordinator, she reviews all graduate paperwork for the college’s 250-300 MA students. “What keeps me involved in the union is love for our members and the understanding that there are lots of members and employees who do not know they have rights under our contract,” says Loretta, who continues to live in San Francisco and has earned an associate in science degree in medical records from City College of San Francisco. “I plan to continue working with fellow officers and the Finance Committee to keep our organization financially solvent during these difficult times. This will require all of us working together with that same understanding.”
Russell Kilday-Hicks, newly elected as vice president for representation, grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Berkeley. A graphics/AutoCAD specialist for San Francisco State University’s Capital Planning, Design, and Construction Office, he spent the first 16 years of his work life as a baker, studying technical writing at SFSU evenings and weekends to pave the way for a career transition. “I want to develop better union vision, leadership teamwork, and chapter collaboration, top to bottom,” he says. “I’m big on member education and on setting reasonable goals through good strategic planning.” What drew him to union work? “When initially hired, I was misclassified and became part of a group that the university was slow to move over to new IT classifications,” he explains. “When finally reclassed, I got some back pay. If the union could do that, what else could they do, I wondered. This work isn’t always fun, but it certainly is gratifying to get a win every once in a while.”
Tessy Reese, newly elected as BU2 chair, grew up in Long Beach, Virginia, and San Diego, and has stayed on in San Diego ever since. She serves as a licensed vocational nurse overseeing the Health Services Immunization Clinic at San Diego State University, having completed the LVN program at the Grossmont Adult School in El Cajon. Her goals for her tenure? “I want to help get through the difficult, stressful next few years and to get our members the best working conditions we can possibly bargain,” she says. “It’s important as well to keep the classifications that we’ve been working on for the last few years to completion, and we need to get more activists involved in unit 2.” She adds, “What keeps me involved are the difficult times that we all are facing in the CSU. We need to embrace each other and gain strength to get through these next years.”
Annel Martin, re-elected as chair of BU7, is an administrative support coordinator at CSU San Bernardino who trains employees on Medicat and consults on system development for this medical applications software. A native of both New York and Alabama, this Rialto resident holds a BA in psychology from CSU San Bernardino and is pursuing an MA there in her spare time. “I want to motivate and empower council members in all aspects of local chapter and statewide activities through participation in committees such as classification, organizing, legislative and communications,” she says. “Through empowerment and visibility, Unit 7 can become stronger, and we members can be recognized as the professionals we all are.” Why did she become involved with union activism? She explains, “I’m passionate about justice and fairness and about advocating for employees rights.”
Mike Brandt, newly elected as BU7 vice-chair, is an admissions advisor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Reared in Massachusetts, this San Luis Obispo resident holds an MBA in project management and labor relations from Minneapolis-based Capella University. This spring, he begins doctoral studies in human organization and development at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara. His goals for his tenure as vice-chair? “I’ll be working to ensure that we get through these very trying times in as strong a position as possible,” he says. “Keeping as many people employed as possible, hanging on to our benefits, and trying to find whatever improvements to our contract can be negotiated are all my top priorities.” He adds, “The CSU has shown us that they don’t put the needs and concerns of staff very high on their list of priorities. The only way this will ever stop is if we speak as one voice and work together.”
Rounding out the roster of new officers are Pat Gantt, re-elected as president; Ronnie Grant, re-elected as vice president for organizing; Pam Robertson, newly elected as vice chair, BU2; Sharon Cunningham, re-elected as chair, BU5; Richard Berry, newly elected as vice chair, BU5; Rich McGee, re-elected as chair, BU9; and Alisandra Brewer, newly elected as vice chair, BU9.
Congratulations to all!
Sharpen Your Grievance Skills
The Labor Center at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College presents “Grievance Handling Skills,” Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This low-fee workshop is designed to help union reps and activists develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully file, investigate and prepare a grievance. Topics include investigating grievances, presenting and arguing your case, how to resolve/win grievances, Weingarten rights, and the duty of fair representation. Join in as union and management lawyers and labor relations experts share their expertise.
Many southern California union activists have taken Labor Center classes on their own time and dime to further their expertise. For complete program details, call (213) 763-7129 or visit http://college.lattc.edu/laborcenter .
CalPERS Health Premium Holiday Is One Step Closer
Members and employers enrolled in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) self-funded preferred provider organization (PPO) plans will soon get two months of relief in the premiums and contributions paid for their health care.
A bill was signed by the governor on July 28 as part of the State’s new budget that allows CalPERS to use more than $265 million in excess reserves to offset health premiums for two months. CalPERS members and employers can expect to see the savings in the fall. CalPERS will post notifications on the exact timing on its web site, www.calpers.ca.gov.
English- and Spanish-language versions of a new Know Your Rights flyer about furloughs are available for download from the Library’s On the Job/Know Your Rights folder.
Exempt employees: If you haven’t already done so, check out the furloughs-specific information for exempt employees that was posted to the home page yesterday afternoon.
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Saturday, August 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Board of Directors Retreat/Orientation
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza
Friday-Monday, September 4-7
CSEA 65th General Council
Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles
Tuesday-Wednesday, September 22-23
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
Monday, October 12
Wednesday, November 11
Friday-Sunday, November 13-15
CSUEU Board of Directors Meeting
Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, Sacramento
Tuesday-Wednesday, November 17-18
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 8/6/2009 |