CSUEU E-News: October 29, 2009
Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union
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CHICO RALLY FOR AB 656
CSU RECEIVES REMAINING PORTION OF STIMULUS FUNDS
ANNEL MARTIN HONORED FOR SERVICE
UCB CONFERENCE SETS MARCH 4 FOR STATEWIDE ACTION
CALPERS ELECTION RESULTS
CALPERS LAUNCHES WEB SITE
UNION-BUSTING WAL-MART POSTS $400 BILLION IN SALES
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Chico Chapter Rallies for AB 656 and Against Furloughs
Over the last two weeks, coalitions of students, staff and faculty have organized rallies across the state in support of AB 656, which would create an oil severance tax funding higher education. On October 15, CSUEU President Pat Gantt spoke at a CSU Chico protest designed to inform the campus community about this important bill in the context of ongoing state and CSU budget problems. Held at the campus’ outdoor amphitheater, the rally also included speakers from CFA, APC and Students for Quality Education.
Chico Chapter 302 continues what its leaders term “organizing with a small o” strategy, by hosting periodic early-morning coffee socials to greet employees as they start their work days, providing another opportunity to share information about AB 656 and the union with workers across the campus.
CSU Receives Remaining Portion of Stimulus Funds
As outlined in this October 22 CSU press release, CSU has received $77.5 million as the remaining portion of $717.5 million in one-time federal stimulus dollars allocated to CSU. Based on previous understandings with the Governor’s Office and federal auditors, the entire amount is being used to help cover CSU monthly payroll and help preserve jobs, according to Robert Turnage, CSU’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Budget.
When the CSU put together its final 2009-10 budget plan in July, he explains, the university anticipated receiving $640 million of federal funds and built it into the plan. This last infusion of $77.5 million of federal stimulus funds was not anticipated. It therefore relieves pressure on the CSU’s budget and opens up some possible one-time uses of university trust funds.
“After careful consideration, the Chancellor believed that using about one-third of the amount of ‘freed’ funds to add more courses and sections in the spring would be extremely valuable in terms of eliminating course ‘bottlenecks’ and helping students make timely progress toward their degrees,” says Turnage.
“If we were to use any funds to add more courses, we had to act now because of the lead times involved in planning course schedules,” he adds. “This still allows the Chancellor to consider other possibilities for two-thirds of the money. However, given the extremely negative and uncertain status of the State’s finances, the Chancellor thought it was wise to await further developments at the state level, including release of the Governor’s proposed budget in January, before committing the remaining funds to other possible uses.”
Annel Martin Honored for Service
In a surprise ceremony at the October 16 Bargaining Unit Council 7 meeting, long-time BUC7 chair and bargaining team member Annel Martin was honored for her service to both groups.
The touching ceremony, which included awards and being named a bargaining team member emeritus, was a way to say good-bye to Martin as she transitions out of Bargaining Unit 7 to Bargaining Unit 9. That change is due to a reclassification of her CSU San Bernardino job; with the switch of bargaining units, she’s had to bid adieu to her BUC7 and bargaining team duties.
A native of both New York and Alabama, Martin holds a BA in psychology from CSU San Bernardino and hopes to pursue an MA in interdisciplinary studies there in her spare time. For her campus job as Electronic Medical Records Analyst, she trains employees on Medicat and consults on system development for this medical applications software.
She’s worked at CSU for nearly 10 years and served as BUC7 chair and as a bargaining team member for the past four and one-half years, following several years before that as a BUC7 member at large. In addition, she was a chapter unit representative for eight years. She’s now helping new BUC7 chair Michael Brandt as he makes the transition into his new role.
“In both her BUC7 chair and bargaining team posts, Annel has fought hard on behalf of members of her unit and all our bargaining units,” says CSUEU President Pat Gantt. “She has a sharp eye for addressing challenges and an infectious enthusiasm for the union. I’m sure she’ll continue to serve members of her chapter and her new BU9 peers well in the years to come.”
“This change is bittersweet but still good,” says Martin. “Now I’m on the Communications Committee and on the Committee on the Future. It’s nice to know that I’ve meant so much to people in the union, and I’m looking forward to being a part of CSUEU’s future.”
UC Berkeley Conference Sets March 4 for Statewide Action
Upwards of 600 activists from K-12 schools, community colleges, CSU and UC gathered at UC Berkeley last Saturday to discuss possible actions during spring 2010 to save the state’s public education system.
Through a process of debate, break-out groups and voting, the crowd set March 4 as a day of statewide action against the dismantling of public education in California, with protests scheduled to take place that day on every public campus in the state.
“The group was very serious about connecting with labor,” says VP for Representation Russell Kilday-Hicks, who represented CSUEU at the event. “Participants vowed to support each other in whatever local action each group takes, whether at the campus or regional level. We all share a deep concern not only about the abandonment of the California Master Plan For Higher Education but indeed about the abandonment of the California dream itself.”
Read a Daily Californian report about the conference.
CalPERS Election Results
No candidate received a majority of votes in the Position A election for the CalPERS Board of Administration, according to the unofficial voting results. The two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the Position A election, Joseph (JJ) Jelincic and Cathy Hackett, will proceed to a runoff election.
Kurato Shimada, who received a majority of votes in the Position B election, has been elected to the CalPERS Board of Administration, according to the unofficial voting results. CSUEU endorsed his candidacy.
The runoff voting period begins on November 9, when runoff ballots will be mailed directly to eligible active and retired CalPERS members. CSUEU endorsed JJ Jelincic for the election and continues to endorse him for the runoff.
The voting period ends on December 4. Ballots must be postmarked or received by CalPERS at the address shown on the front of the return envelope by this date to be counted. The reverse side of the envelope must be signed by the voter, or the ballot will not be counted.
Beginning December 7, the envelopes containing the voted ballots will be opened and the ballots removed and tabulated. Several weeks after tabulation, the candidate receiving a majority of votes (50 percent of votes cast plus one vote) will be certified by the Secretary of State as having been elected.
CalPERS Launches Web Site
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has launched CalPERSResponds.com, a new web site dedicated to educating its members, employers and stakeholders about emerging issues including pension security, investments and national health care reform.
It also serves as a platform for CalPERS social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and is home to Insight, a new video program that highlights conversations with CalPERS leaders on key issues.
“There’s a lot of information and misinformation about CalPERS,” said Patricia K. Macht, CalPERS Director of External Affairs. “We hope this site will help separate the facts from fiction and provide some education, insight and clarity to these issues.”
A key feature of the site is a Myths Vs. Facts section. Example: Myth -- “CalPERS cannot come back from billions in losses.” Fact – “At the market’s lowest point in 2008, CalPERS assets had dropped by $100 billion. Today CalPERS has regained $40 billion in five months.”
CSUEU Board of Directors meeting attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about CalPERS with the guest talk by CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Anne Stausboll at the BOD on Sunday, November 15, at 11:30 a.m. She will discuss her role at CalPERS, share the latest news about retirement benefits, and answer questions.
Union-Busting Wal-Mart Posts $400 Billion in Sales
American Rights at Work, an outreach organization advocating the right of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers, has launched a new campaign against Wal-Mart’s union-busting tactics.
As they put it in their latest email blast, low wages and union busting have been par for the course at Wal-Mart, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Wal-Mart has a new CEO, Mike Duke, who has a chance to take the company on a better path. He has the power to stop intimidating and firing workers who want a union, to provide fair wages and better working conditions, and to stop fighting against the Employee Free Choice Act—a bill that would level the playing field for workers who want to form a union and improve their lives.
At his first annual meeting as CEO, Duke reiterated the company’s stated commitment to “helping our customers to save money and live better.” But don’t both customers and workers deserve to live better? Wal-Mart posted a record $400 billion in sales last year and over $13 billion in earnings. The company can afford to do better for workers!
Tell Mike Duke it’s time to start a new legacy at Wal-Mart – one that ensures workers have fair wages and a voice at work.
Questions about furloughs can now be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond as quickly as possible. In addition, statements and stories about the difficult impacts of furloughs can be sent to this address, potentially to be used as documentation as the union lobbies legislators for better CSU funding over the coming months.
Details about the next CSUEU Board of Directors meeting are now available on a newly posted BOD page. Minutes of all BOD meetings since 2006 on are now available in the Library’s new “BOD Minutes” folder.
Journalists covering CSUEU have a new resource with the just-launched Press Room page.
Sign up to follow CSUEU on Twitter to receive notices about new articles as they’re posted.
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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
Thursday-Friday, November 26-27
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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.
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Categories: CSUEU E-News |
Posted: 10/29/2009 |