The CSUEU Bargaining Team met with Vice Chancellor Evelyn Nazario and Chief Negotiator Steve James following the CSU Trustees board meeting this week. On the agenda was CSU’s proposal to introduce a different way to negotiate a contract known as Interest-Based-Bargaining (IBB). Not on the agenda was Chancellor Tim White, who unexpectedly “poked” his head into the meeting and sat for a solid half-hour to deliver a clear message to CSUEU members: “We’re in this together."
After decades of less-than-friendly labor-management relations, the Chancellor said that the CSU was sending a “signal we want to press the reset button.”
Make no mistake: Just weeks away from the first bargaining session, this outreach from CSU leadership is unprecedented. Our Union’s activism in recent years demanding transparency and accountability from Management has put enormous pressure on the CSU.
We dive into the New Year with laser-beam focus on winning a fair and dignified contract in 2020. At the CSU Board of Trustees meeting later this month, both CSUEU and the Chancellor’s Office will present initial contract proposals. In collective bargaining, this is known as the “sunshine period” when proposals are exchanged for public review and comment.
Our 16,000 CSUEU-represented employees know what we want from the Employer: Restore steps for Support Staff and protect employee benefits. We believe we will win because we have support as never before: Both Gov. Newsom and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis have written directly to the Chancellor urging him to negotiate with the CSUEU in good faith to restore pay equity; a proposed state budget with a 5% increase – or $199 million – for the CSU; and a 2019 state audit that showed a $1.5 billion CSU surplus with little state oversight.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2020-21 state budget, released Friday, includes a 5% increase of $199 million for the CSU with no student tuition hikes. The preliminary budget will be the basis for numerous budget hearings in the Assembly and Senate, with a final 2020-21 state budget approved by June 15.
“CSU Support Staff are the backbone of this institution and for far too long, our members have been left behind,” said CSUEU President Neil Jacklin. “We have full support from both the Governor and the Lt. Governor as well as legislators from both parties who have explicitly told the CSU an investment in its employees is an investment in the institute’s future.”
As CSUEU begins new contract negotiations, we should not forget last year’s troubling and highly critical CSUEU-sponsored state audit. The state auditor concluded the CSU failed to disclose a $1.5 billion hidden surplus of discretionary funds that could be used for any ongoing CSU operational costs. Despite its growing surplus, the CSU continued to lobby state legislators for more state funds, while falsely claiming that without further budget increases, or increases in student tuition, the CSU would be unable to maintain its programs.
A Message from CSUEU President Neil Jacklin
Jim Philliou comes to us with 30 years of experience as a union organizer, labor representative, organizing director, division director and chief negotiator. He has a track record of success leading large organizing campaigns and significant victories at the bargaining table.
Jim also brings extensive supervisory experience, including directing dozens of union staff working at local unions from the SEIU Western Region and the SEIU International Union.
President Neil Jacklin's Report to Board of Directors | Nov. 9, 2019
Preparing for 2020 Contract Bargaining, Executive Director search, Honoring Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber's "Above and Beyond" labor advocacy