CSUEU E-NEWS: January 26, 2017

CSUEU board selects new VP for Representation, tests reveal high lead levels in Sacramento State drinking water, and more...

Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union

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Board Selects Rocky Sanchez as VP for Representation

Welcome aboard to Roxana “Rocky” Sanchez, who joined the ranks of CSUEU statewide officers early this month when the Board of Directors confirmed her selection as Vice President for Representation.

Rocky is a Southern California native who grew up in La Puente and holds a BA in organizational studies from Pitzer College in Claremont. She has worked at Cal Poly Pomona since 1992, serving as an administrative support coordinator in the Department of Architecture since 2000.

Raised in a union family, her father was an organizer and business agent for the AFL-CIO. “In high school,” she recounts, “I used to help my dad organize workers by getting myself hired into non-union shops and handing out information to get a vote for the union. Worked every time.”

Rocky has long been a union activist, for many years serving as chair of the Bargaining Unit 7 Council and as a chapter steward, among other posts. Her appointment follows the resignation late last year of previous VP for Representation Susan Smith.
Testing Reveals High Lead Levels in Water at Sacramento State

As reported in the Sacramento Bee yesterday, January 25, Sacramento State has shut off water to sinks and water faucets in six buildings after elevated levels of lead were found during testing.

Water was shut off in Eureka Hall, Folsom Hall, Placer Hall and the Shasta Theater, as well as in the Sierra and Sutter residence halls. Bottled water will be made available until water service is restored.

The news came just one day before a campus Labor-Management Council meeting scheduled for this afternoon.

“Elevated lead in our drinking water will certainly be on the meeting agenda,” says Sacramento State Chapter 303 President Kim Harrington. “Unfortunately, our campus has a history of unsafe conditions, and, through the years, it has been an ongoing challenge to find satisfactory resolutions.”

The elevated lead levels were found during tests of 450 sinks and bottle-filling stations on the campus during a three-day period earlier this month. The testing found that 85 sinks and water filling stations, or 19 percent of those tested, had lead levels in excess of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration tolerance level for lead in bottled water. Children younger than 15 and pregnant or nursing women should refrain from drinking campus water until additional testing is completed.

Stay tuned for further developments.

New Stewards at Humboldt State

Eleven CSUEU-represented employees at Humboldt State became union stewards this past weekend after attending a special training held at the campus. The new steward training was held over two days and consisted of classroom training, hands-on role play, and group activities. 

VP for Representation Rocky Sanchez, Bargaining Unit 2 Chair Tessy Reese, and Sr. Labor Relations Representative Joseph Jelincic taught participants about the fundamentals of the union, along with contractual and workplace rights, the grievance procedure, and basic organizing steps.

“This was a great group of folks, and I’m excited to have them in the steward family,” said Jelincic. “This will help build our capacity at Humboldt State and help defend the interest of our members.”

Union stewards are the front lines of the union. They are rank-and-file members who enforce the collective bargaining agreement, educate members in the worksite, and help to build a strong union. Welcome aboard to our new stewards at Humboldt!

Women’s March in San Luis Obispo

Joan Kennedy with a fellow marcher, both wearing t-shirts saying, "Not my fault--I'm from California!"

Members across the state took to the streets last Saturday as they joined millions of others in local women’s marches in cities worldwide.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Chapter 316 President Joan Kennedy recounts her experience volunteering for her local march, which drew nearly 10,000 participants:

“In our little town, the march was the place to be on Saturday. The event drew citizens of all ages and walks of life despite a hard rain storm. Their signs covered an amazing range of issues, including women’s rights and religious rights. We had over 100 volunteers, just one measure of the tremendous support from local officials and businesses. At last count, more than three million people marched in the U.S. alone, not to mention the countless numbers who took part in marches and rallies all over the world. We all will continue to fight for what’s right and fair for all citizens and immigrants.”

New Report: Tuition-Free Public Higher Education Is Possible

Last Tuesday, the Reclaim California Higher Education coalition released a study demonstrating that tuition-free public higher education in California is possible today and would only cost the median taxpaying family about $48.

The $48 Fix: Reclaiming California's Master Plan for Higher Education is collaboratively authored by a working group of academics whose exhaustive research points the way to a logical, coherent way for California to afford no-cost community college and university tuition.

“The two-decade experiment in privatizing public higher education in California has failed,” says Stanton Glantz, PhD, a professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco and a collaborator on the paper. “But it doesn’t have to be that way. The original idea for a publicly funded system is still the best idea, and it can work if we make the commitment.”

CSUEU is a member of the coalition, which advocates for a return to the Master Plan’s vision of affordable, accessible, quality public higher education for all Californians.

Read Tuesday’s press release outlining the paper’s key points.
Download the paper.

Contest: Identify the Campus

In selected editions of CSUEU E-News, we've been showing photographs of different campuses and have invited readers to identify the campus.

The photo in the January 11 edition depicted the 1.3-acre Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at CSU Long Beach, built through a donation from Loraine Miller Collins in honor of her late husband. Following three years of planning, she selected landscape architect Edward R. Lovell, ASLA, to create its design. Construction began in the summer of 1980, and it was dedicated in the spring of 1981.

Recently retired CSU Long Beach Chapter 315 member Kent Anderson recalls, “Sometimes I would eat lunch there for the solitude, and I also took many beautiful pictures there of the fish, birds, and vegetation. It’s just a wonderful, peaceful place to visit.”

He adds, “Member Andy Bready, retired member and volunteer Nobi Koreeda, and student worker Murugan Appasamy all do a great job taking care of the garden!”

Winners this week:

  • Frankie Huey and Annette Troxel, Humboldt State Chapter 301
  • Rebecca Belser and Christine Williams, Chico State Chapter 302
  • Glenn Alejandro, Kevin Glasson, and Lily Legarda, CSU Northridge Chapter 312
  • Susan Baur, Office of the Chancellor Chapter 313
  • Leilani de Castro, Melanie Gersten, Dana Pape, and Andy Pho, CSU Fullerton Chapter 317
  • Arlene Castillo, San Diego State Chapter 318
  • Eric Bushmeier, Lori Inarda, and Pio R. Ortega, Cal Poly Pomona Chapter 319
  • Pamela Cunha and Jenny Hallett, CSU Monterey Bay Chapter 322
  • Terrie Cilley and Emily Guetzoian, CSU Channel Islands Chapter 324

Congratulations to all!

This Day in History

January 29, 2009: Newly elected President Barack Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making it easier for women and minorities to win pay discrimination suits.

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See back issues of CSUEU E-News, distributed every other Thursday.

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