CSUEU E-NEWS: March 27, 2017

CSUEU to the CSU Board of Trustees: Honor the Preamble!

Biweekly news digest from the California State University Employees Union

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Bargaining Team to the CSU Board: Honor the Preamble!

One by one, each member of the CSUEU bargaining team went to the microphone during public comments at last Tuesday’s CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach to recite the entire staff-affirming preamble that CSUEU had proposed early in contract negotiations—and that CSU management immediately rejected in its entirety.

CSUEU President Pat Gantt introduced the speakers by saying, “As you may know, we've started bargaining. Early in the process, we presented a preamble to the contract that we thought would provide guiding principles for both parties. This afternoon, you will hear the members of the CSUEU bargaining team share this preamble, which CSU has rejected.”

Among the core values proposed by CSUEU in this document:

  • We believe in the right to a competitive compensation structure with predictable movement through the salary schedule.
  • We believe that employees should have an established career path that recognizes their knowledge, service and skills.
  • We believe employees should be valued and given priority consideration for promotional opportunities in our bargaining units.

See a video of the team’s remarks on Facebook (and, while you’re there, please “like” us).

New Video: CSUEU in Action

A new video/slide show on CSUEU’s YouTube channel depicts CSUEU members in action over the last three months, supporting the union bargaining team as negotiations for a new statewide contract move into high gear.

The show begins with a video of CSU East Bay members picketing on March 2 in front of the campus library, where a bargaining session was in progress. It goes on to feature dozens of photos of actions at CSUEB and the Office of the Chancellor, along with images of members across the state holding handwritten signs describing what a fair contract means to them.

Check it out, along with other CSUEU slide shows posted quarterly for the last several years:

Sonoma State Staffer Wins Asbestos Whistleblower Case

In a case sure to resonate across all CSU campuses, a Sonoma County jury has returned a verdict supporting the claims of a former CSUEU member at Sonoma State University who says he was subjected to harassment and retaliation for sounding alarms about issues that included handling of asbestos-containing materials in one of several older buildings on campus.

Chapter 304 President Gina Voight, Steward (former Chief Steward) Michael Hazen, Steward Vyacheslav Fedotov (Slava), and member Thomas Johnson were among several CSUEU members who testified in support of whistleblower Thomas Sargent, speaking out against unsafe conditions at Sonoma State. 

As described in a March 15 Press Democrat article, a civil jury determined that Sargent’s refusal to stay quiet about valid workplace safety concerns resulted in such intolerably hostile work conditions that he was effectively forced from his job as campus environmental health and safety specialist.

Further, based on the findings of numerous OSHA violations, CSUEU members and colleagues who were exposed to asbestos in Stevenson Hall may be entitled to compensation. 

Read the Press Democrat article.

State Democrats Unveil Sweeping Student Financial Aid Plan

On March 13, California lawmakers proposed what would be the most generous college aid plan in the nation, covering tuition and living expenses. The plan would supplement California’s existing aid programs with the aim of eradicating the need for student loans for nearly 400,000 students in the CSU and University of California systems.

Read a March 13 Los Angeles Times article with further details.

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 March 9 edition depicted the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at CSU San Bernardino. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary next month, this 34,000-square-foot facility features many environmentally friendly advances, including elliptical trainers (stationary machines simulating climbing, walking, or running) that generate electricity helping to power the building.

And get this: all CSUSB staff members are now invited to join the center for free! As explained in a recent campus memo, the Employee Wellness Program gives all CSUSB faculty and staff complimentary access to the center’s gym, aquatics center, climbing wall, free weights, aerobic equipment, and group exercise classes. For details, contact the center’s administrative coordinator, Andrea Okoh.

The winners this week:

  • Glenn Alejandro and Lily Legarda, CSU Northridge Chapter 312
  • Arlene Castillo, San Diego State Chapter 318
  • Lori Inarda, Cal Poly Pomona Chapter 319
  • Riki Hernandez, CSU Channel Islands Chapter 324

Congratulations to all!

Today in History

March 25, 1911: A total of 146 workers are killed in a fire at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a disaster that would launch a national movement for safer working conditions.

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

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