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CSUEU E-News: September 1, 2017

Contract Extended to Sept. 20, 2017

The CSUEU Bargaining Team met with CSU management for two days this week and both sides have agreed to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement to Sept. 20.

For those keeping track, we are now in the 9th Month of bargaining. While moderate progress has been made at the table, the fact is that management has not done enough to meet our core concerns: We are underpaid and the current salary schedule will continue to keep us underpaid.

That is why we are standing firm for a healthy, robust, and guaranteed movement through the salary range. Management’s attempt to dismantle the In-Range Progression (IRP) by abolishing the ability of individual employees to request IRPs is not acceptable!

We are also fighting to address the following issues: Protecting our benefits; providing promotional growth opportunities; and ensuring that our work is not contracted out.

We need members to be engaged and to be willing to fight for what is right!

AUDIT WAS A GOOD START

We see all around us evidence that the CSU’s lack of accountability and transparency has produced a system of bloated management that does not prioritize student services or staff development. But the heat is on now that the state audit confirms that management’s priority is rewarding management.  Read Under Pressure, CSU Execs Struggle to Justify Poor Budget Practices.

We are demanding a fair contract because student success is dependent on quality education and services and we are a critical chain in that link. An investment in frontline staff is an investment in our students and our future.

What can you do? Talk to co-workers about the importance of joining the Union and standing strong together.

Next week bargaining will resume at San Jose State University on Wednesday (9/6) and Thursday (9/7). We need a member-delegation to welcome our Bargaining Team and give them a boost. Let’s show management we are One Union, One Voice!

Are you in?

WHERE: San Jose State University Cesar Chavez Plaza
WHEN: 9/6 and 9/7 – 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
CONTACT FOR INFO: Neil Jacklin, VP for Organizing (209) 620-3096

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CSU Benefits Open Enrollment Sept. 11- Oct. 6

It’s that time of year to review your health care benefits and options.

Through our negotiated contract, CSU provides a variety of benefits to help protect your health, well-being and income. Upon meeting eligibility requirements, some benefits are provided automatically and at no cost to you while others allow you to elect and contribute toward the cost. This allows you to choose the benefits that best meet your needs and lifestyle.

From Sept. 11 to Oct. 6, you can enroll, change or cancel benefit plans. Any changes made during Open Enrollment will become effective Jan. 1, 2018. If you are uncertain which benefits apply to you, check with your campus benefits office.

Full details on health plans are available at www.calpers.ca.gov. CalPERS Health Plan Statements can be accessed through your personalized my|CalPERS account at my.calpers.ca.gov.

This online statement will allow you 24/7 access to view and/or print your customized health enrollment information. It will also provide you with direct access to all CalPERS Open Enrollment information.

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CSUEU Endorses David Miller for CalPERS At-Large Position (Seat A) and Michael Bilbrey (Seat B-incumbent)

When it comes to protecting your pension and health care benefits, there are few elected positions more important than a seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration.  CSUEU strongly endorses David Miller for the CalPERS Member-at-Large Position A seat that is being vacated by incumbent JJ Jelencic and Michael Bilbrey for his current seat A.  If you value your defined benefit pension and affordable health care, David Miller and Michael Bilbrey are your clear choices.  On September 1, CalPERS will mail election ballots to you and all CalPERS members.  This year, for the first time, you will be able to vote by mail, online or by phone but must do so by October 2.  CSUEU urges you to VOTE for David Miller and Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS when ballots go out in September.

About David Miller

When it comes to protecting your pension and health care benefits, there are few elected positions more important than a seat on the CalPERS Board of Administration.  CSUEU strongly endorses David Miller for the CalPERS Member-at-Large Position A seat that is being vacated by incumbent JJ Jelencic and Michael Bilbrey for his current seat A.  If you value your defined benefit pension and affordable health care, David Miller and Michael Bilbrey are your clear choices.  On September 1, CalPERS will mail election ballots to you and all CalPERS members.  This year, for the first time, you will be able to vote by mail, online or by phone but must do so by October 2.  CSUEU urges you to VOTE for David Miller and Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS when ballots go out in September. 

Miller is a Senior Environmental Substances Scientist at the Department of Toxic Substances Control.  He is a long-time union member and has twice served as his union’s statewide president.  Miller holds a BS degree in Biochemistry and an MBA in International Finance from the University of Pittsburgh.   He is a longtime Member of the Board of Examiners and Lead Senior Examiner of the California Awards for Performance Excellence (CAPE) and a Master Examiner for American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living National Quality Award Program.

When elected, David Miller has pledged to put the interests of all CalPERS members – employees and retirees – first.  That’s what he’s done for 25 years as a union member and leader.  David Miller was a co-founder of Californians for Retirement Security, the broad coalition formed in 2005 to fight back against the nonstop attacks on public employees and our pensions.  He was on the front lines opposing ex-Governor Wilson’s raids on CalPERS, he strongly backed Prop. 162 (The Pension Protection Act), and has spoken out repeatedly in the media against the countless anti-pension ballot proposals we have faced.

About Michael Bilbrey

REAL EXPERIENCE - Michael Bilbrey has the skills and experience to deal with investment, corporate governance, asset management, healthcare benefits and cost containment issues.

Positions:

  • CalPERS Board of Administration
  • At Large Seat B
  • 2011-13 served first partial term
  • 2014-17 successfully serving first full term
  • 2018-22 seeking reelection for the new term

CalPERS Committees

  • Performance, Compensation and Talent Management, Chair (current)
  • Pension & Health Benefits, Vice Chair (current)
  • Board Governance (current)
  • Investment (current)
  • Finance & Administration (previous)
  • Risk & Audit (previous)

Leadership Experience

  • Member of the Committee on Workers' Capital, an international network for dialogue and action on the responsible investment of workers’ capital.
  • Member of the California Trustee Network
  • Member of the Harvard Trustee Leadership forum
  • Served as a statewide leader for classified school employees for more than 25 years.
  • Former President of the California School Employees Association, representing more than 230,000 classified employees in California’s public schools, community colleges and local public agencies.
  • Served as CSEA Investment Committee Chair, managing a multi-million-dollar investment portfolio.
  • Holds an MBA degree and has been trained in pension oversight and investment.

Visit bilbrey4calpers.com for more information.

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EUREKA! CSU’s “Outside Accounts” Hold Billions of Dollars

One day after CSU executives were grilled by state legislators questioning the Chancellor Office’s budgeting process and its lack of transparency and accountability, the CSU finally responded with some numbers. And they are staggering.

Read the CSU response here.

Don’t have time for six pages of management gobbledygook? Here’s the highlights:

As of June 30, 2017, one outside account had a balance of $3.7 billion, of which $1.9 billion was unrestricted funds.

The CSU Parking fund has $191.5 million (dedicated to just parking operations).

What does this mean?

The CSU has misled us – and the public - year after year after year. They had the money they needed to get through furloughs, yet they took from frontline staff who work directly with students to help them succeed.

They have had the money for years for movement through the salary range; they would just rather use it for the hiring of a disproportionately large number of managers who receive a disproportionately large amount of pay.

How did we obtain this new intel? Because CSUEU members started digging when it was clear management was not going to work with our Bargaining Team toward a decent contract.

Our CSUEU legislative committee successfully obtained the state audit that uncovered so many red flags that warranted a special hearing on Aug. 23.  Read Under Pressure, CSU Execs Struggle to Justify Poor Budget Practices. 

The audit showed management growth in both head count and salary completely outpacing all other employee groups.  It also showed some abuses of MPP positions and MPPs getting raises without any performance evaluation.

While researching, we found another audit that showed a massive outside account that the CSU holds.  An outside account just means the Department of Finance doesn't have control over the account.  CSUEU approached legislators and demonstrated that the CSU had not done any of what the Finance Department suggested in terms of this outside account.  Those legislators sent a letter to the CSU asking very specific questions about the outside account the CSU is holding.

The $3.7 billion account can possibly be used for salary, CSU operations, etc. Even if management balks at using the fund to invest in frontline staff, let’s consider the interest that fund is accruing. We estimate in the neighborhood of $100 million every quarter. The CSU response raises more questions and our Bargaining Team will be following up!

Now is the time to show strength!

We need to be more unified than ever behind our Bargaining Team.  Participate in union events and activities.  If we are going to get a fair contract from an unfair employer, we all need to stick together and act as a team in our collective interest. 

Consider signing up to support our union's PAC.  CSUEU doesn't fund political activity from our dues money.  We depend on our members donating a couple of dollars a month to continue pursuing these types of political organizing in Sacramento.  Political Strength … Bargaining … Worksite Actions … These are the critical components for us to win!

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Celebration of Labor Day

Labor Day—this American holiday on the first Monday of September—generally marks the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, and—in certain circles—an arbitrary cut-off point for wearing white.  Most will celebrate the holiday with backyard BBQ’s, a long weekend at the beach or even a Labor Day picnic.  But few, if any of us stop to recognize the reason for this celebration. The Central Labor Union of New York held the first Labor Day celebrations on September 5 in 1882 and it became a federal holiday in 1894 as a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country.

So this weekend, while you are enjoying this last breath of summer and packing up the picnic basket, take a minute to acknowledge that you are part of the solidarity movement with workers all across this nation and remember….this weekend was brought to you by LABOR UNIONS!  For a listing of Labor Day activities in your area:
http://calaborfed.org/california-celebrates-labor-day-2017/

Please follow us on Facebook and post your best Labor Day Solidarity pictures .

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