State of the Union
From CSUEU President Neil Jacklin
Dear Presidents, CSUEU Represented Employees and Staff:
Our Union kicked off the New Year by ratifying a new contract with three annual 3% salary increases and a one-time $650 bonus for each represented employees. Not a bad start for 2018. But there is much more to be done, and I am confident that our union's leadership team - working hand-in-hand with our energized membership and talented staff - will be able to tackle and achieve whatever we set our sights on.
My goal is to inform and involve each one of you with an open line of communication to maximize our strengths, so that we can move our Union forward together in solidarity. We are currently working on many projects on behalf of CSUEU members. Here is some of the important work under way.
As the Vice President of Representation, Rocky Sanchez will implement a new online system to re-certify existing stewards. We are migrating to a new and more robust system to manage the online steward training. We are also choosing campus locations for in-person steward trainings. Online and in-person steward trainings are estimated to roll out in March.
Legislative Committee Update
Our Legislative Committee has been making impressive strides towards getting our members' voices heard at the State Capitol. In 2017, with the support of Assembly Member Shirley Weber, the CSU was audited and faced a special hearing on management accountability. Legislators questioned the CSU's bloated management, excessive compensation packages for managers and campus budgets with no oversight. Also, CSUEU sponsored and Dr. Weber authored a bill - AB 1231 - that would restore step pay to all CSU represented employees. Last month, AB 1231 passed through the Higher Ed Committee, Appropriations Committee and the state Assembly with bi-partisan support.
In March, we will roll out a letter-writing campaign to pressure the Senate to pass AB 1231. In April, we will hold Lobby Days on the 16-17th to contact all legislative offices. During May and June, we will begin to meet with the Governor to advocate and present evidence in support of AB 1231. We hope to have the bill approved by the Senate in August and signed by the Governor by Oct. 30.
Our Vice President of Finance, Catherine Hutchinson, took the lead on this project. Our current headquarters building has been sold and is currently going through the escrow process; as such, we are looking for a new location. An ad-hoc committee was formed to work with a real estate broker to find a building that is suitable for our needs. CSEA is also in the process of looking for a building, and we may have an option to lease space from them.
Janus vs AFSCME
On Feb. 26, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case Janus vs AFSCME. At its essence, it is a lawsuit funded by Big Corporate Money to divide workers and weaken unions.
Backed by corporate interest groups, Mark Janus, a worker in Illinois, sued his union AFSCME claiming that a payment of "fair share" fees in return for union representation and other benefits violated his rights.
However the Court rules, Janus doesn't affect us if we stick together. A union means solidarity: We are all in it together. We all pay our fair share and we all benefit from what we win at the bargaining table, together.
At the next Board of Directors meeting in March, Elena Medina of SEIU will be presenting a PowerPoint presentation explaining how Janus will affect unions and how we can minimize the effects of losing fee payers.
Our Board of Directors has invested many hours working on budget scenarios for the ongoing success of our Union. The board is looking at ways CSUEU can tighten its belt, streamline efficiencies, and cut the cost of doing union business without cutting its services. We aim to provide the services that our members want as well as those we have come to depend on.
Also … something very exciting … We have updated our membership application to conform with the new standards based on the anticipated Janus decision. Very soon, fee payers and members can go online (www.csueu.org) to sign up to be members or recommit their membership. The process will be fully electronic - no downloading of PDFs.
Feb. 26 is a National Day of Action to show that workers will not be divided. CSUEU members are encouraged to join the many solidary breaks being staged at all the CSU campuses. Be sure to wear blue on that day!
Staff will have tool kits to distribute to Chapter Presidents after Feb. 26. These tool kits, called Conference Room Events (CREs), will provide information and tools to make sure our fee payers and members have a firm grasp of the challenges ahead and our plan to stay united.
Nancy Kobata, Chair of the Communications Committee, is leading a project to revamp our CSUEU website. She is working with her committee and with Steve Aunan, CSEA IT support to put a new face on the website. During the process, we have one of our members working to create a new logo to give our online presence a fresh, new look. Our new website should be ready for rollout in late February or March.
With the resignation CSUEU's former President, Pat Gantt, the Board of Directors has confirmed Neil Jacklin, who was our former VP for Organizing, to be our new CSUEU President. Likewise, the Board of Directors confirmed Pete Rauch, former Chapter 321 President, as our new Vice President for Organizing.
Steve Mottaz, the Chair of the Policy File Committee, is leading the committee to clarify language in Statewide Elections 602.00 before that election process starts in June. He is also reviewing sections 503 Division Dues and 504 Local Representation.
Nancy Yamada, our staff attorney, will retire in early March. During this transition period I will be asking the Board to approve the appointment of Scott Burns, Parliamentarian, to assist the Policy File Committee with any changes to our Bylaws and Policy file and to assist our Board of Directors during meetings.
The upcoming statewide elections for statewide union officers and bargaining team will be in-person. However, we are researching e-ballot to manage our elections in the future.
Chapter Elections are being held either by mail-in ballot from headquarters, or at the chapter and began on Dec. 16. Mail-in ballots were counted on Feb. 16 and 17 and the VP for Organizing will announce the results by Feb. 23. All chapter elections should be completed by Feb. 28.
General Council Elections
Nomination and consent forms went out to the membership for General Council elections on Dec. 15 and need to be returned to HQ by March 9. Ballots for GC Elections will go out to the membership on April 20th and will be due back in HQ by May 20 at 5 p.m. The results of GC elections will be announced on May 30 by the VP for Organizing.
In June, there will be an election for CSUEU's four Officers' positions.