CSUEU President Report June 2019
We continue to build on our Union’s warm relationship with Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis. Following her visit to San Marcos earlier this year, when she met with Chapter President Vanessa Vincente, Executive Board Officer Pete Rauch and local chapter leaders, the Lt. Governor has also sat down with the chapter leadership at Cal State LA and San Jose State. When possible, we make sure our local chapter leadership can meet and talk with her directly, so she can get to know us better. Our goal for these meetings is for the Lt. Governor, who is a CSU Board Trustee, to hear directly from us, the frontline Support Staff.
In April the legislative chair Vicky Mcleod, lobbyist David Bella-Hawkins, Catherine Hutchinson and I met with Joey Freeman Chief Deputy Legislative Affairs Secretary and Lande Ajose Senior Advisor on Higher Education at the office of Governor Gavin Newsome. We discussed and provided them with up-to-date information for AB369.
In May our Union-sponsored our bill to restore 5% salary steps to Support Staff enjoyed strong bipartisan support and was passed by the State Assembly with a 69-3 vote. Recently, our bill cleared the Senate Education Committee (5-1). We need to continue to push our members to submit personal letters to their Senators as the bill faces two more critical votes: Senate Appropriations Committee and then the Senate floor Vote.
In May, we had phenomenal success this year with our lobby efforts at the state Capitol. Our Legislative Committee is doing outstanding work all-around and building on efforts from previous years to hold the CSU accountable through state audits. The latest audit report once again shows serious mismanagement of public funds by the CSU. Our Union will continue to shine a spotlight on this issue.
VP for Representation Rocky Sanchez and others have held meet and confers with the CSU regarding statewide camera surveillance. We are adamantly opposed to having the surveillance technology be used as a “Big Brother” tactic for employee discipline. The meeting ended with the CSU declaring impasse after only 3 meetings, so we are challenging their position and will continue to honor the M/C process.
AB 119 – the Public Employee Orientation Law (NEO) has been in effect since June of 2017. The bargaining team continues to struggle with the CSU to get correct New Employee Orientation language in our contract.
CSU BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Catastrophic Leave Donations: In the aftermath of last year’s devastating wildfires, CSUEU leaders, Chico President Jessica Westbay, VP for Representation Rocky Sanchez and myself, have had many conversations with CSU leaders, trustees and Presidents to advocate for revisions of Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Article 4.2, Catastrophic Leave Donation Program. We recommended expanding the current catastrophic leave donation program, so employees from other campuses could donate their leave credits to those campuses designated as a natural disaster/state of emergency. With the encouragement of the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor, the Committee on University and Faculty Personnel have made the changes to the Catastrophic Leave Donation Program. We are appreciative that in this instance, labor and management collaborated successfully for the greater community good.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry has appointed me to serve on the Public Division Leadership Board; this brings our Union more visibility and will enhance our voice inside SEIU’s executive board decision-making process.
On April 26, Legislative Committee Chair Vicky McLeod and I traveled to Las Vegas to participate in SEIU’s National Forum on Wages and Working People convention. The forum included 6 democratic candidates running for Presidents.
Additionally, Vicky, along with Legislative Vice-Chair Sarah Schraeder and Pete Rauch attended the state Democratic Convention in San Francisco in May.
Following the resignation of Executive Director JoAnn Juarez-Salazar on May 8, the BOD approved hiring the consulting services of Margolies & Potterson to help with the search and selection of a new ED. The Board also authorized the creation of an ad-hoc Executive Director Search Committee consisting of executive officers, board of directors and staff. I have appointed the members of the committee and the Board is scheduled to vote on their concurrence during New Business. The consultant expects to have an ED in place by Dec. 1, 2019.
Administrative Staff Laura Cawthon is retiring in August after 7 years of service. We thank Laura for her many contributions to our Union and wish her a most happy retirement.
Cal-OSHA: We received an unannounced visit by Cal-OSH inspectors on April 11 regarding floor dust potentially affecting employees’ health. The air quality was checked for airborne particulates and passed. The landlord has been informed and is continuing to make repairs to the floors.
Communications Committee: Rob Garcia informed me in May that he would be stepping down as Committee Chair for health reasons. Rob was instrumental in introducing our Union to Constant Contact, a mass email system. Under his leadership, we consistently reached thousands of CSUEU-represented employees with important union updates. I have appointed Isabel Banuelos to chair the committee and Andrew Bowling and Jessica Dalton to fill the two vacancies on the committee. The Board will vote on their concurrence during New Business.
Chapters’ 511 Release Time: A huge thanks to chapters who stepped up and helped our Union cover the costs of holding this weekend’s Board meeting. We received 537 hours of donated chapter release time. This is a huge cost savings, so thank you, All, very much.