The APC and CSU Bargaining Teams met last Monday, May 1st. The CSU chief negotiator reiterated that the CSU was not prepared to exchange any proposals which were deemed as a cost to the CSU until after the California Budget May Revise. This would include proposals on salary, pension, and benefits. That being said, the CSU did present five (5) proposals with the common denominator that each was a “take away” of employee and/or union rights. To quote the APC chief negotiator, Lee Norris, the CSU proposals push employee and union rights back 17 years!
1.) The CSU wants to extend the amount of time the campus can appoint an emergency temporary hire (without posting the position) from one hundred and twenty (120) days to one hundred and eighty days (180). During the last bargaining cycle APC agreed to double the amount of time for an emergency hire from sixty days (60) to the current one hundred and twenty days (120), yet the CSU wants an additional increase.
2.) The CSU proposes to delete the three (3) Non-Reimbursable Officer Leave positions from the contract, leave that Unit 4 employees paid for years ago through a deduction of their GSI. Many of you will remember that was a long hard fought battle with the two sides spending 22 months at the table. The CSU’s assertion that difficult times produce difficult negotiations in no way excuses their proposal to simply pocket Unit 4 employees’ money as if there was never an agreement.
3.) The CSU proposes to exempt Unit 4 employees in positions that are funded by “non-recurring” grants, contracts or special projects from the ability to become permanent no matter what length of time they have served in the position or what length of time the grant or contract has been extended. When questioned what CSU meant by “non-recurring,” CSU replied that this term was meant to cover all grants that either require re-application or for which continued funding is doubtful. CSU added that in the current climate, continued funding for all federal grants could be considered doubtful. In other words, CSU proposes to do away with permanency after four years for employees in positions that are funded through federal grants, including positions that have been continuously funded through such grants since the sixties. Again, you and your union have fought hard over the last several years to protect employees by decreasing the amount of time an employee could be considered “temporary.” Now the CSU wants to renegotiate that right to permanency again.
4.) The CSU proposes to make it more difficult for campus stewards to meet with Unit 4 employees by requiring the steward to first notify their supervisor in writing before they can use release time to meet with a grievant. And, even more egregious, the appropriate administrator can deny the use of that contractual release time. This is a direct assault on your stewards and their ability to help Unit 4 employees file grievances. The CSU also proposes that if a grievance form contains (in their opinion) missing information, it will be returned to the employee and if the employee fails to provide all of the information the CSU believes is relevant the grievance is considered withdrawn. So they are making the grievance process more arduous for employees and curtailing the freedom your campus stewards have to assist you.
5.) The CSU proposes that the campuses be allowed to limit, if they choose, the posting of Unit 4 positions to campus only applicants. At the same time they want to delete article 13.10 that allows any qualified Unit 4 employee who applies for a vacant position at any CSU campus to be considered by that campus president.
Unit 4 employees cannot sit back and allow the CSU to take back employee and union rights that were negotiated years ago simply because times are tough. Need we remind the CSU that when times were really tough, Unit 4 employees voted to furlough their own hours to keep the CSU running in the black. Need we remind the CSU there were several years where Unit 4 employees voted to receive no GSI at the same time
our share of employee health costs and parking rates were rising. Need we remind the CSU that each and every year of employment Unit 4 employees see a decrease in real dollars as a result of inflation. Yes it is early in the process and difficult to discern how bargaining will play out over the next few months but as Unit 4 employees we need to prepare ourselves to fight for a reasonable contract. The two negotiating teams are scheduled to meet again June 1st and 2nd.
APC Bargaining Team