Cindy Chavez for Mayor

October 31, 2006

Cindy Chavez at SJSU

Cindy Chavez For Mayor of San Jose
In the coming election I urge my friends and members of the University Community to vote for Cindy Chavez for Mayor of San Jose. In my opinion she has repeatedly proved to be a friend of working people and members of the campus community. She supported us in getting the traffic light at the corner of 9th and San Fernando and I think she will be a great mayor for our city.


Staff union has Tentative Agreement with CSU

October 31, 2006

Tentative Agreement Reached with CSU – 15% package over three years

E-mail from Union HQ (Posted on union Web Site here) — The CSUEU bargaining team is pleased to announce that we reached a Tentative Agreement with the CSU late on Friday, October 27. We plan to make the entire tentative agreement after November 8, and ratification packets will be sent to members shortly thereafter.

The short story is that the economic package totals 15% over three years (divided between GSI, SSI, and Market Salary increases) with no take-aways in benefits. The SSI cap will be moved upwards by 5% each year over the next three years, making step increases available to nearly two thousand employees who have been frozen at the top of their SSI maximum range. There will be some parking fee increases on some campuses where employees have not been paying the same fees as students. However, no increases will go into effect on any campus until after parking fees are implemented for faculty. The increase is limited to $3, $6, and $9 respectively over the next three years on affected campuses. On campuses where students pay more than staff, the CSU had been demanding that staff pay increases of $10 per month the first year, $15 per month the second year, and then increases to whatever fees students are paying in the third year. CSUEU was able to hold the CSU to a much more gradual increase. We will also be addressing a few campuses in the first year of the contract after this one.

More information about the Tentative Agreement will be coming soon.

Update from Vera
In the previous version of this post I just posted what I received in an e-mail from headquarters. It seems that may have not been 100 percent accurate. Vera, who is on the negotiating team, sent this out, “We have a “Conceptual Agreement” with the CSU. We have not TA’d the contract as of yet. The bargaining team will meet again up in Sacramento on November 8th to clear up some items still outstanding.”

Thanks Vera!

More Clark Hall Safety Concerns

October 30, 2006

Why do we have to file grievances to get safe working, teaching and learning conditions? Why is safety not just something that happens by default at SJSU? After many complaints I just filed a grievace cosidering what I feel are unsafe conditions in the Academic Success Center in Clark Hall. I am frustrated issues have not been properly addressed by San Jose State University, including the following:

  • Lack of visible and appropriate sineage regarding exit routes for emergency egress from the stage area of Clark Hall.
  • Lack of training by a knowledgeable party for appropriate emergency evacuation procedures from the Clark Hall, ASC.
  • Lack of appropriate sineage for the glass doors in Clark Hall.
  • Difficult procedures for unlocking the glass doors in Clark Hall.

I do not understand how this facility was able to be opened without these issues being addressed in the first place.

There and back again

October 29, 2006

Sun over the Pacific

I am home from LA
It was a short trip to the communications committee meeting in LA, less than 36 hours total. Some people make trips like this all the time and for them it is routine. For me it was a bit disorienting. I do not like flying in airliners. It is not the flying that bothers me, it is the security. When you fly you agree to submit to it. I do, but I resent it. I feel as though I am a prisoner in some kind of police state. That is the bargain we make in order to fly. Given my druthers, I rather drive if I can. But, this trip I couldn’t.

Dedication: Russell Kilday-Hicks

October 25, 2006

Russell Kilday Hicks

Russell Kilday-Hicks
Russell Kilday-Hicks, from SFSU, is one of the great folks in our union who is a living example of dedication and love of our cause. His perspiration and perseverance is an enduring symbol of what it means to be dedicated, I mean really dedicated, to the union. I admire him very much. He is a hero, in my opinion.

I am in training this week

October 19, 2006

I am in training at Apple
My training continues through the end of the week. This training is on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. It is part of the Apple certification track. I applied for, and was funded for, this training through a lottery grant. In my opinion we should be trained on all the software we support. We should not have to apply for training and hope we get funded for it through a lottery grant. As it is now, we staff members still have to provide technical support to faculty and students whether we are funded and are trained or not. I think the cost of not training our support staff is higher than the cost of training them. It is my opinion that trained employees are more productive and more likely to do the job right than employees who are not trained. So, training is good. Some folks say we can’t afford training. I say we can’t afford the mistakes being untrained leads to.

University Staff Pay vs. Inflation

October 18, 2006

Raises vs. Inflation