It is about safety!

April 30, 2008

Skateboard hits ankle

It is about safety and health and not alternative transportation
In my opinion the recent change, by university president Don Kassing, to adopt a policy that allows the use of skateboards, razors and bicycles in the campus interior has the goal to encourage alternative transportation. This is good, in principle. But, I think this administration has been a bit too quick to decide and has let health and safety take a back seat to lofty goals and “good” principles. The end does not justify the means.

On the morning of Feb. 20, 2008 I was outside of Clark Hall taking pictures in the rain. A skateboarder scooted by and then he slipped and fell in front of me. His skateboard shot across the concrete and hit a pedestrian in the ankle. It was a glancing blow. The pedestrian was not injured. The fact nobody was hurt, this time, is not the point. It could have been more serious. What if the skateboard had hit a pedestrian more squarely? What if the pedestrian had been elderly or disabled.What if the pedestrian had tripped and been injured? That, in my opinion is what this is about. This is about the assumption of unneeded risk by the university and exposing the campus population to danger for the sake of lofty goals and “good” principles.

For employees, the university is a work place. Employees are entitled by law (and contract) to a safe work environment. Students are entitled to a safe campus. Folks with disabilities are entitled to have a university that is not made inaccessible by dangers, obstacles and trip hazards. Tax payers are entitled to have state agencies not take unnecessary risks and exposure to lawsuit for the sake of pursuing lofty goals and “good” principles. We cannot accept management using unsound means that threaten the safety and health of the people of the state of California.

Skateboarder is helped up

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[Copy of Grievance Here]


On Encouraging Alternative Transportation

April 28, 2008


We do need to find alternatives to fossil fueled based transportation, but we cannot sacrifice safety in the process. A friend of mine just had a close call today with a bicyclist riding his bike inside of Clark Hall. My friend said, “that was scary.”

If the university wants to encourage alternative transportation there are things that can be done, inexpensively like providing shower facilities to faculty and staff who ride their bikes to work.

In the short run, turning the campus into a free-for-all for bicyclists, skateboard riders and people using razors may seem like a cheap way to encourage alternative transportation, but that is not the case. Just wait until the first crash, until the first person gets hurt real bad and or killed and then sues the university. The university cannot plead ignorance. They have been warned. The staff employees union has filed a health and safety grievance and has provided the university with plenty of evidence about the hazardous conditions here. The entire campus is a job site for the people who work here and the university, under labor law, has a legal and a contractual obligation to provide a safe work place.

It is time for the university to stop taking the cheap way out and to get serious about encouraging alternative transportation. No solution that endangers the employees of the university and other campus community members is acceptable.

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[Copy of Grievance Here]

Did fatalities cause previous bike and skateboard bans?

April 24, 2008

Bicyclist on campus

Were previous bike and skateboard bans result of fatalities?
I have just been told the original motivation for the previous bicycle policies (PD 89-03 and PD 90-01) and the Chancellor’s Office’s Coded Memorandum BA 88-06 (which was cited in those policies, but not the new one) was two fatalities on CSU campuses that occurred as the result of bicycle vs. pedestrian collisions in the late 80’s. This needs to be investigated to be confirmed or refuted. I have copies of the previous presidential directives regarding the use of bicycles, skateboards and other human powered vehicles. The Chancellor’s Office’s Coded Memorandum BA 88-06 is mentioned in both of them, but not in president Don Kassing’s new policy, Presidential Directive, PD 2007-06.

Related Questions

  1. Why was mention of Chancellor’s Office’s Coded Memorandum BA 88-06 omitted in the new presidential directive?
  2. What is Chancellor’s Office’s Coded Memorandum BA 88-06?
  3. Are the reports of fatalities true?
  4. Was Chancellor’s Office’s Coded Memorandum BA 88-06 fulfilled, expired, superseded or annulled?

Safety First!
The overriding concern of the union is that the university is a workplace and the university has the responsibility inherent of all employers to provide safe working conditions. The legal and contractual responsibility of the university to provide safe working conditions overrides all other concerns in this matter.


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Grievance seeks bike ban at SJSU

April 22, 2008

Bicyclist riding out SJSU building

Grievance proposes bicycle & skateboard ban on campus A health and safety grievance is now awaiting a decision that asserts that the current policy (as well as its lack of enforcement) regarding the use of non-motorized vehicles (including bicycles & skateboards) in the internal areas of campus poses a threat to the safety of union represented university employees. The union is seeking the ban of the use of non-motorized vehicles in the internal areas of campus and proper enforcement of such a ban.

What is a grievance? A grievance is an allegation by the union, or a union represented employee, that the university has failed to abide by it’s contractual obligations. The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) is the union representing most staff employees at SJSU. The grievance process has a series of escalations including binding arbitration.

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SJSU Budget Forum Today

April 2, 2008

SJSU President Don W. Kassing, city of San José Councilmember Sam Liccardo, Academic Senate Chair Judith Lessow-Hurley and Benjamin Henderson, president of Associated Students, will be among the speakers at the budget forum, The CSU is the Solution, on Wednesday, April 2, from noon to 1 p.m., in the Student Union, Barrett Ballroom.

Plan to attend, get the facts about the state budget crisis and learn how we can take action to let lawmakers know the importance of the California State University system and the education it provides to students. The SJSU budget forum is one of a series of similar events being held on each CSU campus. More information.