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The Union Advance

Cerro Coso College * Bakersfield College * Porterville College

Fall 2012, Issue 5

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Message from Lora Larkin about Health Plan Changes

Your faculty negotiators have been working tirelessly to get the District negotiating team to meet to discuss clarifying in writing the implementation and calculation of the alternative health plan changes to our current collective bargaining agreement (as opposed to giving authority to the Chief Financial Officer as your election forms stated).

We have been negotiating the particulars of the changes to our health plan since May and made our original request to demand to bargain on August 13th. We met to present our proposed changes with the District's attorney on September 14th. On September 24th we formally requested to meet again for negotiations but were told to further discuss our need for written clarification of the health plan changes at the Fringe Benefits meeting on October 2nd.

Though the faculty retirees and CSEA committee members agreed to the need for written clarification, Abe Ali stated that he and Tom do not see a need to change the current contract language or the language that was included in the faculty alternative health plan election forms. He also stated that the District negotiators refuse to meet, and we either accept giving authority to the CFO to decide when to implement the employee contributions (payroll deductions) or the District will not offer the alternative health plan and faculty and retirees will remain on the current 100(C)-1 health plan. So much for collective bargaining!

Tom Burke stated that given the current delay of reports provided by SISK and therefore himself, along with the agreement from Abe Ali that faculty would receive a 30-day notice, the soonest faculty would be expected to contribute to their health plan is December 1st. Negotiators are looking at meeting with the Chancellor the end of this month for further clarification. Faculty will continue to be aggressively represented by their negotiators on this matter and will keep everyone apprised of any changes in negotiations. Thank-you to those of you who have continued to provide your support to the faculty association.

Lora Larkin
KCCD CCA Bakersfield College Chair
Chief Negotiator

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Are You Registered to Vote?

If you haven’t registered to vote already, it’s not too late: Your registration must be postmarked or submitted electronically no later than Oct. 22.


While folks from lands all over the world – Syria, Pakistan, Pennsylvania – are fighting over voting rights, it’s never been easier to register to vote in California. The state has even set up a website this year – http://registertovote.ca.gov/ – where voters looking to register can get started.


While your application still has to be verified by county elections officials before you make it on to the voter rolls, online registration makes it easier to make sure your voice is heard in this election.


(http://www.calfac.org/headline/just-two-weeks-left-register-vote-register-online-today retrieved 10/12/12)

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Vote YES on 30 - 
Our Schools Need New Revenue!

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California ranks #47 in per-pupil funding.

In the past four years, more than $20 billion has been cut from public education in California.  We rank 47th in the nation in per-student funding and now have the largest class sizes in the country.  This year an additional $8 billion in new cuts are being proposed.  And without new revenue, an additional $6 billion will be cut from public education. 

It’s time to invest in our common future and put California back on track.
CTA stands with the Governor in support of Proposition 30, the “Schools and Public Safety Protection Act”. It is the only funding initiative that takes care of the whole state by closing the budget deficit and paying down the state’s wall of debt, while providing billions for public schools and essential services. It does not raise income taxes on the poor or middle class.

Prop 30 is a tax on millionaires that asks the richest Californians to pay their fair share to help fund public education and other essential services.

YesOnProp30.com:

The California Highway Patrol has endorsed Prop. 30, adding to the widespread support from public safety, education, business and labor groups throughout California. . . .

"CHP Joins Education and Other Groups: Prop. 30 Critical for Public Safety"

The Sacramento Bee:

"Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 would raise income taxes on single filers earning $250,000 or more, and joint filers earning $500,000, generating $5 billion a year.  The governor's proposal faces competition from Proposition 38, by wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger.  California's fiscal house remains shaky. There is massive debt and immense need. Proposition 30 offers a way for the state to start climbing out of its pit. It's not ideal. But it is the best available option. . . ."

"'Yes' on Jerry Brown's Prop. 30; 'No' on Munger's Prop. 38"

The Los Angeles Times

"Barring a miraculously speedy turnaround in the economy, the budget will remain far out of balance for the next several years unless Sacramento raises revenue or cuts spending by a draconian $6 billion annually.  Proposition 30, Brown's proposal for a temporary increase in income and sales taxes, would fill that hole. Proposition 38, a proposed income tax hike backed by civil rights attorney Molly Munger and the California PTA, would not. The Times urges a yes vote on Proposition 30. . . ."

"YES on Proposition 30; NO on Proposition 38"

The San Diego Union Tribune:

"Prop. 30 asks California’s wealthiest to pay a little more for seven years so that the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden. Under Prop. 30, families making below $500,000 a year will pay no additional income taxes. Yes, the measure calls for a temporary one-quarter of one percent increase for four years, but even with the increase, our sales taxes will be lower than they were last year. . . ."

"Prop. 30 Invests in Education, Economy"

Santa Maria Times:

"Lucia Mar Unified Teachers Association President Donna Kandel said Prop. 30 is necessary to fend off catastrophic cuts to public education.  'If Prop. 30 fails, we can look forward to more cuts, layoffs, bigger class sizes and furlough days — perhaps better described as education-free days,' Kandel said. 'Prop. 30 is a reasonable solution to keep our schools afloat' . . . .”

"Local Administrators, Employees Back Prop. 30"

SFGate.com:

"Libraries a Target as Budget Cuts Hit Hard;
More Evidence that Prop 30 Is Needed to Stave off Further Decimation"

"The 4,000 students at James Logan High School in Union City are starting the school year without access to the aisles of books and computers sitting in a darkened room, unused, as the year begins without a fully functioning library due to budget cuts. . . ."

Contra Costa Times:

"San Fernando Valley's Community College Leaders Detail
'Devastating Effect' of a Prop. 30 Failure"

"'We're not innovating. Right now, we're eliminating,' Anna Davies, vice president of academic affairs, said. 'Many students are falling through the cracks. They're either going to work as an alternative to school. Or they're just waiting for school because they can't find work. We'll feel the impact of this for years to come' . . . ."

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Vote NO on 32 - 
Stand Against Special Exemptions

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What is Proposition 32?

Proposition 32 supporters call it the "Stop Special Interest Money Act." They claim it's a balanced reform that will get big money out of Sacramento.  But their claims don't add up. That's why newspapers across California are urging their readers to Vote No on 32.

Get the full list of newspapers opposing Proposition 32.
 

Proposition 32 is Not What it Seems

Special Exemptions for Super PACs, billionaires, and thousands of big businesses. . . .

Prop 32 supporters claim the law will limit big campaign spending from all sides.  But the reality is that it would restrict everyday Californians from coming together to have a voice in elections while creating massive special exemptions for the same groups funding the campaign.

Prop 32 exempts thousands of big businesses, which aren't technically "corporations," but rather "LLCs" or "real-estate trusts" or any other form of business structure. This includes hedge funds, big Wall Street firms, insurance companies, and thousands of other business entities.

Prop 32 creates special exemptions for secretive Super PACs, allowing them to continue spending unlimited amounts of secret money to influence California elections.

See a side-by-side comparison of what Prop 32 says, and what it would really do.
 

Proposition 32 is Backed by Wealthy Special Interests

It shouldn't be a surprise that the groups exempted from Prop 32 are the same people funding the campaign.
An out-of-state Super PAC with direct connections to the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove has already spent more than $4 million supporting Prop 32.  That kind of shadowy, secret campaign spending will be the law of the land if Prop 32 passes.  It's also supported by the right-wing Lincoln Club of Orange County, a driving force behind Citizens United.

Their top dozen donors have spent nearly $100 million trying to influence California elections in recent years.  That includes millions from radical social conservatives, big developers, oil executives, and Wall Street investors.  Do they sound like real reformers to you?

Learn more about the real people - and the real agendas - behind Prop 32.
 

Proposition 32 is Opposed by Real Reform Organizations

League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and California Clean Money Campaign say NO. . . .

Prop 32 supporters claim their initiative is a legitimate reform, but their campaign is funded by some of the biggest special interest spenders in California - and the nation.  So what are the real reformers saying?

From the League of Women Voters to Public Citizen, every serious government reform group in the state has come out against Proposition 32.  And none have come out in favor.  They all agree that while California elections are  badly in need of reform, Prop 32 is a deceptive measure that would make a bad system worse by giving its wealthy backers the keys to Sacramento.

 

from http://www.votenoon32.org

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Know Your Weingarten Rights


“If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:

    1. It can stop questioning until the representation arrives.
    2. It can call off the interview or,
    3. It can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to union representation (an option the employee should always refuse).”


Your dean calls you into her office, shuts the door and asks you to sit down. She questions you about the way you handled a certain situation and begins to make accusations. You start to feel anxious and begin to wonder whether you could face disciplinary action.

Should you invoke your Weingarten Rights? The answer is yes, absolutely.

Based on the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) vs. Weingarten, union employees are entitled to have union representation at meetings with supervisors that are investigatory or that could lead to disciplinary action. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.

To invoke Weingarten Rights, a union member should say something like this: “If my response to your questions could lead to my being disciplined, I request union representation at this meeting, and that the meeting be postponed until my union representative arrives.” When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present, management has two options:

Employers will often assert that the only role of a union representative in an investigatory interview is to observe the discussion. The Supreme Court, however, clearly acknowledges a representative’s right to assist and counsel workers during the interview. The Supreme Court has also ruled that before an investigatory interview, management must inform the union representative of the subject of the interrogation. The representative must also be allowed to speak privately with the employee before the interview and at any time during the interview. During the questioning, the representative can interrupt to clarify a question or to object to
confusing or intimidating tactics. While the interview is in progress the representative cannot tell the employee what to say – but he or she may advise them on how to answer a question. At the end of the interview the union representative can add information to support the employee’s case.

Employees must demand their right to be represented in these investigatory interviews.

(Retrieved 10/12/12, CCA For Me, http://www.cca4me.org/chapters_members/index.html)

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More News & Events: CCA, CTA, NEA, with other public employee groups.