CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE SPECIAL REPORT
GOVERNOR SIGNS SB 1212, VETOES AB 1081, CFA-SPONSORED BILLS
October 15, 2001
**GOVERNOR SIGNS SB 1212, VETOES AB 1081, CFA-SPONSORED BILLS
**DAVIS TAKES ACTION ON OTHER CFA-SUPPORTED LEGISLATION
**GOVERNOR SIGNS CFA-SUPPORTED STUDENT MEASURES
**GOVERNOR ‘S CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN
**GRO REPORT IN RECESS
GOVERNOR SIGNS SB 1212, VETOES AB 1081, CFA-SPONSORED BILLS
The California Faculty Association won a major victory on October 12 when
Governor Gray Davis signed into law CFA-sponsored SB 1212 (Romero). The
bill protects the due process rights of CSU faculty and prohibits the CSU
Administration from proposing contract provisions that would weaken faculty
grievance rights and tenure protections. Davis signed SB 1212 despite
opposition letters from the CSU Board of Trustees and personal phone calls
from CSU Chancellor Charles Reed to the Governor. A few members of the
Governor's cabinet, and the powerful Department of Finance also opposed the
bill. The Department of Finance incorrectly, we believe, estimated costs as
high as $1 million to the CSU if SB 1212 were enacted. Our champion, as
always, was Senator Gloria Romero, the author of SB 1212 along with help
from several key members of the Governor's staff noted below.
The CSU Administration mounted a year-long campaign in the legislature,
orchestrated by highly paid contract lobbyists, in an all-out effort to
defeat SB 1212. Chancellor Reed and members of the CSU Board of Trustees
even got into the act, placing multiple phone calls to the Governor in a
last ditch effort to defeat the bill. However, the CSU's campaign against
SB 1212 was based on fabrications and phony assertions. Their most creative
claim was that the SB 1212 would provide a “backdoor” out of merit pay.
Given the technical complexities of the bill, that strategy had some
important legislators worried that we might be tricking them. So, we
amended the bill to insure that it had nothing to do with merit pay and
everything to do with tenure and due process.
In his signing message, the Governor recognized the importance of academic
freedom. Governor Davis wrote “Tenure is a well established principle at
our institutions of higher learning.” In a worthless appeasement to the
Chancellor, the Governor's signing message included the statement, “I am
pleased to see that this bill also protects the concept of merit pay which I
support in education.”
Chancellor Reed, of course, is infamous for starting Florida Gulf Coast
University, which is currently experimenting with an alternative to tenure.
And the CSU Administration has a proposal currently on the bargaining table
in discussions with CFA , which would remove a faculty member's right to
arbitrate tenure decisions.
CFA wishes to recognize Steve Smith, Director of the State Department of
Industrial Relations, and Bill Lloyd the Governor's Labor Director for their
efforts on CFA's behalf, and the participation of numerous labor
organizations that coalesced with CFA to gain the Governor's signature. CFA
especially extends its gratitude to Marty Morgenstern, Director of the State
Department of Personnel Administration, for his tireless efforts and
persistent advocacy in support of SB 1212.
After a year long, hard fought effort to get the bill on his desk, Governor
Davis vetoed CFA's other sponsored measure, AB 1081 (Nation), that would
have allowed CSU lecturers teaching a 40 percent load to be eligible for
CalPERS retirement benefits. The CSU Administration opposed the bill. Last
year, CFA successfully sponsored a similar measure that the Governor signed
which allows half-time lecturers to be eligible for CalPERS medical
benefits. However in his veto message on AB 1081, the Governor stated that
he was concerned the CFA legislation "would result in pressure to provide
similar benefits to other CalPERS members" by reducing the currently applied
"half-time" requirement to 40 percent. Davis was also feeling budget
pressures that could have resulted from AB 1081 in light of the state's
current fiscal crisis. However, CFA has already contacted the bill's author,
Assemblymember Joe Nation, who intends to re-introduce this issue next
legislative session by defining the half-time requirement as a six unit
load, thus circumventing any concerns associated with the "40 percent"
workload definition. We want to thank Assemblymember Nation for his
continued support in this important bill for lecturers.
DAVIS TAKES ACTION ON OTHER CFA-SUPPORTED LEGISLATION
Governor Davis signed into law CFA-supported AB 25 (Migden), which
significantly expands the legal rights for domestic partners. Under AB 25,
domestic partners who are registered with the Secretary of State's office
will have the right to make important medical decisions, sue for wrongful
death, adopt their partner's children, and relocate with their partner
without losing unemployment benefits. Additionally, domestic partners will
also be entitled to certain inheritance, conservatorship, sick leave, and
employment rights typically reserved for married couples.
Davis also signed into law CFA-supported SB 40 (Alarcon), which increases
maximum weekly unemployment benefits over three years to $380, and indexes
future benefit increases to a percentage of the average weekly wage. Prior
to SB 40's enactment, the maximum weekly unemployment benefits were $230.
The national poverty level for a family of three is around $281 per week.
Governor Davis vetoed another important CFA-sponsored bill, SB 71 (Burton),
which would have increased worker's compensation benefits. SB 71 was
strongly supported by labor groups and may prompt a statewide initiative to
reform the state worker's compensation system.
GOVERNOR SIGNS CFA-SUPPORTED STUDENT MEASURES
CFA-supported AB 521 (Koretz), sponsored by the California State Student
Association, was signed by Governor Davis and will require state colleges
and universities to adopt policies to regulate credit card marketing
practices on the campuses. Additionally, Davis signed AB 540 (Firebaugh)
that allows long-term residents, regardless of their citizenship status, to
pay resident fees at the CSU and community colleges. To be eligible,
students must have earned a California high school degree (or equivalency)
after attending a state high school for at least three years.
GOVERNOR'S CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN
Under the banner "Help Save the CSU," 15 women from CFA collected 1200
signatures in support of CFA's efforts to protect the quality of education
at the CSU at last week's "Governor's Conference for Women." Attendees took
notice of CFA's presence with its prominent booth, an eye-catching banner,
buttons, and billboard materials. CFA wishes to thank all the women who
volunteered to make this event so successful. During the conference, CFA
Vice-President Lillian Taiz from CSU, Los Angeles cornered Governor Gray
Davis and made a final push for SB 1212 and AB 1081 that were still pending
on his desk at the time.
GRO REPORT IN RECESS
This will be the final CFA-GRO weekly report until the Legislature
reconvenes in January 2002. However, the GRO office will issue Special
Reports as needed until the weekly updates resume. If you have any
questions, contact CFA Legislative Director David Hawkins at (916) 441-4848,
or e-mail the GRO office at .
A reminder: per the information provided in last week's GRO report, please
forward any 2002 CFA-sponsored legislative proposals to or
by fax at (916) 441-3513 as soon as possible.
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