CFA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE SPECIAL REPORT
"GOLDEN HANDSHAKE" UPDATE
OCTOBER 10, 2002

TRUSTEES AND STATE MUST APPROVE GOV. DAVIS "GOLDEN HANDSHAKE"

As reported in previous CFA-GRO reports, a recently issued executive order by Governor Gray Davis gives the CSU Board of Trustees authority to offer an early retirement incentive to faculty and staff. Before being available to CSU employees, however, it must be endorsed by the CSU Board of Trustees and subject to approval by the state Department of Finance to confirm whether the CSU would accrue sufficient budget savings from offering the new benefit.

If approved by the Trustees and the Department of Finance, the "golden handshake" would give CSU employees over the age of 55 who retire early an additional two years of service credit, and would only be available to employees who retire within a 60-day period between December 3, 2002 and February 1, 2003.

CalPERS has confirmed the two years of service credit "golden handshake" could NOT be used in conjunction with the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP), since they are two distinct retirement options. Thus, the "golden handshake" would simply be an alternative to FERP but not an additional benefit.

CFA President Susan Meisenhelder has been in contact with the Chancellor's Office, and despite the administration's earlier claims that Davis's executive order did not apply to the CSU, they now agree that CSU employees would be eligible pending Trustees and Department of Finance approval.

CFA has submitted a "meet and confer" request to the CSU administration to negotiate the Governor's "golden handshake" proposal. Additionally, the issue is being discussed this week via a conference call of the CFA Board of Directors and Chapter Presidents with further discussions occurring at next week's CFA Delegate Assembly.

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