Steve's GC Summary
Last Labor Day weekend, I attended the 2012 CSEA (California State Employees Association) General Council at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.
Our Chapter President, Pete Rauch, and I served as our campus’ official delegates; Debbie Blair, our treasurer, attended as a non-voting alternate. Close to 900 delegates and alternates from the entire state attended, representing the four independent member unions: SEIU (Service Employees International Union), representing most of the state civil service employees; the state supervisors union; CSEA Retirees (from all 4 unions); and our own CSUEU.
The atmosphere was overwhelming with such a large convention. Luckily, the veteran organizers and hotel staff did an admirable job with the sound and video systems (which, of course, I appreciated), and keeping the agenda on schedule. The key proposition on the agenda was the first dealt with:
Should CSEA cease as an entity with elected president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer and, instead, authorize 2 leaders from each of the 4 member unions to serve as directors? The vast majority of CSUEU’s delegates (including myself) favored the measure. We listened to arguments pro and con before voting on the controversial issue. Although a majority (about 60%) voted in favor, unfortunately, a super majority (67%+) was required. A repeat vote tally made the election even more disputed and frustrating. The highlight of the election was the victory of every officer that I voted for. The newly elected president, Marilyn Ferrasci-Hamilton, a feisty, dynamic veteran retiree and union leader, and vice president, CSUEU’s own Russell Kilday-Hicks from S.F. State, join excellent re-elected secretary-treasurer David Okumura for 3 year terms and will do a fine job. Here’s the link to the official CSEA report:
However, the next major measure we voted on was a decent compromise on the budget strains of holding such a huge convention every 3 years. We voted to reduce the number of delegates by close to 50%, thereby saving almost 50% on future conventions. We advocates of the CSEA transformation are optimistic that we will obtain a super majority at the next convention.
Overall, the convention was a great opportunity to meet with delegates from other unions as well as from other campuses throughout California to discuss common and different issues. We also learned how important the upcoming November election will be for us with Propositions 30 (endorsed by us) and 32 (opposed by us). I urge you to ask all of your neighbors, friends, and relatives to vote YES on Prop. 30 and NO on Prop. 32.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding General Council or the state employee-related propositions on the ballot, please contact me.
--Steve Wiener, Unit 9 Rep, x8662