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July 31, 2014
     
CSEA SEEKS MASSIVE TAKE-AWAYS
Updated On: Sep 19, 2013

September 18, 2013

Today, after months of fruitless bargaining, during which time AEU made significant movement on its initial demands, CSEA delivered a last, best offer, for a one year agreement loaded with unreasonable, arbitrary and unsupportable take-aways.  On Saturday, Sept 21st at 10:30 a.m. at the San Jose Hilton, the AEU membership will be presented with the CSEA offer, AEU’s bargaining demands, and a history of the bargaining process to date.

AEU has already filed several unfair practice charges with the NLRB arising from CSEA’s bargaining tactics.  After today’s action, more charges may be forthcoming.

A complete discussion of the misrepresentations, bad faith tactics and vile objectives of CSEA in bargaining shall be presented on Saturday.

All AEU members are urged to attend this very important meeting.

Prior to delivery of the last, best offer, CSEA distributed the following email from DFO Keith Pace to management and AEU represented employees. Without explanation, CSEA’s last, best offer eliminated what is identified as “Scenario #2” below. This suggests that CSEA’s bargaining position may be constructed for the purpose of obtaining a dues increase with its membership, and not a fair and reasonable collective bargaining agreement.

AEU’s corrections and comments to the Pace email below are denoted in bold italics.

From: Pace, Keith
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 10:38 AM
To: Department Heads; Field Operations Managers; Bilbrey, Michael
Subject: Bargaining Update

Over the past two days CSEA has been engaged in bargaining with AEU.  CSEA is represented by Patrick Prezioso, Michael Parks, Michael Clancy, Frank Polito, Jeff Kumataka, Chris Swanson, Denise Jensen, Brian Schroeder and myself.  AEU is represented by Attorneys Chris Platten and Carole Koenig and AEU members Scott Hendries, Karen Hartmann, Valerie Hollins and Debbie Pichetto.

The bargaining started off with CSEA requesting AEU’s counter proposal to CSEA’s last proposal made on May 29th during mediation.  AEU elected to revert back to its May 21st counter proposal to CSEA which they had submitted prior to mediationNot True. AEU prepared and delivered a modified proposal when bargaining began on September 16 at 1:40 p.m. AEU did not “revert back” to its May 21 counter proposal. The statement that AEU “elected to revert back” to a previous proposal either (a) displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the mediation process; or (b) is an intentional attempt to falsely accuse AEU of regressive bargaining.  As any negotiator should know, “proposals” discussed or floated in mediation are not official and, unless the parties agree otherwise during the mediation, the starting point after mediation is at the point where the parties were before mediation.  AEU’s proposal was as follows:

  1. Article 1 (Recognition and Bargaining Unit)  – AEU proposed restrictions on CSEA’s ability to utilize temporary workers.  AEU additionally proposed that workload serve as one of the reasons for the utilization of temporary workers. Misleading. AEU’s proposal seeks to protect the integrity of the bargaining unit by capping the number of temporary workers and filling vacancies.

  1. Article 10 (Leave of Absence) – AEU proposed changes in donated sick leave that would allow anyone who applies for donated sick leave to actually receive the leave over CSEA’s objection.  Not true. AEU proposed language that would keep the donated sick leave practice as it has been for more than two decades (i.e., employees who meet the established criteria are granted donated sick leave). It is CSEA that proposes to change the policy by insisting that management has the unilateral right to deny the use of donated sick leave to anyone for any reason, and that it has no obligation to provide any explanation whatsoever for the denial.  AEU additionally proposed the use of bereavement leave for the death of any individual regardless of whether they are a part of the employees immediate family. This is a misleading statement. AEU has proposed that employees be allowed to use only one day per year of the existing personal necessity days to attend the memorial service of a person other than those listed in the contract (such as an employee’s best friend). AEU has withdrawn its bereavement leave proposal. AEU withdrew this proposal in its package proposal of September 17 in an effort to reach an agreement. CSEA rejected this package proposal.

  1. Article 13 (Salary Schedule and Related Matters) – AEU proposed 4.5% salary increases for each year of the contract which is a total of 18% increase. This statement is misleading. AEU’s current proposal requests salary increases of 3% in the first two years (for a total of 6%) with a reopener in 2015 for the final two years of a four year contract. This proposal was handed to CSEA at 10:30 a.m. on September 17 (24 hours before this “update” was sent out by Keith Pace).

  1. Article 19 (Grievance Procedure) – AEU indicated the parties are very close on this article and wanted to confirm the final edits are agreeable.  CSEA has reviewed this Article and has agreed to all changes. A more accurate statement would be that both AEU and CSEA are in agreement that the written T.A. AEU presented to CSEA on September 17 accurately reflects the parties’ tentative agreement of May 21, 2013. The T.A. was signed off by the parties today, September 18.

  1. Article 22 (Insurance Plans) – AEU proposes that CSEA pick up the increase cost of benefits over the entire duration of the contract.  The cost of picking up benefits in year one is approximately $150,000.00.  AEU’s position is more accurately characterized as no cuts in Employer provided health benefits. However, in order to make progress toward an agreement, AEU proposed no cuts for the first two years (of a four year contract) and a reopener for the third and fourth years.

  1. Article 23 (Retirement Benefits) – AEU proposes CSEA restore the pension formula to 2.275 retroactively to June 1, 2011, restore the pension escalator provision from ages 60.25 to 65, lower the early retirement age to 55 and lower the normal retirement age to 60.  AEU’s full pensions restoration proposal for the 2013 plan year would be approximately $1.5 million to $2.0 million (equal to an 8.53% to 11.37% salary increase). Over the course of a three-year collectively bargained contract, the additional cash impact would be approximately $4.5million to $6.0 million (equal to a 25.7% to 34.2% salary increase). This is inaccurate. On September 17, AEU modified its proposal, withdrawing the provision on retroactive adjustments. In addition, CSEA has grossly exaggerated the fiscal impact of AEU’s pension proposal.   

  1. Article 26 (Transfers, Promotions and Demotion) – AEU proposes that a mandatory meeting take place if CSEA leaves a position vacant for longer than 30 days. Again, this is misleading. AEU has proposed that CSEA agree to meet about the impacts of a vacancy of more than 30 days only if AEU requests such a meeting. AEU proposed this language to address the workload problems many AEU members have expressed.

  1. Article 27 (Duration) – AEU has proposed a 4 year contract. This is an accurate statement!

  1. Article 30 (Reimbursed Expenses/Vehicle Policy, Bar Dues) – AEU has made several proposals in Article 30 dealing with increase in meal allowance, telephone allowance, meal times, and other matters currently addressed in CSEA Operating Procedure #6. This is only partially true. What CSEA omits is that it unilaterally changed the policy during the bargaining process.  AEU has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB as a result of this action and is awaiting the Board’s response.

  1. Article 33 (Member Intern Program) – AEU has agreed to all CSEA proposals on this Article with the exception of the provision that limits the mentors time to 12 weeks. Again, this is only partially true. A dispute that remains on this article over the 12 week limit for an AEU member to serve as a mentor.  What CSEA has conveniently left out is that, despite the fact that we were in the middle of bargaining on this very issue, CSEA unilaterally changed the policy, eliminating the 12 week limit and eliminating the voluntary nature of the assignment. AEU has filed an unfair practice charge with the NLRB based on this action and is awaiting the Board’s response.

CSEA has rejected all AEU proposals with the exception of what’s noted aboveThis is true. CSEA has consistently and repeatedly rejected AEU’s proposals, seldom offering a reason for rejecting non-economic proposals other than “no is good enough” or ”we are not interested” or “we like it the way it is.”  (Indeed, CSEA’s bargaining style has often resembled impermissible surface bargaining.) Instead of spending time on non-economic issues CSEA has focused on the economic issues and provided AEU with a counter proposal that contained two options for their consideration. The first option was a 1 year agreement which implemented a cost sharing arrangement on pensions, placed a hard cap on medical benefits and included a small salary increase to offset the impact.  Scenario two was a four year proposal that proposed CSEA pick up the cost of benefits and pensions in year one with no salary increase and then implement a cost sharing arrangement for pensions, placed a hard cap on medical benefits and included a small salary increase to offset the impact in years two through four.  CSEA indicated that with the exception of Article 19 we had no additional room for movement on any outstanding non-economic issues. 

Scenario 1 – one-year contract

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

Salary

1.75% on-schedule increase

H&W

The employer agrees to pay up to, but not more than, $2,017.20/month for H&W benefits (medical, dental, vision, life & dependent life, AD&D & dependent AD&D, and long-term disability); including alternate medical plan options to avoid out-of-pocket costs for employees

n/a

n/a

n/a

Pension

1.5% employee contribution

Scenario 2 - four-year contract

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

Salary

0%

2.25% on-schedule salary increase

2% on-schedule salary increase

2.25% on-schedule salary increase

H&W

No cap.  CSEA pays the increase in benefits

Effective 10/1/14, the employer agrees to pay up to, but not more than, the maximum established for the total 2013/14 H&W benefit premiums (medical, dental, vision, life & dependent life, AD&D & dependent AD&D, and long-term disability); including alternate medical plan options to avoid out-of-pocket costs for employees

The employer agrees to continue to pay up to, but not more than, the maximum established for the total 2013/14 H&W benefit premiums (medical, dental, vision, life & dependent life, AD&D & dependent AD&D, and long-term disability); including alternate medical plan options to avoid out-of-pocket costs for employees

The employer agrees to continue to pay up to, but not more than, the maximum established for the total 2013/14 H&W benefit premiums (medical, dental, vision, life & dependent life, AD&D & dependent AD&D, and long-term disability); including alternate medical plan options to avoid out-of-pocket costs for employees

Pension

No employee contribution

1.5% employee contribution

1.5% employee contribution

2% employee contribution

CSEA has made clear that the proposal above represents our best efforts at reaching an agreement and that we are nearing our final proposal.  This is true. The three-year proposal above is now off the table. At the close of bargaining today, CSEA presented what it described as its “last, best offer” – a one-year proposal that continues the cuts to pensions and imposes  employee pension contributions as well as a cap on employer paid health premiums. See Scenario 1 above.  AEU has continued to make pension restoration, salary and benefit proposals that are simply unaffordable. Not true. Regardless of current dues revenue, AEU confirmed at the table today that CSEA’s 2014 fiscal year budget has more than $3.8 million in over-budgeted expenses. CSEA wants to deny AEU’s bargaining unit members in order to convince CSEA members to increase dues. CSEA is now exploiting the very same supposed public sector v. private sector employee differences that it usually disparages on behalf of its members. And, it is doing so to defeat reasonable, market-based AEU objectives.   It is important to remember the CSEA has no increased revenues.  Membership is flat and dues are not increasing.  CSEA’s proposal is therefore based solely on capturing current savings and anticipating future savings.  It is not based on an ongoing revenue stream.  We are comfortable however, that the proposal will not create financial exposure to CSEA and is therefore a proposal we feel confident in making. 

AEU will be holding a meeting today in SJHQ at noon to discuss negotiations with HQ staff.  AEU indicated that it will have a counter proposal for us at 1:00 PM today.  We do not anticipate however, that we will receive a proposal that moves us closer to a final agreement.  It is likely that AEU will continue to propose full benefit pickup by CSEA and full restoration of the pension with no cost sharing provision.  If such a proposal is received CSEA will be extremely close to submitting its last, best and final proposal which will effectively conclude negotiations.

The parties are scheduled to bargaining tomorrow and one day next week.  I do not anticipate the parties will bargain for the full allotment of days currently set aside. 

Please feel free to share with your staff as appropriate CSEA’s position at the bargaining table.  I will continue to provide updates as we move forward to a final resolution to bargaining.  If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Let me know if you have any questions.

Keith Pace

Director, Field Operations

2045 Lundy Avenue

San Jose CA  95131

Direct:  408-433-1261

Toll Free:  800-632-2128 x1261

Fax:  408-432-8578

www.csea.com

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: The information contained in this email is intended only for the use of the individual(s) or entity named above. It may contain confidential, privileged and/or protected .information.  Any unauthorized review, use, forwarding, copying, disclosure or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient(s), please alert the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.  Thank you.

YOUR ATTENDANCE AT SATURDAY’S MEETING IS VITAL. 

The Bargaining Presentation will begin at 10: 30 a.m. at the San Jose Hilton Hotel, 300 Almaden Blvd., San Jose, CA.  Telephone: (408) 947-4450.


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