INSIDE Chico State
0 November 11, 1999
Volume 30 Number 8
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
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Senate Bill 645, introduced by Senator Burton was recently signed into law. This bill would require employees of the California State University and employees of the University of California, other than faculty of the University of California who are eligible for membership in the Academic Senate, to either join the employee organization or to pay the organization a fair share service fee.


Argument in Favor of Fair-Share Fees

Due to a defect in the legislation establishing unions in the CSU, the union was required to represent all employees, but only members were required to pay to support that representation. Other civil service and educational unions all have had some version of fair share, where everyone contributes, for many years. The union has been trying to remedy this situation through bargaining and legislation since the beginning. Previous versions of the fair-share bill had passed but had been vetoed twice by Republican governors. And, as in the past, the bill passed this time on a strictly partisan basis: Democrats for it, Republicans against it to a person

For seventeen years, union members have carried the entire burden of paying for all union staff and activities, which have benefited all workers, including the many employees who have opted for a "free ride" by not joining and contributing.

Now, nonmembers will be charged for the share of services they've always been receiving and will continue to receive in the future.

The union now will be in a position to fund adequate staff and better provide the services to its more than 16,000 unit employees. These services include bargaining for improvements in pay, benefits, and working conditions; representing employees in adverse actions such as discipline and demotion; meeting with HR personnel to clarify policies; identifying and combating bad management practices; filing grievances and resolving disputes; and answering questions about work and pay issues.

Packets are due to be mailed out to all affected employees by about November 15. They will include all relevant information about fair-share fees. So far, we know that the fair-share rate will be somewhere between 83 percent and 93 percent of the members' rate -- this percentage is the amount spent on activities which benefit members and nonmembers equally. And fees will be deducted beginning January 2000.

The union expects that many people will realize that only a few dollars more per month buys full membership and a voice in union elections and policies. We're hoping that some "fence-sitters" will be motivated to become members and participate in the organization which represents us all.
-- Tom Alden, president, CSEA Chapter 302, representing units 2, 5, 7, 9

 

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