Skilled Trades Union Says Yes to Contract, No to Furlough Plan
Members of the Service Employee Trades Council-United (SETC) have ratified a tentative agreement for a 2009-10 labor contract by a vote of 90.5 percent. The agreement, which is in effect until June 30, 2011, maintains the current salary scale with no increases, but provides the option of reopening salary and benefit terms in the 2010-11 fiscal year. SETC represents approximately 1,000 employees in skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and others who help maintain campus facilities. The contract goes before the CSU's Board of Trustees for ratification at its Sept. 22 meeting.
SETC members also voted 74.5 percent not to accept the CSU's furlough proposal. SETC and the operating engineers union at Cal Maritime (with 10 members) have chosen to accept layoffs while all other labor unions have agreed to the CSU's two-day-per-month furlough plan which began Aug. 1 and includes the CSU's executive, management and non-represented employees. Furloughs are part of the university's effort to mitigate a $564 million cut to its 2009-10 budget. Employee salaries and benefits make up 85 percent of the CSU's operating budget and furloughs will reduce those costs by approximately $275 million. In addition to furloughs, the CSU has reduced enrollment, increased students fees, frozen salaries and vacant positions, and implemented travel and purchasing restrictions.