January Update for Bargaining Unit 3


This message is to bring you up to date on what is happening in the Bargaining Unit. Here are a few things for your information.

First, a shout out to Heather DeFelice, Christina Calacugan, and the folks in the Department of Education’s Southern Diagnostic Center for their work in organizing the voices in the diagnostic centers located in Fremont, Fresno and Los Angeles. 

These members are responsible for providing education diagnostic services to the small school districts or the County Offices of Education that cannot afford to have these specialists on staff.  Their work helps save millions of dollars for these districts by staving off potential lawsuits for not being able to provide the appropriate educational services to disabled students.

On Thursday, January 11, Unit 3 Chair Bruce Theel, along with Nancy Farias, Director of Government Affairs, and Tim Kamermayer, Legislative Advocate, met with Senator James Beall’s Chief of Staff, Sunshine Borelli, and Cesar Diaz, the Legislative and Political Director of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, in regard to SB 825 – state prisons pre-apprenticeship program. This initial meeting went well. Mr. Diaz explained that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation had reached out to the Building Trades Council to establish an apprenticeship program that would prepare discharging or paroling inmates for jobs in the building trades. Union representatives specifically asked if the Prison Industry Authority was in any way involved in this. Mr. Diaz replied that the CDCR was the only entity involved with the request to the State Building Trades Council.  Further discussion established the potential opportunity for our union and Unit 3, to partner with the Building Trades and Senators Beall and Skinner, in the development of the language of this bill and building a working relationship with the Building Trades Council and the Senator’s offices. 

In addition, the Department of Industrial Relations has submitted a budget change proposal for a total of 19.3 million dollars, to fund an increase of 96 staffing positions to expand the already existing apprenticeship program. This funding would be spread out among the Department of Corrections, the Prison Industry Authority and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Further updates will be posted by email and a web posting as the issue develops.

CDCR teachers throughout the state need to be aware that they do not accrue “Personal Holidays,” as do other state employees. This is another of the consequences of the Farrell Consent Decree that forced the then-California Youth Authority to adopt regional salary schedules in 2006. 

While the loss of this benefit is not directly mentioned in the contract, it was one of the provisions eliminated when the CYA/BU3 negotiated the change in compensation with the state, along with their Education Leave, Vacation Accrual and the Recruiting and Retention Bonus.  All of these provisions were rolled over into the language that implemented those same salary schedules in the Adult Division in 2007, after the CYA had been integrated into the CDCR during the Schwarzenegger Administration.

The loss of the Personal Holiday was confirmed when the Riker Arbitration decision was handed down in March of 2010.

If you have a Personal Holiday that was awarded prior to 2006, you should be able to use it or keep it until retirement. Any Personal Holiday after that were awarded in error, and the state will take them back or do an accounts receivable collection if you used them.

Trying to develop a newsletter on a monthly basis is a tremendous task.  I’m asking for your help to keep the communications going.  Please send the bits of information that you think the rest of your colleagues would be interested in hearing about.  Even anecdotes, especially the really funny ones, are appreciated!

Until next time…

Your BUNC consists of the following DBURs:

  • Chairman: Bruce Theel, High Desert State Prison, Susanville, CA (CDCR) BTheel@SEIU1000.org
  • Vice Chair:  Terry Hibbard (CDCR) terrygh50@hotmail.com
  • Alternate Vice Chair: Suzanne Knapp (CDCR)
  • BUNC Member:  Helen “Lisa” Hoxie (DDS)
  • BUNC Member:  Maureen Thompson (CDCR)