Wednesday, August 31, 2005

About rights

Fear of retribution?
If you cannot exercise a right without fear of retribution, it is not a right. Over and over I have seen instances at this university where, in my opinion, employees have been retributed against for exercising their rights under the collective bargaining agreement and the law. In my opinion every one of the officers I know of our union, myself included, has suffered reprisals for doing things like filing grievances, rebutting performance evaluations and complaining about working conditions. In the book the Art of War, by Sun Tzu, it is said that you do not have to defeat your enemy, you only have to defeat your enemy's will to engage. In my opinion, the enemy of some San Jose State University managers is the rights of the employees they supervise. It is some managers tactic to defeat the willingness of employees to engage their rights through acts of retribution and intimidation.

A right without a remedy?
Bill Clinton said, "a right without a remedy is not a right." Without a strong collective bargaining agreement, and a union willing to back it up through the grievance process and the willingness to file charges through avenues such as filing unfair labor practices, employees do not have real rights. You do not get rights through lame vision plans and mission statements that are not enforceable. Only through strong and able representation is a union able to protect the rights of the folks we represent.

A right denied one is a right denied all!
Every union represented employee has to have his or her rights protected by the union. Sometimes a worker may think that a certain other employee may deserve to be mistreated. It is a unions job to protect the rights of every employee by defending the rights of each employee. Equal protection under the law is a basic principle of American law. Only through vigorous defense of employee rights, each and every time rights are violated, can their availability be assured.

That's my opinion anyway.

~Steve Sloan, CSUEU Union Steward

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Is there a dirty little secret at SJSU?

Dirty Windows

San Jose State University is a great university. It has beautiful grounds and talented faculty, students and staff. The view of Tower Hall seldom fails to inspire. But, there is something dark and dirty here. Sometimes it seems to me to be a bit of a facade when you can step a few feet away from the lovely lawns and see sights like this that just scream neglect. These dark and dirty places at SJSU that just seem to get darker and dirtier. Some messes here just never seem to get cleaned up. I don't understand why our great university tolerates such malaise and mediocrity. Is it that the folks who make decisions are so mesmerized by what they want people to see that they are blind to details that so plain and out in the open? How can our institution tolerate and fail to see the malaise that has so long been in the open and begging to be cleaned up here? That, in my opinion, is a huge mystery.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

In and out of the saddle

Me riding my bike

In his start of the school year address University President Don Kassing told a story about the Tour de France, showed bike racing videos and told the university faculty, staff and students assembled at his Monday August 22 speech how we should be inspired by Lance Armstrong's out of the saddle hill climbing style. I was so inspired the next day that I rode my bike to work. Continuing on that thread of inspiration after I get off work today I think I will go on a bike ride. Yes, I am feeling very inspired.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Do SJSU's zombies get health benefits?

According to a SJSU manager in UCAT, "SJSU employees are automatically removed from the new campus directory as soon as they are inactive in People Soft." That should happen as soon as they stop working for the university (and stop being paid.) Yet, one former employee has been deceased for over three months and he is in the directory. Since the university certainly would not be paying somebody who is not working, we can only assume the university must be hiring zombies now. Do they pay union dues. Do zombies get health benefits?

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

President Bush, Meet with Cindy

Cindy Sheehan

I found this thanks to Joe Trippi's blog [Link]. It struck a resonance with me as a father of three sons. On the way home from work I saw these folks on a corner in Willow Glen. Joe Trippi is an amazing guy who wrote an amazing book [Link], and he is leading a charge to evangelize the cause of Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq [Link.] This is the letter they are gathering signatures to. When I checked over 12,000 patriots had signed. It is a real Internet movement:

Dear Mr. Bush,

On August 3 you said the soldiers who were killed in Iraq, "died in a noble cause." Cindy Sheehan's son Casey died in Iraq, but she takes no comfort in your words. She wants to meet with you to ask you directly: Why did my son die? What was the noble cause that he died for? We, the American people, urge you to meet with Cindy Sheehan to answer her questions.

Please consider signing the petition here [Link]

Monday, August 01, 2005

We need to do a better job than this!

I am frustrated that we cannot do a better job than this at our university. On July 18 I reported on this blog [link] that Jay King, a staff person who had died about three weeks earlier, was still in the on-line staff directory. I reported this fact weeks ago to the head of the telecommunications department and this was not then fixed.

James King

Well Jay is still there!

Jay King Closeup

It has now been over a month. This is supposed to be our new more accurate directory! How can we serve our students well when we are unable to give them access to resources without such gross errors? We need to do a better job than this!