by Hoover Zariani, CSEA President
Change comes in many ways, shapes, and forms, and this year (as well as next year), it is coming at us in a fast and furious way! Sometimes, we feel as if we don’t matter and have no impact on our surroundings as individuals, but this is not completely true.
As we close the current academic and fiscal year and begin a new one, many challenges are coming our way. The major challenges include: hiring a new Superintendent/President, implementing the Student Success Task Force recommendations and legislation, dealing with the current budget situation, and working to save community colleges by supporting the temporary tax increase initiative. These are not minor.
The only way to deal with them is by being involved and informing ourselves about the issues. This is why your CSEA Executive Board and Negotiation Team instituted our Update Meetings. The first set of these meetings held May 1 went very well, with over 50 staff members participating and providing input. You gave us many good suggestions and ideas which we will work to implement. Please continue attending and look for more updates to come.
Additionally, as we began conducting focus groups to find an interim Superintendent/President, you participated and had great ideas and suggestions for what we need from a new leader. We are definitely excited that so many of you chose to attend the focus group. It is important for our voice to be heard.
Many of you (about 25 members) also participated in helping to gather signatures for the temporary tax initiative to be placed on the ballot. As of the writing of this article, we do not yet know whether this measure has qualified to be placed on the ballot, but the state CSEA goal of gathering 25,000 signatures by the deadline was far exceeded. Over 40,000 signatures were collected by CSEA members statewide. This was in part thanks to your efforts at our chapter. However, we are not done. We must get every friend, relative, family member, acquaintance, and neighbor to vote for the initiative in November if it qualifies for the ballot. At this time, it seems the deceptive paycheck ballot initiative has also qualified with enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot; more information about this will be forthcoming.
Even amongst all these issues and challenges, we must still take time to celebrate our hard work and acknowledge our contribution to the campus community and to our students. In fact, it is more important than ever to do this in tough times. We will end the year with a celebration! May 20-26 is our Classified School Employees Week and we will, as usual, celebrate with our BBQ and other activities for the week. We hope you will participate in different ways during this celebration.
No one person creates change alone, so thank you for all you’ve done this past year, and we hope you will continue your involvement in the coming year.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across
the waters to create many ripples.” —Mother Teresa
Visit us on the web: www.glendale.edu/csea