CSU staff overlooked
EDITOR: Again, staff weren’t mentioned in the article about the convocation at Sonoma State University (“President sees positive changes ahead for college,” Aug. 19). Faculty were mentioned, including the lack of raises, the fact they are currently working without a contract, the new faculty hired last year and more hiring planned in the next three years.
Did you know that:
Staff at CSU received only a 1.3 percent raise over the past six years and that we worked a year on furlough — a 10 percent pay reduction?
As staff leave due to attrition, jobs were combined or eliminated with some staff now doing work previously handled by multiple people? Some lost positions may never be refilled.
Staff in the California State University Employees Union are working without a contract? A tentative agreement has been reached recently.
CSU campuses are similar to small cities, with staff providing services such as housekeeping, office work, technical, food service, accounting and plumbing. Members of several unions provide these services with pride, dedication and a desire to contribute to the educational experiences of students.
Frequently, staff are taken for granted; their contributions unacknowledged.
Why do we stay? For the environment (hopefully positive and healthy), to contribute to society’s future and our perceived value of what we do.
EDITOR: I’m appalled but not surprised that a Sonoma County supervisor and a college professor implied that vigilantism is healing for the community. Supervisor Shirlee Zane and Francisco H. Vázquez accused the district attorney and sheriff of “going by the book” when the district attorney didn’t prosecute and the sheriff returned Deputy Erick Gelhaus to full duty (“Return of deputy was ‘slap in face,’ ” Close to Home, Aug. 22).
They suggested that the “book” should be set aside to address community emotions. They wrote, “But the real law resides in the hearts of the people.” The “book” they reference is state law. Both the district attorney and the sheriff followed state law, written policy and written procedure. To do anything else to play to the emotions of the time or community would be vigilantism.
Then their statement: “The individual rights of Gelhaus may have dominated the sheriff’s decision to put him back on the street, but at what cost?” I ask: What is the cost of ignoring one individual’s rights to acknowledge current emotions? Is the healing subcommittee going to make those calls?
I fear elected officials and teachers who think it’s OK to ignore law because it feels right and their “socially conscious” enlightenment will determine whose rights can be violated.
A silent protest
EDITOR: Deputy Erick Gelhaus back on patrol? Really? On so many levels that’s about the dumbest thing I’ve heard all week. It’s time for a long silent protest in Santa Rosa. Any time you see a deputy sheriff, whether on foot or in a patrol car, just put your hands up in the air. Doing this will send a strong silent message, show your solidarity with the Lopez family, and it just might keep you from getting shot.