Frequently Asked Questions

No. You do not have to join the union; however, SUOAF-AFSCME is the sole and exclusive bargaining agent with respect to wages, hours and conditions of employment for all administrative faculty members employed by CSU. Individual members cannot bargain on their own behalf.

If you fill out and submit an AFSCME application for membership you have joined the SUOAF-AFSCME union and are a member in full standing with all voting rights and other privileges. If you do not submit the AFSCME application, you are not eligible to vote on any matter before the union, attend union meetings or union-sponsored events, represent the union on search or other committees. Additionally, non-members do not receive helpful emails sent out by the union.

No, you do not have to sign the evaluation, but you are encouraged to do so. Signing the document only means that you have received it, not that you agree with the contents.

As stated in Article 19.3.4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, within ten work days of the receipt of your evaluation, you may provide a written comment regarding its contents. Forward your written comments to your supervisor and the appropriate Management Official. Your comments shall be placed in your personnel file, appended to the evaluation.

Yes. You can apply for Professional Development funds. The maximum award is $1,500 per member per year. The guidelines and the application are available for download. If you are eligible, you can also apply for Minority Recruitment and Mentoring funds. The guidelines and the applications are available for download in the Forms section of this website.

Yes. Members shall be permitted to attend scheduled meetings of SUOAF or meetings of SUOAF committees without any loss or penalty provided that such attendance does not interfere with the discharge of their professional responsibilities. See Article 7.1.1 for additional information.

Administrative faculty members holding term appointments shall be renewed for service unless proper non-renewal notice is given.Members who hold term appointment can be non-renewed without cause. When an administrative faculty member receives continuing appointment it is similar to receiving tenure.

Continuing appointment shall be effective until resignation, retirement, or termination for cause. The decision to grant or deny continuing appointment shall be made no later than the end of the member's sixth year of full time service at the university.

Failure to renew a term appointment is grievable to Step 2 of the grievance procedure and may be carried further by mutual agreement only. Step 2 of the grievance procedure is the president's or designee's level.

Members who are considered "exempt" under the FLSA can accrue compensatory time. Members are eligible for compensatory time only after working 40 hours in a week and with the approval of your supervisor. Please see Article 16.2 for additional information.

If you are determined to be "exempt" under FLSA, you are not eligible to receive overtime pay. You can accrue compensatory time. If you are considered to be "non-exempt" under FLSA, you are entitled to overtime pay, not compensatory time.

Members who are considered "exempt" under the FLSA can accrue compensatory time. Members are eligible for compensatory time only after working 40 hours in a week and with the approval of your supervisor. Please see Article 16.2 for additional information.

You can contact Lisa Bigelow, Chapter President, or Steve Villanti, Chapter Vice President.

The Weingarten Rights allow you to request union representation when you are subjected to an investigatory interview and you believe that discipline or some adverse consequence may occur as a result of answering the questions of a supervisor or manager.

Though not expressly stated in the contract, unit supervisors do have an obligation to make sure their areas are properly staffed to accomplish the work that needs to get done. Each year, we hear from several members who have planned vacations before being approved for time off, in some cases even purchasing airline tickets, only to find out they cannot take vacation time when wished to because others in the office have already been given permission for time off or the unit's workload requires everyone to be present. Please preempt any conflict or difficulty by communicating a vacation request to your supervisor in a timely manner, with the understanding that it is a request, not a declaration.

SUOAF supervisors are urged to be fair, consistent, and timely in approving vacation requests. Vacation vacancies can be difficult, especially when offices are only "one deep" in certain functions, but it is also important to recognize vacation time as the restorative break it is meant to be.

Should any troubling patterns develop on an individual basis – repeated denial of vacation time without justification or declaration of vacation time rather than request it – members are urged to reach out to the Chapter President or Chapter Vice President.

Maternity leave is covered under 4 different employment laws/benefits. Depending upon eligibility, SUOAF members may be entitled to different leave benefits.

The Pregnancy Act guarantees to a mother giving birth a disability period of either six (6) or eight (8) weeks depending upon whether the birth is complicated (usually defined as a natural vs Caesarian). There is no bonding leave entitlement under the Pregnancy Act.

To qualify for leave under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act – an employee must have been employed a minimum of twelve (12) months and have worked 1,250 hours in the preceding year. A medical certificate is required to validate maternity. The mother giving birth is entitled to the exact disability period as stated above. Additionally, the mother, father or same sex spouse (who didn’t give birth) are entitled to bonding time. Under Federal FMLA, an employee may receive up to twelve (12) unpaid weeks within an FMLA year. The father or same sex spouse may be eligible for Caregiver leave if the mother giving birth requires medical treatment or assistance in activities of daily living.

Federal and State FMLA leave benefits may run concurrently. State policy requires the mother who gives birth to use her sick accruals during the disability period. The mother, father and or same sex spouse is not required to use any accruals during the bonding period but may use sick, vacation, or PL leave accruals under Federal and State FMLA.

Federal and State FMLA may be taken as a block leave, intermittent leave or reduced schedule. Reduced schedules leaves are subject to the mutual consent of both employee and employer.

After an employee exhausts both State and Federal FMLA and their sick accruals, a permanent employee may qualify for the SEBAC Supplemental leave entitlement. Under the SEBAC Supplement, an employee may only use their Sick Family accruals (5 days), vacation or PL accruals. For bonding time, which can be taken any time within the first 12 months after the baby is born, an employee may only utilize up to 16 of the 24 weeks in a two-year period. Intermittent leave is not available under the SEBAC Supplement. Reduced schedule leave for bonding is available only with the employer’s consent. For bonding time only, if the mother who gives birth and the father/same sex spouse are both state employees then the state will require that both employees split their bonding leave entitlements.

If an employee goes unpaid, there may be an impact on other benefits such as retirement or time counted towards contractual benefits such as working test periods, longevity, seniority, etc. In some cases, such as retirement (SERS, not ARP), the employee must purchase any unpaid time to receive credited service otherwise they will only receive vesting service. For ARP members, there is no biweekly investment until the employee returns to a paid status. More importantly, there may be time limits regarding purchasing of time and assessment of actuarial value such investment interest. Unfortunately, there is no payment option with regards to qualifying time for contractual benefits such as working test periods and longevity (if the member is eligible to receive longevity). Working a reduced schedule also stops the Continuing Appointment clock, if applicable, as the SUOAF employee is now in a part-time status.

It is also important to note that SUOAF members receive their annual sick accruals in advance on January 1. If they utilize all of them and go into an unpaid status, which would have caused them to lose an accrual if they would’ve earned them monthly, this results in an overage of sick accrual usage. In most cases it is deducted from the next allocation. However, if they leave employment prior to receiving the next accrual, the value amount of the accrual overage will be deducted from their final paycheck.

Finally, remember that an employee has 30 days from the date of birth to add the newborn to health insurance.

For more information, contact Norma Rivera or Dan Moreland in Human Resources.

Article 11.3 of the contract states, “If a search committee is used to screen applicants for a bargaining unit position(s), at least one of the its members will be appointed by the Union.” In order to be considered as a Union representative on a search committee, you must be a dues-paying member of the Union.

Once appointed, your role entails:

  • Periodically apprising the Union President of the status of the search;
  • advising the Union President of any problems encountered;
  • ensuring fidelity between the official position description and any employment ads placed;
  • informing finalists that the SUOAF Union exists;
  • advising finalists that the Union contract, which includes salary ranges and other information about benefits and working conditions, covers the position and is available online at;
  • speaking favorably about the Union, as opportunities may arise.