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  • Writer's pictureCSUEUMB Communications Liason

Big Brother Is Watching (But We Won’t Let It!)

June 5, 2019 in General News

Campus Safety and Video Surveillance

We can all agree that campus safety is a basic and top priority for the thousands of students, faculty and staff – and members of the public – who on occasion step on the grounds of one our wonderful CSU campuses.

Where our points of view diverge is that CSU Chief Negotiator John Swarbrick wants to weaponize campus safety to become worksite surveillance, to utilize security cameras and hi-tech monitors for employee discipline. This, we will not allow.

“This is Big Brother and we will never give our consent,” said Rocky Sanchez, CSUEU Vice President for Representation. “Safety is our first concern. Highly-salaried managers need to do their job and not resort to video surveillance of employee break rooms, which does nothing to enhance safety.”

Members of the CSUEU Bargaining Team met with Mr. Swarbrick recently to negotiate the terms of using security cameras on campuses to protect the campus community. As stated in our follow-up letter, click here to read, we agree with the use of security cameras by campus police to prevent violence. We trust law enforcement to be the proper protectors of public order. However, we strongly object to Management’s use of surveillance as a tool for supervision and discipline of employees, which is what the CSU is proposing to do.

“A supervisor watching a subordinate clean a hallway or process registration has nothing to do with safety. Management’s extension of audio and video capabilities into ... custodial closets has no value in preventing violence,” as the Union said in our response following the bargaining session on May 31 when Mr. Swarbrick walked out, threatening impasse so that the CSU can proceed to unilaterally impose what it wants.

Our letter concludes: “CSUEU will continue to bargain on safety surveillance at both the campus and system levels. The Union expects management to meet and confer in good faith and to avoid unilateral actions in this area. We must be noticed on the placement or replacement of surveillance cameras and their intended use at every campus.”

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