A seemingly odd budget year that trickled into mid-July is nearly over.
Governor Newsom signed the state’s main budget bill, Assembly Bill 128, on June 28, but negotiations continued between the Governor and Legislature, forcing a delay in the signing of the full budget.
Last week Newsom signed Senate Bill 129, known in the legislature as “budget bill junior”, which adjusted portions of the budget. Then, the legislature passed two additional budget “trailer bills” – AB 130 (K-12) and AB 132 (higher education) that make other significant changes to the 2021-22 budget, impacting our members and our students.
Building off of a historic surplus in California, this year’s budget fully restores last year’s $299.1 million budget cuts to the CSU, with new money allocated at $185.9 million. The CSU’s budget also increases base funding by five percent, with some caveats like maintaining resident undergraduate tuition and fees to current levels. This is an enormous win for CFA and the CSU system, as our members advocated to lawmakers and the Governor for more than a year to restore the CSU budget.
Now, the work truly begins. For the past 18 months, CFA has been bargaining over non-economic issues, to hold off until we knew the economic outlook for the state. As the outlook became clearer and extremely positive, the CFA Bargaining Team proposed a comprehensive salary proposal that puts faculty’s work to keep the CSU running smoothly at the forefront.
Speak with almost any faculty member of the CSU and you’ll hear how overworked they are from COVID-19. Faculty kept up the high standards of the CSU university system and earned and more than deserve a raise. We have yet to hear back from CSU labor management on our salary proposal, but with the current budget finalized, it is clear the CSU has the money to invest in us.
Indeed, Chancellor Joseph Castro called the budget to the CSU, ‘historic.’
CFA President Charles Toombs thanked the Governor and lawmakers for the restoration from last year’s budget cuts and their leadership throughout the pandemic during last week’s CSU Board of Trustees meeting. He then addressed how the Board and CSU administrators should use the new funds to better the CSU system, while also addressing ongoing bargaining negotiations.
“With such a healthy budget, we need to make sure the increases in funding go toward students and student learning,” said Toombs. “This means improving access to the CSU, keeping tuition flat, subsidizing student fees, expanding Black, Indigenous, APIDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Desi American), Latinx, and other people of color campus support services, and hiring more tenure line mental health counselors, who come from these groups, and tenure line instructional faculty who come from all groups.
“Don’t praise us to reporters and in public meetings, then refuse to truly honor our work at the bargaining table.”
The new budget also includes $30 million for student mental health services, an additional $6.5 million for rapid rehousing for houseless and housing insecure students, $500 million over the next two years to establish a low-cost student housing grant program to expand affordable student housing at the CSUs, UCs, and community colleges, a one-time, $10 million investment in faculty professional development, and more than $55 million toward ethnic studies curriculum expansion. CFA supports all of these listed initiatives, and it further shows the Governor and Legislature recognized the needs of our students by providing funding that directly supports them.
Click here to read CFA’s budget analysis.