CFA calls for wage justice at CSU Trustees meeting

MAY 2014—CFA members addressed the CSU Trustees on Tuesday about the difficult problems in the CSU system’s faculty salary structure. These include inversion affecting many tenure-track faculty, compression affecting faculty at the top of their respective pay categories and misclassification affecting many lecturers across the CSU.

Doris Namala, a lecturer at CSU Dominguez Hills, told trustees that she found out over a year ago that she was classified into the wrong lecturer rank when hired, but only discovered it after attending a CFA meeting.

“I talk a lot about socioeconomic justice in my classes,” Namala said. “I strongly believe that purposefully ranking people lower in order to save money is unjust …

It is ironic, if not deeply disturbing, that as a college professor who is married to another college professor, our salaries are not enough to pay for our children’s college education.”

Doug Domingo-Foraste, a professor at Cal State Long Beach, said in the 25 years he’s worked at the university, his salary hasn’t even come close to keeping pace with inflation.

“We, the faculty, were the ones who sacrificed for the state in 2009-10, not the administrators who managed hefty pay increases after the sham furlough year in which we worked more, with bigger classes, fewer faculty and just as much pressure to publish for 9 percent less pay.

Now the state and university are in much better positions and it is morally, and I want to stress that, morally, wrong to take advantage of our commitment to our university and our students by continuing to pay us inadequately.”

Nicholas Von Glahn, an assistant professor of psychology, told trustees that the lack of pay increases—and wage inversion—is having a serious impact on morale.

“It is hard to be asked to take a more senior role in the University; to be a leader and a mentor when you know that you are being undervalued in this way and paid much less than your new colleagues,” he said.

Diane Blair, a communications professor at Cal State Fresno, said faculty’s options for addressing salary disparities have narrowed, and its had a demoralizing effect. For many faculty, their commitment to higher education is what motivates them to serve students, advance their disciplines and seek fair compensation.

“With this successor contract, and your commitment to the future well-being of our universities, the CSU leadership has an opportunity to demonstrate to faculty that they are valued and they are once again a priority,” she said.

Also at the Trustees meeting, leaders of the CSU Employees Union presented the board with more than 15,000 petitions urging all to “Take a Stand for the CSU” and held a rally outside the meeting. Click here for more information.