Headlines

CFA Headlines • March 28, 2016
SPECIAL EDITION!

Fact-finding report validates CFA proposal for 5% faculty pay raise and Service Step Increases

CSU Faculty now have legal right to strike; Strike set for April 13-15 and 18-19

The final phase under state labor law in the collective bargaining dispute over California State University faculty pay was completed this morning, opening the door to a legal strike by the 26,000 instructional faculty, counselors, librarians and coaches on the 23 CSU campuses.

Faculty are preparing to strike at all campuses on April 13-15 and April 18-19, if no settlement is reached in the interim.

Factfinder Bonnie Castrey, referring to general and step increases, wrote in the report,

“A substantial GSI as well as SSIs to the 43% of faculty who have not had them, …is in the interest of students, who need caring faculty and certainly in the public interest as our country needs a well-educated population.”

Castrey’s non-binding but influential report on the dispute includes four main recommendations:

  1. Increase faculty pay with a General Salary Increase of 5%.
     
  2. Provide Service Step Increases to the approximately 43% of faculty eligible.
     
  3. Continue to study the faculty salary issue. Develop a list, agreeable to both sides, of comparable universities that award bachelor’s and master’s degrees and do a comparison using available AAUP data and including a cost-of-living comparison.
     
  4. Develop a joint strategy and documentation to go to the California Legislature and the Governor to seek the needed state funding for the CSU budget.

CFA president Jennifer Eagan, a professor at CSU East Bay, said at a news conference called by the union this morning:

“For more than nine months, we have argued at the bargaining table that this package would benefit not just the faculty, but the students we teach as well.

“The fact-finder agreed with us here, too, and states that this package ‘is in the interest of students, who need caring faculty and certainly in the public interest as our country needs a well-educated population.’ 

“If and when the faculty go on strike, they will go on strike for fairness reflected in their salaries, to be sure, but they also will strike for hope of a better CSU for the future.  …The CSU leadership is not helpless, but they need to step out of their own rhetoric and make a new choice.” 

FAIR FACULTY PAY WON THE DAY

In the course of the fact-finding process, CFA demonstrated that:

  • Faculty have been hurt by the CSU management’s failure to fund faculty salaries despite improving economic conditions since the recession.
     
  • Faculty need these raises even to dig out partially from the financial hole and professional setbacks that CSU administrators have caused.
     
  • The CSU management can well afford the raises that CFA has proposed.
     
  • The public interest is well served when faculty can afford to remain in their professions, and faculty labor is the single most important factor in student learning and success.

Antonio Gallo, Chair of CFA’s Bargaining Strategy Committee, told reporters this morning:

“This is not just about faculty pay; it’s more than that. We teach in ‘The People’s University’— with the largest number of students of color in the country. We confer more than half of all undergraduate degrees to the state’s Latino, African-American and Native-American students.

“It’s about an investment in the classroom.

“We must open the doors of opportunity to our students. But we must also equip our faculty to walk through those doors to provide that opportunity. The neutral factfinder, in siding with CFA, has said, ‘no more’ to faculty members going to food banks, ‘no more’ to faculty members losing their homes because they are unable to pay their mortgage, ‘no more’ to faculty members filing for bankruptcy.”

CFA Bargaining Team Chair Kevin Wehr expressed disappointment with CSU management, which had the chance to discuss the implementation of the recommendations during the 10-day “blackout” period required by state labor law before the factfinding report became public. The factfinder is a neutral arbitrator who, he pointed out, was proposed initially by CSU management’s negotiators for this purpose.

Wehr, a professor at CSU Sacramento, said,

“In the California State University system, the union has routinely had the facts on our side, and once again management ignores the facts. Burying their heads in the sand will not make this go away.”

Eagan summed up that point, concluding,

“If they don’t step up, the faculty are ready to fight for ourselves, our families, our students, the state, and for the future. We will hold the biggest strike in U.S. higher education history. We believe that we can win, and we will fight for as long as it takes to secure economic justice for faculty and a brighter future for the CSU.”

See more information and the factfinding report on the CFA web site.

See the report on the Public Employment Relations Board web site, when it is posted.

Learn more about the Fight for Five

CSU Faculty: Pledge to Strike & Schedule Your Times on the Picket Line, April 13-15 & April 18-19

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