CFA leader tells Trustees “It’s Time” to make campus-based Equity Pay happen
Comments to the CSU Board of Trustees, January 2015

Doug Domingo-Forasté, CFA chapter president at CSU Long Beach addressed the CSU Board of Trustees meeting on January 28, 2015 on behalf of CFA. He argued for the immediate need to get things moving to implement campus-based Equity Pay, as provided under the 2014-2017 faculty contract.

Good morning. My name is Doug Domingo-Forasté and I am a Classics faculty member at the Long Beach campus.

In my nearly 30 years here, I have seen lots of ups and downs. Now I just see a mixture of disgust and anger at the university. The reasons are two.

First, after all the sacrifice of the past seven years, when faculty and students bore the brunt of saving the university’s finances because of poor management, now that finances are better, the university chooses to delay the creation of campus-based equity programs.

Second, even when the campuses had the money last year to remedy at least the most egregious cases and probably all the inequities and inversions under the old contract, it chose to not do so on direction from the Chancellor’s Office. Faculty are disgusted with the university’s Walmart-like business model that elevates immorality to a managerial principle.

Let me give you an example of a couple people I have worked with.

First Ashley C., a young biology professor, came to me last academic year and said, “Look at my salary inequity and can you help?”  The state of the job market when he was hired meant that this Ph.D holder started at $56,000.

OK, that’s miserable enough, but of course he has not had any raises since then. In the ensuring years, the department made a new hire every single year. Each hire was paid more than the prior one. Thus the person hired two years ago started at $68,000.

Even after being promoted to Associate Professor, Ashley still makes $2000/year less than the Assistant Professor who was hired two years ago.

Ashley cannot afford a house or even a decent apartment in Long Beach and of course he continues to look around even though I tell him that the university has promised to make it right this year. It’s not just students and Humboldt that need a food bank.

Carlos S. is in a similar situation. He is a full professor in art education and makes $10,000 less than the average full professor in his department and college. This is not because he is not good. He is excellent at what he does and contributes greatly to the community as well as to his students.

After he came to me for help, I got the poor guy to involve his students with a family homeless shelter in an art therapy program. He took this extra project even though Carlos has had to take on a second job to make ends meet.

In both Ashley’s and Carlos’ cases, we prepared overwhelmingly strong cases for an equity salary adjustment under the old contract. Our provost rejected them with a form letter.

Last year we looked at the systemic problem under the old contract and our provost said the proposal to remedy it was a good one and one they could afford. But on the Chancellor’s Office’s direction, all the campuses refused to do a systemic fix to the salary structure until the new contract was signed at which point these problems would be addressed.

OK, the new contract is signed and Article 31.12 allows the campus to fix these problems, but now the Chancellor’s Office drags its feet in getting us the salary figures so that we can look at these problems of inversion and compression.

“We’re working on it,” is no longer good enough. We settled this contract in October.

Are the managers in the Chancellor’s Office so incompetent that they can’t get us salary figures to work on these problems, but so competent they deserve a significant compensation increase?

Look, I expect wage thievery from Walmart, but even after all this time at the university, I still think the university should operate at a different moral level. Right now, it’s not.