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FAQ: Tentative Agreement on Contract Extension Fall 2017
Questions/Answers

[Updated 9/28/17]

Answers to many of the questions faculty are asking about the Tentative Agreement can be found here.

If you don’t see your question, please email cfa@calfac.org

1. WHY AN EXTENSION?

Earlier this year, against the backdrop of very serious challenges facing unions, working people, public higher education, and our students, CFA and CSU management discussed the mutual benefits that a break from labor/management strife could have for both CFA and the CSU.

CFA believed an extension agreement made sense if it included salary increases that would not erode the progress we won in the Fight for Five last year and protected faculty benefits from takeaways. After walking away from the informal discussions over the summer, CSU management recently approached CFA again and indicated the Chancellor was serious about reaching labor peace with faculty.

This Tentative Agreement (TA) to extend the contract does protect CFA’s salary wins and protects benefits. If it is ratified by the membership, CFA would agree to postpone full successor bargaining and a full set of bargaining proposals in exchange for the security of guaranteed raises in this current climate of unpredictability. Faculty will continue to work according the terms of the current bargaining agreement and will receive raises that align with the projected rate of inflation. This would allow CFA to spend energy and resources fighting for issues that are of great concern to our members, strengthening our union in the face of attacks on labor, and continuing to protect the future of public higher education in California. 

2. WHAT’S NEW IN THE AGREEMENT?

Salary:  There will be a total of 6% in salary increases over the course of the two year extension period – a 3.5% General Salary Increase (GSI) effective November 1, 2018 and a 2.5% GSI effective July 1, 2019.  There will also be a joint labor/management workgroup established to review and develop improvements to the current salary structure. This will include discussions about the broken SSI system, salary inversion and compression, and range elevation. The group will work during the period of the extension in order to bring well-developed ideas to the next successor bargaining meetings.

Benefits are protected: Significantly, this TA protects faculty benefits by maintaining the status quo on benefits through June 30, 2020. This means that employee contributions to CalPERS pensions, retiree health benefits, and the current health insurance benefits will not change during this period.  In addition, parking rates will remain unchanged for the duration of the agreement.

Academic Freedom/Intellectual Property: The TA allows CFA and CSU management to continue negotiations about Academic Freedom and Intellectual Property during the extension period. However, no changes to the contract will be made unless the parties reach agreement on both issues. If we are unable to agree on contractual changes for both issues, no changes will be made. In the current contract, Academic Freedom is referenced in the Preamble and the Intellectual Property is addressed in Article 39.

The tentative agreement can be viewed here.

3. HOW WILL THE RAISES BE IMPLEMENTED?

For FY 2018/2019:  There will be a 3.5% GSI effective November 1, 2018. At the same time that the GSI is applied, the minima, the Service Salary Increase (SSI) maxima, and the maxima on the salary schedules shall be adjusted upward by the amount of the GSI.

  • All faculty unit employees active or on leave as of November 1, 2018 will receive the increase.
  • Faculty unit employees who were active in 2017/18, but are not active or on leave on November 1, 2018 and who are reappointed at some later date in 2018/19, will receive the increase upon reappointment to the same classification and range at the same campus.
  • Rates for classifications 2322 and 2323 (Extension), including the low enrollment Special Schedule rates, shall be increased by 3.5% effective November 1, 2018.

For FY 2019/20: There will be a 2.5% GSI effective July 1, 2019. At the same time that the GSI is applied, the minima, the Service Salary Increase (SSI) maxima, and the maxima on the salary schedules shall be adjusted upward by the amount of the GSI.

  • All faculty unit employees active or on leave as of July 1, 2019 will receive the increase.
  • Faculty unit employees who were active in 2018/19, but are not active or on leave on July 1, 2019 and who are subsequently reappointed in 2019/20, will receive the increase upon reappointment to the same classification and range at the same campus.
  • In general, all newly hired faculty unit employees (including new tenure-track appointees who previously held temporary appointments at the same campus) whose appointments begin after July 1, 2019, are not eligible for the increases unless the campus has included language in the offer of appointment providing for the application of any negotiated increases. If, however, the appointment salary is below the new salary range minimum, the salary must be increased to the new minimum of the salary range.
  • Rates for classifications 2322 and 2323 (Extension), including the low enrollment Special Schedule rates, shall be increased by 2.5% effective July 1, 2019.

4. WHAT ABOUT OTHER ISSUES?

Tenure Density, Pathway to Tenure, and Workload:   The TA also extends the expiration dates to June 30, 2020 for provisions regarding probationary faculty assigned time, which reduces instructional assignments for new probationary faculty (Article 20.36) and exceptional service awards, which provide assigned time to faculty in recognition of exceptional levels of service to students  (Article 20.37). These contractual rights were secured first in 2014 and are scheduled to expire on June 30, 2018.

While the workload protections we gained in the contract in 2014 remain in place, CFA is committed to working towards solutions that improve tenure density, including a pathway to tenure for lecturer faculty and greater workload protections for all faculty.

Range Elevation: The regular contractual provision regarding Range Elevation remains unchanged. The additional Range Elevation agreement reached in 2016 will continue to be implemented through the end of the 2019/20 academic year, which coincides with the proposed new expiration date for the contact. 

5. WHAT DOES A CONTRACT EXTENSION MEAN?

The tentative agreement extends our current contract, or collective bargaining agreement, by two years, to June 30, 2020. It is otherwise set to expire on June 30, 2018.

An extension means that everything in our current contract remains status quo unless it is specifically mentioned in the Tentative Agreement.

6. HOW DID WE GET RAISES WITHOUT FULL BARGAINING?

This tentative agreement is the result of the fearless faculty activism demonstrated in the Fight for Five in 2016. We fought hard for improved salaries and workload provisions, and we made it clear that we had every intention to fight again to protect those victories. This TA protects those gains from take backs and ensures our salaries keep up with inflation. Realizing that labor peace in a time of political uncertainty was in the best interest of both parties, CFA and CSU management came to an agreement that allows us to focus on our students and improve the university as a whole.

7. WHAT COMES NEXT?

The CFA Bargaining Team unanimously recommended this Tentative Agreement to the CFA Board of Directors, who also unanimously recommended it to the CFA membership for a ratification vote. 

CFA members will vote on ratification in advance of the next meeting of the CSU Board of Trustees, which takes place November 7-8, 2017. CFA members will receive detailed information in the coming days about when and how to vote.

If these ratification votes are in the affirmative, the contract extension will take effect at that time.

8. WHO CAN VOTE ON RATIFICATION?

Only active CFA members can vote to ratify the Tentative Agreement.

If you are not yet a CFA member, join online today. If you are a CFA member and your email address has changed, please update it at the CFA Member Help Desk.

Voting is a right of membership, and your vote expresses solidarity with your faculty colleagues. CFA officers invite and urge all CFA members to participate. Please vote!

9. HOW DO THE RAISES KEEP UP WITH INFLATION?

Between the Fight for Five settlement and this extension agreement, faculty will receive a cumulative salary increase of at least 17.6%, from June 30, 2016 to July 1, 2019. Faculty who are receiving an SSI this year will see at least 20.7% over the same period. In addition, many faculty will have even greater increases through promotions, Range Elevation, and campus equity adjustments.

Over that same time period, the CA Dept. of Finance projects the CA CPI to increase by 9.2%.

10. DOES THE TA AFFECT THE FACULTY EARLY RETIREMENT PROGRAM (FERP)?

We did not make any changes to the FERP program, and its terms remain unchanged in the contract.  However, given changes in IRS rules affecting CalPERS retirement age, faculty hired after 1/15/11 will need to be 60 to FERP and after 1/1/13 must reach age 62 to participate in FERP.  Faculty who were hired before 2011 may retire and participate in FERP at age 55.  Be sure to check with CalPERS and your campus HR about your retirement eligibility, and otherwise look to Article 29 for guidance.

11. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MINIMUM RAISE AT PROMOTION ?

In the Fight for Five salary settlement in 2016, the minimum raise for promotion was increased to 9% (from 7.5%). This became part of our contract and remains the same in the extension

12. WILL FACULTY WHO TEACH IN EXTENSION RECEIVE THE RAISES?

Yes. Article 40 of our contract ensures that the GSIs will be granted to those who teach in extension at the same rates and on the same calendar schedule.

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