CFA vs CSU still in labor negotiations

By Alexis Figueroa |News Staff|

The California Faculty Association reportedly walked out on negotiations on May 7 without giving a counterproposal, because the California State University’s offer did not meet the CFA’s standards.

With the CSU system not meeting the CFA’s demands; they are not backing down. The CFA has been going through negotiations and hope to come to an agreement that guarantees improved treatment by the CSU administration and improved job security.

Also included in the CFA’s demands is better quality of education for students and a fair distribution of money received from budget cuts, according to the CFA website.

The CSU and the faculty union came to an agreement that would continue negotiations on a number of issues that remained to be addressed.

The issues included the appointment and evaluation of temporary faculty as well as the paying leave time to union official by CSU, according to a media release by the chancellor’s office of public affairs.

CFA had announced that members had voted by 95 percent for a strike if the CFA themselves were not able to come to an agreement with CSU management for a fair contract by the end of the legally established bargaining process, according to CalState.com.

With the strike not going the way each party had planned, CSU vice chancellor of human resources Gail Brooks expressed her surprise at the union’s behavior.

“We are very disappointed that CFA chose to walk out and we were not able to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion,” said Brooks, according to the CSU website.

The crisis unfolded as an outcome of major state cuts in funding which has pushed higher education in California to the breaking point. The CSU system has 23 campuses and enrolls than 420,000 students.

The CSU system is one of the three major institutions of higher education in California along with the University of California and California Community Colleges, according to Claudio Sanchez of NPR news.

Jarret Lovell, a professor at CSU Fullerton, was interviewed for NPR by Sanchez and had some choice words for the current situation that he and his fellow faculty members are facing.

“In the 10 years that I have been here, I’ve received a 3 percent raise. I can’t afford a home and I can barely afford to rent,” said Lovell for NPR.

Lovell took a 10 percent pay cut in 2012 and agreed to an 18-day furlough. Lovell and the CFA union are asking for a one percent salary increase this year, according to NPR.

The CFA and students at CSUSB like Ashley Buchanan, note how important it is for the CSU system to take notice of the faculty’s demands.

“It’s getting to the point where only the elite students can attend and afford college, the middle class students are struggling and cutting classes and increasing the size of classes has an effect on students,” said Buchanan. “The longer the classes the students are less likely to attend due to limited space and distractions,” continued Buchanan.

What’s to follow for these next negotiations according to the CFA website is assigning a fact-finding panel headed by an outside party to hear arguments from both sides and make a recommendation for each proposal.

Photos Courtesy of CFA Facebook

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