By Eric Sanchez |Staff Writer|
Members of CSUSB faculty gathered to speak out to CSU executives and the community to obtain what they say is a fair contract and quality education for CSU students at The Commons as part of a system-wide demonstration this past Wednesday, April 13.
“When I learned that we were taking pay cuts and management was still getting pay raises, that was very insulting. That enraged me to learn that – that is just criminal” said Marcia Marx, president of the California faculty association’s (CFA) CSUSB chapter after its meeting April 13.
The CFA, which represents some 23,000 faculty members throughout the entire CSU system sponsored the events and encouraged both faculty and students to “Take Class Action” for both of their causes.
The CFA is currently bargaining for its new contract with the CSU which they do every four years while voicing concerns over the quality of the education within the CSU.
“Offering a quality education and quality instruction, and having a university that’s accessible and affordable is probably the over-arching goal, our contract negotiations are just a piece of that,” said Marx.
Students also came to the event to support the faculty and their causes to maintain collective bargaining rights and stop CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed from taking back other benefits such as rights to three-year appointments and unconditional full-time appointments, as stated in a flier.
“What affects one person affects everyone,” said graduate student Elliot Fong.
CSUSB staff union representative and graduate Rich McGee reminded the audience of a less financially demanding time here on campus.
“I took 22 units my senior year, those 22 units cost me $11,” he said.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law $500 million in budget cuts from the CSU to reduce California’s $26.6 billion deficit to $11.2 billion, according to the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
If Brown’s attempts to call a special election on raising taxes to help reduce the deficit without more funding cuts fail, that would mean potentially up to a total $1 billion drop in CSU state funding.
This potential cut would bring state support for the CSU to $1.79 billion, which is below the level of the 1996-1997 year, when 100,000 fewer students were served, according to a CSU press release.
Much attention now falls on the presidents of the individual campuses and how they will handle their new budgets.
“We have tasked the presidents with managing most of these budget cuts at the campus level, and they will have to make some very difficult decisions in light of the magnitude of this reduction in state support,” said Reed
Though the release also stated that the chancellor’s office budget will be reduced by $10.8 million, the CFA looks at the Chancellor’s personal pay as an injustice.
A copy of Reed’s monthly direct deposit statement totaling $35,125 was provided to faculty members at the meeting.
The student-centered demonstration here on campus was postponed albeit initially scheduled to coincide with the faculty on April 14, however several CSUSB students participated in the student demonstrations at Cal Poly Pomona, explained Wendy Mendoza, president of Students for Quality Education (SQE).
The exact cause of the postponement of the SQE’s event was not given. However it will take place later this year, Mendoza said.
The CSU declined to comment on the demonstrations of April 13.