Emily Anne Espinosa | Staff Writer |
The California Faculty Association (CFA) and California State University (CSU) management have moved toward the fact-finding process of the labor negotiation process.
Fact-finding is the third part of the labor negotiation process, a process where a panel of three, one neutral and one representative from each party, review the proposals, and receive supporting documents. During this phase, representatives may reach an agreement. If not, the fact-finder releases a report.
The fact-finder is an independent, neutral third party who analyzes the facts put on the bargaining table. As of Oct. 14, fact-finding was still in its early phase, and a fact-finder has yet to be decided on.
The fact-finder is selected from a list of proposed neutral individuals, provided by the Public Employment Review Board (PERB).
After the fact-finder makes a report, it remains confidential for 10 days, known as the blackout period. After 10 days, the report becomes public.
CFA President, Jennifer Eagan, a professor at CSU East Bay, states that she “anticipates fact-finding to be in our favor,” and that she expects that the “fact-finder will provide an accurate report.”
According to Eagan, the fact-finding report is a non-binding document of information, meant to serve “almost as a research paper,” being an analyzed resource of information to be utilized by the representatives of the fact-finding panel, as well as for the public. If needed, new data may be presented to the table.
If an agreement on faculty salary is still not made during the blackout period or after the report, the CSU management may impose their last offer on the table, which will mostly likely be a 2 percent salary increase, which the CFA expects but will not accept.
The CSU has proposed a 2 percent General Salary Increase (GSI), while the CFA continues to fight for a 5 percent increase, as well as a 2.61 percent Service Salary Increase (SSI). However, mediation continues to make no progress, both parties refuse to budge or compromise their proposals.
At the end of the fact-finding phase, the CFA will hold a strike authorization vote beginning on Oct.19 to Oct. 28, which will occur both online and at all 23 CSU campuses.
In a released news update from the CFA bargaining team on the labor negotiation process, Eagan stated, “If CSU management is not persuaded by the facts, we will need to be ready to speak with our feet.”
Toni Molle, CSU Director of Public Affairs, stated, “The CSU is committed to the collective bargaining process and to reaching a negotiated settlement with the California Faculty Association.”
“CSU values our faculty. In the lastthree years, we have invested $129.6 million in employee compensation, and more than half of that has been specifically for faculty,” stated Molle.
Molle also stated that, “This year, the CSU has already invested $65.5 million in employee compensation, with nearly half of that allocated for faculty, and the CSU proposed 2 percent GSI is valued at $32.8 million. The CFA’s proposal, 5 percent GSI and a 1.2 percent SSI, is valued at $101.7 million.”