By Jacqueline Scholten |Staff Writer|
The California Faculty Association (CFA) board of directors met Feb. 21 and authorized a vote to be taken in late April of union member faculty from all CSU campuses. If the majority of the teachers vote to be willing to strike the pressure will be on to resolve pending negotiations.
“We send the chancellor a clear message that we won’t allow his for-profit model of high quality executive salaries and low quality education,” the CFA website said. A yes vote would authorize the Union leadership to strike.
If CSU teachers go on strike, it could leave CSUSB classrooms empty if stalled negotiations are not resolved.
CFA members are upset with university administrators for pushing for an increase in extended education classes. These classes are not state funded and require fewer teachers.
Other issues faculty members focus on are increased class sizes and Chancellor Charles B. Reed reported reengaging raises.
The chancellor has proposed “Nothing now and less later,” according to CFA’s website. This means that there will be no salary increases for this school year, but in the future there will be a possible reduction of salary and benefits for teachers.
“We do not want to strike but we are serious about our rights. This is an action defined as necessary,” said Marcia Marx, president of CFA at CSUSB.
The proposal to strike is designed to have the least amount of impact on the students, according to Marx. Depending on the students’ schedule they would only be missing one or two days.
The strikes would take place this spring quarter or next fall depending on how the negotiations play out according to spokesman Brian Ferguson, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
If negotiations failed and it came to a strike, each of the 23 CSU campuses would be on a two-day rolling walkout. This means that each campus would hold their strike on different days. Marx said that the purpose of the rolling strike is to keep up visibility with minimal impact on students.
The association has been trying to reach an agreement for 18 months.
Something needs to be done because the university administrators are no longer protecting what they have in the contract and the CFA wants to protect the quality of higher education, according to Marx.
“We want to bargain in good faith. It is strategic for us to ready ourselves for a strike. We are just asking for a fair contract,” said Marx.
Marx said that even if the majority of teachers vote to strike they will only do so if the university administrators and CFA fail to come to a resolution.
“I try and look at it from both sides and it is unfortunate when there is not enough money to go around,” said CSUSB instructor Melissa Hartman. “Where the heck is all the money going?”
According to CSUSB’s public affairs director Sid Robinson, if Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax proposal is not passed the CSU system will see a $200 million cut, just under $8 million of that will affect CSUSB. This potential strike comes on the heels of another strike that some CSUSB faculty members participated in at CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU East Bay.