By Nicole Maldonado |Staff Writer|
All workers should be protected under unions. Unions that support the interest of workers are essential because they fight for the worker’s rights to fair wages, benefits, retirement, and against disparity of treatment.
A current issue involves the California Faculty Association which has a contract with the CSU system. This contract was in effect from July 1, 2007 until July 30, 2010.
The CFA put in proposals and negotiated for their contract raises because they did not receive contractual raises the last two years of service.
According to Marcia Marx, who is president of the CFA on our campus, Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who is a part of the Board of Trustees, went against the agreed upon faculty contracts and did not compensate them for the last two years.
She stated that Reed made an agreement to raise student tuition by 12 percent this past summer and that he and the Board sparked controversy by awarding the new San Diego State president a $100,000 raise from the last president.
“Since those 2008-09 to 2009-2010 years, the chancellor has given raises to 500 plus managers to the tune of $6 million,” said Marx. Reed isn’t just cutting from students, he’s stuffing the pockets of those that report directly to him. For two straight years Reed has denied faculty their annual raises promised in the previous labor agreement while raising executive salaries.
Another contentious action Reed performed was loaning the state $750 million when the CSU budget for the 2011/2012 year had already been cut by $650 million.
Staff working conditions affect student learning conditions and both are not able to work and learn in these environments because we are sacrificing more for less. It is also infuriating to me that the executives are getting more and more money while we are suffering from funding cuts and practically being neglected and withheld from our education we need and deserve.
Out of the 23 campuses, the average salary of a campus president is $283,000 according to the CSU executive compensation summary. In addition to such a lucrative salary, each president receives already provided housing or compensation of up to $60,000. Outrageous. Wall Street protestors should move to Long Beach in front of the chancellor’s office.
Thankfully the union is executing its job in defending staff, according to calfac.org, the “CFA is dedicated to preserving faculty rights.” Without the CFA, there would be no negotiations in receiving the two years of retroactive compensation.
Another way the union will come in to fight for our protection and education is on Nov. 9 where the CFA will be on our campus to talk to faculty, sign ‘commitment cards’ and simply inform students about the regional campus action happening on Nov.17 which could be a potential strike. However, it will not be an open-ended event like a strike, but rather a one day only walkout.
In the event that a strike would occur, I believe the staff would be in the right for walking out because the union is bringing attention to a financial injustice within the CSU system that has gone on too long. It is a necessary action to stand up for what we are entitled, therefore I encourage all to attending the informational picketing with the CFA on Nov. 9.