By Felipe Montano |Staff Writer|
In April, the California Faculty Association (CFA) avoided a potential strike when it came to a tentative agreement to raise the wages of its faculty members.
The CFA bargaining team established a 10.5 percent salary increase that would take in effect over a period of three years, according to calfac.org, the CFA website.
On May 3, the union members voted and ratified the agreement, setting it into motion the first allotment of raises.
A total of 97 percent of the CFA membership chose to ratify the agreement.
“Investing in our faculty is an investment in our students’ learning and discovery environment, enabling student achievement and degree completion,” stated Chancellor Timothy White.
This agreement avoided a five-day strike that would have taken place in every CSU campus and would have included protests from both students and faculty alike.
The agreements began when the CFA asked for a 5 percent increase but were promised only a 2 percent raise.
According to calfac.org, the CFA official website, the specifics to the agreement include:
– Ten percent general salary increase over a three-year period
-Five percent general salary increase on June 30, 2016
-Two percent general salary increase on July 1, 2016
-Five percent general salary increase on July 1, 2017
– Sixty-five percent service salary increase (step increase) for eligible faculty unit employees in the 2017-18 fiscal year
Vesting period for retiree health benefits doubles from five to 10 years for new employees hired after July 1, 2017. It will extend the collective bargaining agreement until June 20, 2018
Tenure-track faculty promoted into a higher rank, they would receive a minimum 9 percent salary increase versus the current 7.5 percent minimum.
Chancellor White established the funding for the new salary raises from an allotment of the 2 percent raises that were initially proposed.
White mentioned that there were some raises already anticipated, therefore, they were able to supplement the rest of the funding through a few small adjustments.
One of those adjustments was turning away 30,000 applicants in order to modify the proper funding for every sector of the CSU system, according to the LA Times.
White also mentioned that the funds for the Cal State system had already been allotted to different areas, which included building updates and increased graduation rates.
White wants to put an emphasis on getting the students in the CSU system out in a four-year period.
Recently, Gov. Brown criticized the graduation rates of the CSU system.
The national graduation rate average for a four-year university is 34 percent; however, the CSU system stands at 17 percent.
As part of his mentioned efforts, White would like to increase that rate to 24 percent by the year 2025.
“That makes sense that not enough of us are graduating since our tuition keeps rising and teachers are going broke,” said student Valeria Gurrola.
This enacted contract will cost the CSU system about $200 million over the term of the contract, this includes both the salary increases and the increased benefits.
The CFA, which represents 26,000 faculty members, has been troubled with financial pressures due to the CSU systems lack of funding according to the LA Times.
As a result of the 2008 recession, the system lost about $1 billion in funding. Now, the system is about $135 million below its funding from 2008.
On June 30, the first of the increases will take effect with a 5 percent raise for qualified staff.