By Lauren Pratt |Staff Writer|
More than 1,000 faculty and allies from all 23 CSU campuses will proceed to rally at the Chancellor’s Office during the Board of Trustees meeting, Nov. 17.
The California Faculty Association (CFA) movement to improve faculty earnings is titled the “Fight for Five. A five percent general salary increase for all faculty,” according to the Calfac website.
The rally stems from Cal State University managements refusal on the 5 percent increase, instead offering a 2 percent salary increase for faculty in their second year. Also, due to the stagnant faculty earnings over the years.
The CFA, Nov. 7 voted “Yes by over 94 percent” to authorize a strike, if contract negotiations fail to reach a fair deal, announced CFA President Jennifer Eagen.
This measure of concerted action is to be taken along with many others for public higher education employers and employees to reach an honorable agreement, according to California’s Higher Education Employment Relations Act.
The Act states the association must first issue a public notice, then bargain salary/benefits, if sides do not reach an agreement, an impasse must be declared.
From there, a mediation is requested, if no deal is made the next step is fact-finding, the current and final stages of the associations proposal.
During this stage “a neutral third party is chosen to hear both sides.”
Together with a representative from each bargaining team, the natural third party writes a fact-finding report that recommends how a settlement could be achieved, according to the CFA.
After 10 days of studying the report, a settlement may be reached.
If not, the CSU chancellor has the authority to declare his “last, best offer” as a contract. The faculty then, has the right to strike.
CFA and CSU management are currently within the final stages.
“This fight is about the bread and butter issue of salary… the vision of what CSU is, who it serves, and what it can be in the future is at stake,” explained Eagan.
CSU college tuition is rising at twice the rate of inflation and astonishingly, some teachers make as little as $12,000 annually; meanwhile college presidents make an average salary of over $400,000, according to Brave New Films.
“Our political action/legislative program has two objectives. First to lobby our local state representatives to champion CSUSB as a vital part of our community,”according to Michal Kohout CFA Chapter Political Action/Legislative Committee Chair, San Bernardino.
Our second objective is to inform and mobilize CSUSB faculty to protect our university,” continued Kohout.
“Lack of funding, skyrocketing student fees, stagnant faculty salaries, erosion of tenure track jobs, management bloat, and persistent managerial encroachment into shared governance have created a toxic environment…,” continued Kohout.
“I am not liking the idea of not having a class I paid for but at the same time I am understanding where they [faculty] are coming from,” said CSUSB student Shelby Hayes.
On Nov. 17, a morning march will take place from downtown Long Beach to the Chancellor’s office for a massive noon rally.
While the rally takes place outside, CFA leaders and members will address the CSU Board of Trustees while they meet inside, according to CALFAC.org.