By Jennifer Martinez |Staff Writer|
The California Faculty Association (CFA) is preparing a five-day strike in April that can potentially affect the quality of education for students.
All 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will go on strike if the CFA does not reach an agreement with CSU management concerning fair wages.
“When faculty pay is low and the number of students we each try to teach is high, the CSU cannot attract and retain the best teachers,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagan.
Students are struggling to afford the costs of attending college. The CSU must shift system priorities to better align with its core mission of accessible, affordable and quality higher education, according to calfac.org.
Even though students are paying more in tuition than ever before, they are getting less for their education.
There are more students per faculty resulting in larger classes and less time to help, according to calfac.org.
“That is unfair to students and to the future of California,” added Eagan.
The CSU system, also known as, “The People’s University,” is known for its mission to make four-year degrees possible for any Californian willing to put in the effort and hard work.
Their purpose is to help students become middle-class college-educated people who can advance in California’s economy and democracy, according to calfac.org.
Faculty are falling out of the middle class due to stagnant pay and temporary hiring practices.
As the strike is approaching, students are realizing that in order to receive this quality of education, faculty should not be a last priority.
“I feel that the professors should be paid fairly. I think they are setting a good example for students as well. They are voicing their concerns in a healthy way,” said student Diego Gutierrez.
There has been an increase in pay raises and managerial positions for CSU executives and managers at a faster rate than the increase in full-time equivalent faculty positions, according to calfac.org.
“When faculty are worrying about bankruptcy, making rent, choosing which bill to pay or not pay, and losing the time it takes to get to our second or third job, we realize that our students are not getting the best from us,” said CFA Secretary Molly Talcott.
The average CSU faculty member earns $45,000 per year; more than 50 percent earn less than $38,000 per year, according to calfac.org.
“As students we notice when professors are fed up, and their lectures reflect that. Not to say all professors are because there are some who support the strike and continue to give the students their absolute best,” added Gutierrez.
The strike will not delay for students who are planning to graduate in the spring. The strike has been planned at a time that will impact students as little as possible.
Faculty members will not penalize students for missing classes that have to be cancelled as a result of the strike; however, all students are responsible for keeping up with their course work.
“Students cannot be compelled to walk out of class, walk picket lines, stay away from campus or support the strike as part of a class assignment or in exchange for a grade,” stated President Tomás D. Morales.
CSUSB plans to maintain full campus operations with minimal disruption to students, faculty, staff and guests.