By Chelsea Galvez |Staff Writer|
California State University (CSU) announced in a tentative agreement that more than 23,000 CSU staff will be receiving a pay increase, improvements to workload, rights for online teaching, parental leave and changes within the sabbatical process.
This three year phase-implemented agreement complete with options to reopen and negotiate future improvements was agreed upon by CSU and the California Faculty Association (CFA) days after CSUSB faculty protested in front of the Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU).
The agreement grants a three percent compensation pool increase for 2014-2015, according to a CSU Press Release.
“The multi-year agreement is a tremendous accomplishment, as well as a special opportunity for CFA and the CSU to continue to strengthen communication and collaboration as we work together to advance the mission of the university,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.
This additional funding will grant CFA employees including coaches, professors, counselors and librarians on the 23 CSU campuses a 1.6 percent salary increase.
Tenure faculty that obtain salaries below the Service Salary Increase (SSI) (which is granted to qualified employees on their employment anniversary date) will be granted an additional three percent pay increase resulting in a total increase of 4.6 percent.
“We felt that in the first year we should attempt to address the problems of those who have been trapped at the bottom of their salary rank or range for too many years,” stated the CFA in an e-mailed statement from CSU to faculty.
“Our proposals for years two and three sought to alleviate compression among the most senior faculty, and rebuild the health of our salary structure by continuing to provide increases within ranks (SSIs) as well as across-the-board General Salary Increases.”
After several years without increased wages or improved compensation, faculty believed that something had to be done.
“We have been working with no pay raise for the last six years, I believe, with the exception of a 1.25 percent general salary increase last year. We also had to give up 10 percent of our salaries during furloughs,” said CFA Communications Department Representative and CSUSB professor Dr. Ece Algan.
“Our salaries shrank due to inflation and lack of regular pay raises, while our workload increased during the budget crisis.”
These pay raises may also impact students, who may start to see slight changes in classrooms and the atmosphere at CSUSB.
“Better compensated faculty eventually translates into better teaching as well as the hiring and retention of highly qualified faculty,” continued Algan.
The final negotiations for CSU faculty is still underway as ratifications still need to be made within the agreement as well as negotiations for the upcoming 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.
The CFA asks that registered CFA faculty vote yes to ratify the agreement so that the ratification process may be completed and sent to the CSU Board of Trustees meeting on Nov. 12 and 13 for a final vote.
If ratifications are completed on time and approved, faculty can expect raises in early 2015. Otherwise, the CFA will have to wait until 2015 to propose ratifications again.
Through the combined efforts of CFA members improvements have set in motion.
“Congratulations to all of you who participated in demonstrations, who wrote messages to your campus presidents, and who took the time to attend and speak at Board of Trustees meetings. We could not have reached this agreement if we had not all stood together in this fight,” said the CFA in an e-mailed statement to CSU faculty.