CSU educators call for potential strike over raises

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Faculty and labor groups are teaming together for possible California State University (CSU) strike.

On Jan. 16, the CSU faculty union presented a united front with a number of labor committees for a probable strike over salaries.

The faculty union is calling for a five percent rec- tification raise as well as a 2.65 percent raise for the remaining 12,000 party members who receive a lower income within this year, according to an article in The Sacramento Bee published Jan. 30.

The California Faculty Association (CFA), which speaks for close to 25,000 staff members, including professors, coaches and counselors, is still in a “factfinding” process, but the said strike is an option.

“We want to be prepared to go on strike in case we get to the end of the statutory process without an agreement,” according to a Q & A on the association’s web- site, calfac.org. “We want to be well-prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to fight for 5% and as SSI for eligible faculty.”

A “Strike Vote” was taken at all 23 CSU campuses in Oct. 2015. The association said 94.4 percent voted “yes.” The faculty union contends the yearly wages aren’t properly adjusted to modern inflation and that campus employment rates have significantly plummeted.

CFA reports the average salary for a faculty member to be $64,479 in 2014.

An offer presented by CSU had an all-inclusive pay increase of two percent while rejecting the faculty union’s proposal, according to the Jan. 30 Bee article.

Justification was that implementing the faculty’s pay suggestions would compromise up to one half of the $217 million gain dispersed by the state’s financial plan.

According to CFA, there has only ever been one strike on the CSU campuses – in Nov. 2011 at the CSU, East Bay and CSU, Dominguez Hill campuses. Delta College faculty members are represented by the California Teachers Association.

Delta CTA President Elizabeth Maloney indicated this potential strike “will not affect the Delta college campus since the union that may strike is not affiliated with the CTA.”

Maloney said “CFA negotiations differ in com- parison to that of a community college. Community colleges bargain on an individual level rather than an across the board method like CSUs.”

Maloney said Delta faculty are currently in contract negotiations with the school.

“Delta needs a competitive wage to sustain faculty members,” she said. “ … the faculty has not been hand- ed down a lot of their cost of living allowance despite the district receiving it. We are asking for a salary in- crease.”