Faculty members at California State University (CSU) campus have successfully gone through the legal process to set a strike over a salary feud.
March 28 was the deadline CSU faculty was given the green light to strike over the wages for 26,000 various CSU faculties spreading to 23 CSU campuses.
The California Faculty Association, which represents the faculty, set potential strike days as April 13-15 and April 18-19.
CSU faculty are asking for a 5-percent pay increase.
Administration offered two percent raises. The California Faculty Association is asking for five percent.
In a response to the fact-finding process, the California State University Associate Vice Chancellor Bradley W. Wells wrote “the university cannot spend money it does not have.”
In the dissent, Wells wrote: “The Report recommends that the University increase faculty salaries in 2015/16 with the cost ‘spread over the year to minimize the impact,’ again recognizing that the University cannot spend money it does not have. Nor can the University commit to spend money in 2016/2017 and every year thereafter to pay for the recurring $110 million additional cost of CFA’s original proposal – a proposal which has not changed since bargaining began.”
The fact-finding process showed income hasn’t been adjusted to modern economics and there are available funds for the raises CFA has asked for.
Dr. Kevin Wehr responded for CFA “Contrary to management’s statement of dissent, the report does not say the CSU does not have the funds to pay the 5% and SSI; after 3 days of evidence, the factfinder heard no legitimate evidence that the CSU could not afford the raises…”
If the strike were to ensue, classes would be shut down for students during the five days of strike. A big motive for the strike is claimed to be in the interest of the students.
“I think its indirectly for the best interests of the students. It’s indirect because it’s not like the money is going to the students, but, it will allow the CSU to attract and retain quality faculty and for faculty to spend more time teaching to students rather than having to juggle multiple teaching positions at multiple institutions,” said Sonya Herrera, a senior economics major at San Jose State University and former Delta College student. “As an economics major, I understand that keeping wages high ultimately depends on restricting the supply of labor. That’s essentially the function of unions.”
Other students have opposing views to the dilemma.
“I don’t feel as if it is in the best interest of the students. In fact, from my experience I feel as if both professors and students admit that this is not in the best interest of the students, but it is necessary & unavoidable at this point,” said Courtney Nelson, an English major at Cal Polytechnic State San Luis.“As students we are expected to learn the same material and keep on schedule without the benefit of teacher instruction, which is painful as far as academic progress goes.”