Update on the CSU Faculty contract stalemate

We have been following the contract negotiations and stalemate between the California State University Faculty Association and the well-heeled CSU Administration for several weeks. (See Speak Out’s blog entry of November 16, 2006) With thousands of faculty members futures on the line and the philosophical as well as economic importance of this issue to workers and professional employees in general, we’ve asked Assistant Professor at CSU Sacramento and Speak Out board member, R. Stanley Oden to update us on the status of those negotiations as the campuses wind down for the holidays.
Here’s his update:

” As the CSU campuses go into winter recess, the CSU faculty and student’s boiling dissatisfaction with the contract impasses will continue to heat up. At this time, the California Faculty Association bargaining team, led by CFA President John Travis, has been in mediation with the CSU adminstration bargaining team with a state-appointed mediator. The mediation sessions ended December 15th and the mediator will render a decision on whether further fact-finding meetings between the groups will be productive in breaking the impasses. If further negotiations are needed, then the next stage is fact-finding, which would begin in mid-January.
CFA faculty members and students are upset with the CSU adminstration’s stand against the CFA contract offers. Faculty and students on the 23 campuses are planning actions for the upcoming semester that will inform the public of the need for quality higher education at the CSU level, an issues that deserves legislative and public attention.
For example, the CSU refuses to acknowledge salary inversions for junior faculty who are leaving the CSU in high numbers. Junior faculty across the CSU system are upset with statistics that show the average salary of assistant professors is less than the $60,000 housing allowance that many campus presidents receive, along with their six-figure salaries. This is just one of many reasons for CSU faculty members’ discontent– for more information you can go to the CFA’s website at: www.calfac.org
and get more details of why CSU faculty members have good reason to be upset with the CSU administration’s position.
The main impact of any faculty and student unrest will undoubtedly be connected to the state’s economy. In a report from the Office of the Chancellor, ‘The California State University: Working for California’, it states, “For every $1 the state invests in the California State University, the CSU returns $4.41 (to the state’s economy) That’s a four fold return on investment”. (CSU: Working for California). The report notes that the CSU’s direct economic impact on the state of California is $7.46 billion which generates over $13.6 billion into the state’s economy. In 2002-03, the 1.7 million CSU alumni working in California, earned $89 billion in income with $25.3 billion attributable to CSU degrees. These facts indicate that the faculty and students are essential to the economic prosperity of California.
The work that faculty conducts to produce students who are marketable and productive for the state’s economy will be severly curtailed with any prolonged job action forced by the disrespectful offer the CSU administration has placed before CFA negotiators.
Over the holiday season, CFA will be planning several job actions that will provide a higher visibility to the inequitable salary offers being proposed by the CSU administration. Please write your state senator and assemblymember to alert them to your concers about the lack of a decent, livable contract for CSU faculty.”
Speak Out California invites faculty and students to share with us the impact of the salary and benefits they receive and just what effect the general attitude of the CSU administration has on their hopes and experience as academics in the CSU system.
We also invite the administration at CSU to explain and justify its position in response to the statistics showing that we are losing many exceptionally qualified young academics because of the current financial treatment of their faculty. What are their expectations for the future of the important teaching aspects of their institutions if good people are leaving because of inadequate and or non-competitive pay packages? How do they explain the six-figure compensation packages of administrators while faculty are apparently relegated to below-market incomes for their services to the Universities?
Just scroll down and tell us your experiences and responses.
We’d love to hear from all sides on this one.