Update on Cal State University impasse

The California State University Board of Trustees announced this week that it would be giving 28 of it’s highest paid executives a 4% increase in compensation while at the same time students were told they could be seeing a 10% increase in tuition in the fall. These same high-paid administrators,led by Chancellor Charles Reed, continue to be at impasse with their faculty and its negotiating arm, the California Faculty Assoication, (CFA) which is seeking a contract that increases the salaries and benefits of its members.
Many state legislators have objected to giving these 6-figure executives yet another pay increase, given that both CSU faculty and students are feeling a financial squeeze at the same time. This is the second pay raise for the top adminstrators in less than two years, having received an average 14% pay hike in mid-2005 (complete with increased car and housing allowance)
Speak Out California Board Member and Assistant Professor R. Stanley Oden has been providing regular updates to Speak Out California’s readers and submits this latest update-complete with proposed faculty and student action so that those who wish to lend their support for this effort may do so.

As it has been reported previously by Speak Out California, the California Faculty Association which represents California State University faculty, counselors, and coaches is stepping up its Spring Campaign to get the CSU administration back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair and equitable contract for the CFA. The CFA faculty over the past two weeks and for several more weeks at each campus will be holding rallies, informational pickets and campus meetings with faculty members. The purpose is to inform CSU faculty, students and the public at-large that the CSU administration has voted to give salary increases to administrators and outrageous severance packages costing California taxpayers millions of dollars while CSU faculty is faced with a paltry salary offer from the CSU administration. Additionally, CSU students are now faced with a fee increase of 10% promoted by the Governor, who ran on a promise that he would not seek to raise fees. Students are organizing against this fee increase and are joining forces with the CFA faculty to bring equity and fairness to educational funding for the CSU. It is reported that student leaders from the CSU system are meeting to map out their campaign opposing a 10 percent undergraduate fee increase for the 2007-08 school year. “Our policy states that we oppose any fee increases”, said Nadir Vissanjy, a student at Sonoma State University who chairs the California State Student Association.
This CFA is encouraging the public to support the CFA and CSU students. Informational picketing will be held at CSU Sacramento at the school entrances on Monday, January 29th beginning at 7:30 a.m. Other campus actions include: Picketing at San Jose State, January 31st, and San Francisco State. February 7th. All of the CFA chapters are holding strike related activities including strike meetings, phonebanking, and teach-ins.
The contract negotiations are at an impasse. Mediation between both sides failed to produce any settlement and the next step is fact-finding with both sides seeking a fact-finder to lay out their positions. The CFA does not hold out much hope from this process and fully expect the CSU administration to impose its contract offer on the CFA. The CFA members will start holding strike vote meetings sometime after the expected imposition of the CSU offer. At that point the CFA is prepared to begin rolling strikes throughout the CSU system.
We encourage all Californians to write their local state legislators and demand that the CSU negotiate fairly and equitably with the CFA. The CSU is a major economic engine of California. The CSU is where working class Californians goes to receive their college degrees and then become productive, creative workers at all professions and at all levels in the state. Join with the faculty and students to protest the lack of a decent contract for faculty and to rescind the fee increases proposed by the governor.
Professor Oden serves on the faculty at Cal. State University, Sacramento