With the Cal State University faculty having voted overwhelmingly to strike as a result of the impasse with CSU’s adminstration over its contract, Speak Out California has called for support of the Faculty’s efforts to negotiate a fair contract with the CSU administration. If you didn’t receive our ACTION ALERT, please go to our HOME page and click on the TAKE ACTION link at the top of the page. From there you’ll find a model draft of a letter to go to state legislators urging their support for the Faculty Association in its efforts to receive a fair contract. In addition, Speak Out is seeking your support for legislation which will add sunshine to the CSU’s compensation practices which have given favored administrators raises of up to 60% in the past two years while faculty salaries lag up to 35% below counterparts in other state university systems.
The California State University system is one of the key educational components to our state’s future so we’ve been following this closely. Here’s the most recent update from Speak Out Board member and Assistant Professor at Cal State Sacramento, R. Stanley Oden as to where the situation stands now.
The California Faculty Association has authorized its first ever strike, by an overwhelming majority of its more than 8,000 members. There was an 81% turnout for the vote, and an impressive 94% of those voting favored a strike. The CFA has been preparing for a strike for the past few months, since the CSU administration walked away from the negotiating table and set the possibility for a strike vote into motion. As negotiations stalled on salary demands by CFA, which were important in order to begin bringing their members in line with comparable faculty salaries, both sides went through a mediator, and, just recently, through a fact-finding process. The fact-finding results will be made available next week.
The CFA has been placing maximum pressure on Chancellor Charles Reed and the Board of Trustees, particularly through the State Legislature, to get the CSU administration back to the bargaining table. In that regard, two important committees met at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 21st — the State Senate Committee on Higher Education, chaired by State Senator Jack Scott, and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 2, chaired by Julia Brownley. At both hearings the CSU administration was pressured by committee members to get back to the bargaining table and meet with the CFA to resolve the outstanding issues on salary. The CSU administration announced that the Board of Trustees will be meeting in a extraordinary session on Sunday, March 25th, to assess their negotiating position, based on the fact-finding report and in light of the vast numbers of CFA members who voted to support a strike
The CFA across all 23 campuses is gearing up for a two-day rolling strike for sometime during the first two weeks in April. These rolling strikes are intended to stop business as usual at the campuses and to encourage students to join the faculty at the picket lines to support the CFA. This strike will be the largest university strike in U.S. history. The issues that are pushing this strike will reverberate throughout higher education. Much is at stake for higher education and for the profession of teaching, and many labor unions, teachers associations, and citizens are supporting the CFA on their contract demands. Please go the CFA website, calfac.org, for more up-to-date information about the strike vote and the pending strike activities. Speak Out California will also keep you current on all strike-related activities and actions that you can take to help us reach a fair and equitable contract.