California State University

Capitol Alert
By Alexei Koseff
akoseff@sacbee.com
November 4, 2015

  • More than 94 percent of voting members give union permission to call strike in salary dispute with university

Amid a contract dispute, the California State University faculty union announced Wednesday that it has overwhelmingly authorized a strike for the fourth time in eight years.

More than 94 percent of participants in a 10-day vote gave the California Faculty Association permission to call a strike across the 23-campus system if it fails to reach an agreement on salaries for the 2015-16 academic year. The union – which represents approximately 25,000 CSU professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches – is currently taking part in a fact-finding arbitration process with university officials.

“The faculty are angry and justifiably so,” faculty association President Jennifer Eagan said during a press conference at San Jose State University. “Our employer has decided what the faculty is worth, and they have decided that we’re not worth that much to them.”

Faculty, which received small or no pay increases over much of the last decade as the economic recession decimated the university’s budget, began agitating for a significant raise this spring. In a series of reports, it made the case that the university has been underfunding its teaching staff for years – shifting priorities to administrative spending and hiring, turning to part-time lecturers to cut costs, and providing salaries that have not kept up with inflation.

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