May 24, 2016
The Cal State Board of Trustees approved a plan Tuesday to raise faculty salaries by 10.5% over three years, capping a long-running dispute over pay that threatened to wreak havoc on the nation’s largest public university system.
The board’s Committee on Collective Bargaining voted unanimously to implement an agreement that was negotiated by university administrators and the California Faculty Assn. last month. The last-minute deal averted a planned five-day strike that would have disrupted operations across all 23 Cal State campuses.
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, said he was grateful the trustees ratified the agreement. He emphasized the important role that Cal State’s more than 26,000 professors, lecturers, coaches, librarians and counselors play in enabling university priorities, such as student achievement and degree completion.
“Investing in our faculty is an investment in our students’ learning,” said White, who led the negotiations with the faculty union.
Union President Jennifer Eagan acknowledged that it had been “a difficult year” for faculty, administrators and students, but she said the outcome was worth it.
“We are pleased that we managed to avoid a strike and come to a reasonable agreement that takes fair and necessary steps toward resolving long-standing and much-aggrieved salary problems for the faculty,” said Eagan, a professor of philosophy and public administration at Cal State East Bay.
With salary issues resolved, union leaders and Cal State officials can now focus on other important faculty issues, she added, such as increasing the number of tenured professors.
The dispute began about a year ago, when the union demanded a 5% pay raise for professors and other faculty members. Cal State said it could only afford a 2% raise. White had said that anything more would jeopardize the system’s other important priorities, such as increasing enrollment and supporting vital student programs.
The compromise plan allows for a larger pay increase, but spreads out the cost over three fiscal years. It starts with a non-retroactive, 5% general raise that takes effect on June 30, the last day of the budget year. Then on July 1, a 2% raise will kick in, giving faculty what amounts to a 7% salary increase. A final bump on July 1, 2017, will bring the total increase to about 10.5%.
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