Faculty members of Cal State schools throughout the state had reason to rejoice this morning, as the details of a tentative plan to increase their general salary by 10 percent over the coming years was announced by officials. It was a big win for faculty, who had been protesting the CSU’s reluctance to grant them a five percent General Salary Increase (GSI) for over a year now.
After months of state-mandated mediation, officials on both sides expressed relief that they were able to avert the planned five-day strike announced by CFA members fighting for the five percent GSI.
“The faculty spoke up for five percent and got it,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagen. She said the situation regarding faculty pay had become such a crisis, that “ordinarily mild-mannered” professors and lecturers were protesting in the streets with signs. “It was truly a reflection of the economic crisis we’re experiencing.”
“I’m absolutely delighted that we have reached an agreement with the CFA,” said California State University Chancellor Timothy White in a press conference this morning. “We both agree it’s great for students in so many ways.”
He went on to state that the fact-finding team in March found teachers were in fact paid “under market,” and that he got involved personally at the end of negotiations to show his concern for faculty and students. He cautioned that the CSU is still “underfunded relative to the state’s needs for the general population,” however, and that the funding would have to come from somewhere.
However, the fact that the increase is taking place over the next few years gives the university time to obtain more funding from the state (namely, “two budget cycles”) instead of programs toward which funding had already been allocated, according to White.
Yet, one area of funding is clear. The 2 percent budget increase previously offered to faculty by the CSU (and rejected), had been allocated for the 2015/2016 year and had yet to be spent. White said this funding will go toward the salary increases promised in the agreement.
The one hit the faculty had to take, with regard to the deal, involved employees hired after July 1, 2017 receiving full health benefits upon retirement at age 50 with at least 10 years of service credit (those hired before July 1 only needed five years of service credit).
“We felt that it was important to address the issue,” said Eagen. “Even at 10 years, that’s still an extraordinary benefit our [colleagues] will enjoy.”
- All specified faculty on active pay status, or on leave, June 30, 2016 will receive at 11:59PM a 5 percent GSI.
- All specified faculty on active pay status, or on leave, July 1, 2016 will receive a 2 percent GSI.
- All specified faculty on active pay status, or on leave, July 1, 2017, will receive a 3.5 percent GSI.
- A 2.65 percent SSI will occur during FY2017/18, effective on the faculty member’s anniversary date.
- On July 1 2016, the minimum increase on promotion pursuant to Article 31.5 shall be increased from 7.5 percent to 9 percent.
The agreement awaits ratification by the CFA, the next step in the process. Once the agreement is fully ratified, it will be submitted to the State Controller’s office—the last step in the agreement’s implementation.
“We made the case and got them the data,” said Eagen. “What the CSU Faculty has done is historic.”