Yesterday, the Long Beach-based California State University system’s management and the California Faculty Association (CFA) reached an impasse over a proposed five percent General Salary Increase (GSI) for faculty, days after the CSU Board of Trustees approved a two percent raise for the CSU Chancellor Timothy White and the system’s presidents.
The two percent raise for the management applies to faculty as well. The CFA maintains that a two percent for raise for faculty ends up being insignificant when compared to a two percent raise for management, which averages to be about $6,000 more per year. Faculty had appealed for a larger GSI raise, as well as a 2.65 percent Service Salary Increase (SSI) for eligible faculty.
“The CFA and CSU bargaining teams have been meeting since May regarding salary negotiations,” Laurie Weidner, CSU assistant vice chancellor of public affairs, told the Post. “The parties could not reach agreement.”
Weidner said both parties would “jointly petition the Public Employees Relations Board to certify impasse on salary” while seeking a state-appointed mediator.
Molly Talcott, Associate Professor at California State University, Los Angeles noted an an earlier interview that administrative officials often receive free housing and occasional bonuses, perks for which faculty are ineligible. She said that from 2004 to 2014, the average pay for CSU administrators increased about 44 percent, or around $100,000, while the faculty average increased by just $4,000, from $46,000 annually to $50,000 annually.
“We’ve lost purchasing power,” she said. “We’ve actually slid backwards […] Two percent sounds fair and equal for all, but two percent of a $40,000 salary is a lot different. It doesn’t even show up in your paycheck.”
“It is absolutely disheartening that Chancellor White and his management team doesn’t value the faculty enough to invest in us, and, by extension, our students,” said Jennifer Eagan, CFA president and a professor at California State Univeristy, East Bay in a statement. “For years, CSU faculty have sacrificed. We are asking for raises that would help offset cost of living increases and escalating housing costs. Increases that would help some faculty get off public assistance; that would help them be able to send their own kids to the where they teach. This isn’t too much to ask.”
Above, left: file photo.