The California State University system and the California Faculty Association were unable to come to terms on several salary issues last month, but the CSU system does not believe the failure in negotiations will interrupt classes.
“It will be business as usual on all CSU campuses,” said CSU media relations specialist to the chancellor’s office, Paul Browning.
While the organizations have already come to an agreement on several economic issues, including healthcare and retirement, they have failed to come to terms on several others. Total salary compensation and an incentive and equity pay program for members of the bargaining unit are just a few of the issues that remain unresolved.
“(CFA) did not accept our salary increase, which we thought was quite good,” Browning said. “(CSU) is disappointed because we see it as a very generous offer-we feel that if the faculty had a chance to look at it they would too.”
A third party mediator will now be used to help negotiate a deal. The CSU system asked the Public Employee Relations Board to certify a declaration as the only option toward reaching a resolution and last Thursday PERB granted a certification of a state of impasse.
The CSU system claims they offered the CFA a proposal that includes a 24.87 percent salary increase over four years, starting in the 2006-07 school year. This increase would bring faculty salaries close to those of faculty at institutions used for comparison by the Postsecondary Education Commission.
CSU salaries are currently below these comparable institutions by approximately 14 percent. After increases in cost-of-living, the current proposed salary offer would close this gap an additional 12.5 percent.
The CFA maintains that most faculty members will receive far less than the proposed salary increase. They claim the incentive and equity pay program is no improvement over the CSU system’s last proposal.
According to information on the CFA Web site, “the most recent program on the table would have given the administration full discretion over the distribution of these dollars and leave faculty members the ability to appeal only to the president if dissatisfied with their awards.”
The CFA and the CSU system have agreed to extend the terms of the current contract until Oct. 31, 2006.
The CSU system is the largest system of senior higher education in the Unites States, with 23 campuses, approximately 405,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff members.
The CFA represents 22,000 faculty members and lecturers at the 23 CSU campuses.