Ryan Chartrand

The California Faculty Association and the California State University administration are in the middle of a 10-day negotiation period, during which the two sides are trying to work out a new labor agreement. If no agreement is reached by Friday, the CFA plans to announce its strike plans for next week.

On the chances of the two sides finally reaching agreement, “I’m hopeful,” said Richard Saenz, president of the Cal Poly chapter of the CFA. “I’m hoping they’re serious about it. The combination of the fact finder’s report and our vote were very favorable to us.”

The negotiations began after March 25 when the CFA accepted recommendations from the fact finding committee, which has a representative from the CFA, the CSU and one neutral person. The report proposed a 24.87 percent raise in faculty salary over a four-year period as well as 10 percent in service step increases, which are dependent on performance.

The CSU had previously offered a 24.87 percent compensation package to be paid over a three-year period, according to a press release from the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

The CFA held a strike authorization vote on March 14, and 94 percent voted in favor of the strike. About 32 percent of Cal Poly’s faculty are voting members in the union.

Despite negotiations, the CFA is continuing its strike preparations. If there is no agreement, six CSU campuses will have two-day strikes next week.

Although Cal Poly’s strike date is still undetermined, if the CFA decides to strike, Cal Poly faculty will definitely participate, Saenz said.

Cal State Los Angeles and California Maritime Academy are scheduled to strike April 10 and 11; and CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU East Bay, CSU San Marcos and CSU Sacramento are scheduled for April 11 to 12.

“If what we did so far doesn’t prod them to come to agreement, (CSU) is probably not inclined to do so,” Saenz said. “(Once it’s resolved) we’ll all be able to get back to the main point of business – teaching.”Others shared Saenz’s desire to finally lay the dispute to rest.

“If the administration is truly committed to providing students with quality education, and if it truly cares about the future of the CSU system, it would accept the fact finder’s recommendations and settle this contract dispute,” said CFA President John Travis in a press release.

The office of the vice president of academic personnel could not be reached for comment.

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