Cal State faculty group threatens strikes as salary negotiations reach impasse
The California Faculty Association rallied Tuesday during the California State University’s board of trustees meeting to demand salary increases and improved benefits like extended parental leave.
The faculty group, which is the union representing more than 29,000 Cal State professors both on and off tenure tracks, lecturers including part-time and contingent faculty, librarians, counselors and coaches, has been calling for a 4% retroactive raise, a 4% increase in pay this year and an additional 4% increase in pay next year. The CSU system countered with a 2% increase for this year.
“Do you really want to make the faculty go on strike just to get a cost-of-living increase?” said Lewis Call, a history professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, during the meeting’s public comment period. “That’s no way to run a university.”
Kevin Wehr, a sociology professor at Sacramento State and CFA vice president, said the negotiations have not been going well and the union and chancellor’s office are in state-mandated mediation. Wehr said the faculty contract hasn’t been altered since 2014. That contract was extended to Sept. 30.
“The faculty is tired of (hearing) no,” he said. “If we don’t get to yes, we know where this process goes, and it’s not going to be pretty.”
The faculty union also criticized the board’s decision in September to begin increasing presidential salaries up to 10% over three years.
Meanwhile, the trustees plan to ask the state in its 2022-23 budget for an additional $223.3 million to increase salary and benefits in next year’s budget. A proposal from trustee Romey Sabalius to double that request failed 6-5 in committee.
Trustee Jack McGrory said the board should let the negotiations process work itself out and stick with the $223.3 million request.
“If we have to make adjustments as a result of that process later, we can,” he said.