Cal State faculty union seeks strike authorization

  • September 28, 2011

A Cal State faculty union Wednesday asked its members to authorize strikes at campuses after the university's administration rejected a compromise proposal to pay previously negotiated raises.

The California Faculty Assn. called for a series of actions, up to and including strikes, on Nov. 17 at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State East Bay. The association represents 24,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches at 23 Cal State campuses.

The group is protesting a decision by Chancellor Charles Reed to withhold pay raises negotiated for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 academic years. The raises stalled when the state cut education funding. Recently, a state-appointed fact-finding panel endorsed a 1.3% increase.

“This is a small gesture and not something that’s going to bankrupt Cal State University," said faculty association president Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State L.A. The union will announce the results of the strike vote next month.

In response, Cal State officials said the system has lost almost $1 billion in state funding since 2008 and has no money for raises.

"The fact-finder report doesn’t necessarily recognize the economic situation of the state in those years," said spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp. "We reduced classes and employees were forced to take a 10% pay cut in the form of furloughs. So to say money was available is not accurate. And now there's even less money."

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