Faculty union authorizes strike

In Campus News, News, State News

The California Faculty Association (CFA) has approved to strike if an agreement for faculty salaries cannot be reached with California State University system management.

CFA members refused the proposed 2 percent salary increase offered by CSU management, instead seeking a 5 percent General Salary Increase and a 2.65 percent Salary Service Increase for eligible faculty, according to the CFA.

For a strike to occur, it must go through a statutory process, said Michele Barr, Ed.D., vice president of the Cal State Fullerton CFA chapter.

The first step consisted of bargaining, where both sides came together and discussed what the CFA wanted and what the Chancellor’s Office was willing to give. After two days of bargaining, neither side was willing to settle, Barr said.

Impasse was then declared, allowing the process to reach mediation. The State Mediation and Conciliation Service assigns a mediator to assist the parties to reach consensus.

“It was very apparent, from very early on, that they are not going to move and we’re not going to move. We can’t,” Barr said. “I have yet to have a faculty member say ‘No, I think two percent is fine.’”

The CFA is now in the stage of fact-finding, where both sides present evidence to a panel, which consists of one CFA representative, one CSU management representative and a neutral factfinder. The panel then examines the facts presented and recommends how a consensus can be reached.

The CFA will only strike if it cannot meet an agreement with CSU management after going through the statutory process of trying to reach an agreement.

“We don’t want to do that (strike), because we’re teachers,” Barr said.

“We want to be in the classroom.”

The CFA and CSU management will meet Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 for scheduled fact-finding sessions.

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