Cal State Teachers Authorize Strikes

Teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize two-day rolling strikes at the system's 23 campuses in response to what their union calls needlessly drawn-out contract negotiations.

California State University teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize two-day rolling strikes at the system's 23 campuses in response to what their union calls needlessly drawn-out contract negotiations.

The vote by members of the California Faculty Association does not necessarily mean a strike will be called, it is just an authorization for the union's leadership to call one.

"We have said all along that we do not want to strike, but we will if that is what is necessary," CFA President Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State Los Angeles, said.

She added that the union's membership has "run out of patience" with the contract talks, and have "had enough of executives putting themselves about the needs of the students and of the public university."

"Enough of managers using budget cuts as an excuse to destroy the quality of students' education," she said.

Union officials said a strike at the 23 CSU campuses would be the largest "in the history of American higher education."

Meetings are scheduled this week to see if the contract talks can get back on track.

CFA teachers staged a one-day strike in November at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson and Cal State East Bay in Hayward.

The union contends the university system is trying to move more courses into its "for-profit" extension programs while paying faculty less money to teach them. The union is also contesting proposed increases in class sizes, the lack of salary increases over the past two academic years, and the possibility of lower wages and benefits in the future.

CSU spokeswoman Claudia Keith said previously that union members had received $60 million in pay raises over the previous three years. CSU officials also have insisted that the university was hard-hit by a $650 million cut in state funding.

In November, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a 9 percent tuition hike for the 2012-13 school year. Tuition will increase by $498, meaning undergraduate student fees will go from $5,472 in 2011-12 to $5,970 for 2012- 13. With campus-specific fees added in, the total cost for undergraduate students will be more than $7,000 for the full year.

The increase will be on top of a 12 percent tuition hike that took effect this school year, and a 9 percent increase imposed in 2010.

Keith has said a strike-authorization vote was a "premature" step since negotiations were still continuing with the union.

Milan Moravec May 03, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Milan Moravec May 03, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Do you believe that public University of California Berkeley is more or less expensive than private Harvard or Yale for Californians? You'll be surprized - read on. University of California Berkeley (UCB) Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau is outspoken on why elite public universities, like Cal, should charge Californians more. With Birgeneau’s leadership UCB is more expensive (on an all-in-cost) than private Harvard and Yale. Cal. is the most expensive public higher education in our country! Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) likes to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar expected. The Chancellor’s ‘charge more’ instate tuition skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011-12 academic year. If Birgeneau had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over the past 10 years they would still be in reach of most middle income students. Increasing funding is not Cal’s solution. UCB is a public university created to maximize access to the widest number of instate students.. Birgeneau’s and Provost George Breslauer’s ($306,000 salary) ‘charge more’ instate tuition denies middle income Californians the transformative value of university education. Berkeley is now farther and farther out of reach for the sons and daughters of Californians. Opinion to: UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu and Calif. State Senators and Assembly members
Steven Hanson May 03, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Is the picture accompanying this article of that building on the Cal Poly Pomona campus? If so, I don't believe that Cal Poly is in the Cal State system. At least it didn't used to be when I went there. I could be wrong. That happens a lot lately!
Terry May 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Both Cal Polys are Cal State Universities. They specialize in engineering and science, but also offer a full lineup of traditional undergrad and grad degrees. AFAIK, the Cal Polys and CSULA are the only CSUs that use the quarter system--all the other schools use the semester system.
Steven Hanson May 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Thanks terry! You're right. I could have sworn that back in the dark ages when I was attending that the two campuses were independent of the cal State system. Maybe they were back then. I'm glad they joined the state system and yes, they are probably the best Universities in the state for Engineering. I, however; got my degree in Drama :) which, by the way, reflected the best years of my life. Great college!


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