Cal State Faculty Approves Strike

Anger over contract talks has faculty planning rolling two day strike at local schools, including CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Long Beach.

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.

CDC May 02, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Teachers must REALLY hate students, since the students will have to pay for all of this in fees. Teachers get paid really well with insanely great benefits and entitlements. There is a recession on with millions out of work! How greedy can these teachers and their union get! I'm voting no new taxes after reading about this pure greed! Now we have Students vs. Teachers in dual strikes. It's Thunderdome time! "Listen all! This is the truth of it. Look at us now! Busted up, and everyone talking about hard times! It happens here! And it finishes here! Two enter; one leaves." "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Teacher Layoff time's here." Dr. Dealgood
Milan Moravec May 03, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Milan Moravec May 03, 2012 at 12:29 AM
From a cost perspective what university is more expensive for Californians? Harvard? 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. Unfortunately Birgeneau’s ‘charge more’ instate tuition diminishes the equality and inclusion principles which underlie our state and country. Birgeneau’s and Provost George Breslauer’s ($306,000 salary) ‘charge more’ instate tuition denies middle income Californians the transformative value of university education. University of California 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
Carrie Cook May 03, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Barry Munitz was fired from the Getty Musuem for excess spending, things like the Porshe he purchased with Getty money lavish dinners with stars, etc. He went back to the Cal State system and is is currently the trustee professor at Cal State L.A., with full professorial tenure in the Department of English, and serves as an advisor to the Charter College of Education. He never lost his retirement benefits or pay at any time thanks to the union. People wonder where the money goes.


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