The California State Faculty Association (CFA) and California State University (CSU) administrators have reached an agreement in a yearlong battle over faculty raises. Over the next three years CSU faculty will receive a total increase of 10.5 percent, with faculty receiving a 5 percent increase on June 30 of this year. On July 1, a 2 percent increase will take effect, while the remaining 3.5 percent will be implemented the following year.
As part of the agreement all faculty members hired after July 1, 2017 will only be eligible for retiree benefits after working for 10 years, while members hired before will be eligible for retirement benefits in five.
In October all faculty members voted to authorize a strike if their demands for a raise were not met, with a majority of faculty members voting in favor of a strike. These strikes were slated to take place April 13-15 and April 18-19 at all 23 CSU campuses, the first CSU faculty strike since 2011.
A fact-finding report was released on Monday, March 25, 2016 and recommended CSU administrators give the 5 percent raise to all faculty by reallocating the money they are spending in other areas such as administrative costs.
“The recommendation to redirect funds is a confirmation that the CSU does not have unallocated resources to meet the CFA’s salary demands,” said CSU spokeswoman Laurie Weidner in an email addressing the fact-finding report.
Despite threats of a strike earlier in the year, the CSU system released a statement reassuring students the strike will not impact their ability to finish the semester and graduate on time. “If a strike occurs, campuses intend to remain open … The California State University remains committed to reaching a resolution,” the statement said.
CSU faculty did not receive any raises during the recession; up until 2013 faculty members went five years without a raise. In 2010, furloughs resulted in a 10 percent salary cut to faculty members. During the recession the CSU system lost over $1 billion in funding. Today the system is still $135 million below its pre-recession funding.
According to the CSU system, the annual salary for a full-time tenured professor averages $96,660 but more than half of CSU faculty members earn less than $38,000 annually according to the faculty association.
“Faculty, on average, have lost $9,000 in purchasing power over the last decade. It is time to stand and say, no longer,” said Kevin Wehr, the chairman of the union bargaining team.