After authorizing a potential strike and hosting a rally at the California State University Chancellor’s Office, the California Faculty Association has brought labor complaint charges against CSU for wrongdoing during the bargaining process.
The complaints were levied against the CSU on Nov. 19 through California’s Public Employment Relations Board.
“The Chancellor decided what he thought was fair compensation for faculty before the bargaining process even began, and that is not bargaining in good faith,” CFA’s allegations state, as per CFA Bargaining Team chair Kevin Wehr.
The foundation for the charges comes from the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, Section 3572b of which “requires the CSU management and CFA to reach an agreement on salary before the university sends a budget request to the legislature and governor” as well as hosting bargaining in good faith.
“The CSU remains committed to the collective bargaining process and to reaching a negotiated agreement with the California Faculty Association,” CSU spokeswoman and Director of Public Affairs Toni Molle said, despite the new claims.
As of now, the two parties are nearing the end of the fact-finding stage of the bargaining process, with a final fact-finding meeting scheduled for Dec. 7.
CFA and CSU have been locked in the bargaining process over a discrepancy between CFA’s request for a 5 percent general faculty salary increase and the CSU’s offer of a 2 percent overall raise for the majority of the year.
Neither side has wavered on their stance, leading to tension that sparked the creation of CFA’s “Fight for Five” campaign movement, which has been building momentum in the last few months.
At the end of October, CFA members from all 23 state campuses closed a 10 day vote to authorize concerted action to persuade the CSU to accept the 5 percent increase, including faculty strikes.
A few weeks later, on Nov. 17, CFA representatives congregated outside the Chancellor’s office in Downtown Long Beach alongside labor allies, performers and supporters to make their argument more visible to the Chancellor.
When the Chancellor’s office did not respond to the rally with a concession for the offer, the standard bargaining process resumed.
After the presentation of facts on Dec. 7, the CSU will have an opportunity to present a final offer to CFA representatives. If accepted, the offer will be implemented for the upcoming 2016-17 school year. If the offer is denied, the salary contract will default to the current pay rate, but CFA will maintain the “Fight for Five” campaign under the concerted action authorization and potentially strike at the beginning of the spring 2016 semester.
The CSU Chancellor’s office staff met with colleagues from the University of California system and California Community College system on Nov. 19 to discuss ways to cut costs and optimize budgeting effectiveness for students receiving their education at any of the three college systems.