During the second day of the Board of Trustees meeting, the board ratified an extension for the collective bargaining agreement between the Cal State system and the California Faculty Association, which included a faculty salary increase.
The board extended the agreement until June 30, 2020; the original agreement was set to expire the same date in 2018. After months of negotiation, the university system and the faculty association agreed on a 3.5 percent general salary increase to be instituted on Nov. 1, 2018 and an additional 2.5 percent increase on July 1, 2019.
“We believe that this tentative agreement … represents significant progress in addressing faculty salary issues,” said Melissa Bard, vice chancellor for human resources. “If adopted, [it] would provide an extended period of labor stability, allowing us to focus on the mission of providing an affordable and high quality and inclusive educational experience for students.”
Although the agreement did not specifically include the CSU Employees Union, many of its members spoke in response to the ratification as well as a separate agreement between the union and the university system.
During public comments, the employees union members criticized the timing of the collective bargaining.
“My big question is what took you so long?” asked employees union president Pat Gantt. “This period of negotiation was more prolonged than necessary and we should’ve been having this discussion on the ratification process at your September meeting.”
Gantt also emphasized that both parties agree that there is a problem with the salary structure systemwide, calling it untenable and unsustainable. He advised the system to make sure employees are compensated and are able to progressively move throughout the salary ranges.
Neil Jaklin, union vice president of organizing, echoed the need for a faster board response to salary issues.
“[Earlier timing] could’ve saved thousands of dollars [and] time for the CSU and CSUEU,” Jaklin said. “But what concerns me most is that this tentative agreement hasn’t solved the initial pay and equity problems like compression, inversion and market salary layout [sic]. Instead it places a 3 year band-aid on the problem. Does this make fiscal sense?”
Sergio Roldan, vice chair of bargaining unit five in the union, called the agreements bittersweet due to the extended toils of negotiating. However, he criticized the university system’s priorities when it comes to faculty and employee salaries.
“Even more disturbing is how in a matter of minutes, CSU executives got approved for 2.5 percent raise,” Roldan said. “Moving forward I ask that the CSU treats the CSUEU with respect. That doesn’t cost you guys anything.”