Cal Poly faculty to vote on strike
April 16, 2012
Faculty at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo will begin voting today on whether the faculty will grant their union, the California Faculty Association, the authority to call a strike, according to the association’s website.
The end of mediation sets in motion a series of events that could result in school not opening this fall for some 400,000 California State University students due to a massive strike.
Mediation efforts to reach a new contract for the people who teach in the classrooms, run the libraries, train the athletes, and provide for students’ mental health on the 23 CSU campuses broke down on Friday after months of meetings.
Andy Merrifield, chair of the faculty union’s Bargaining Team and a professor at Sonoma State University, said he was disappointed but not surprised.
“We hope we will get a contract before the end of this process,” Merrifield said. “If we don’t, the chancellor will unilaterally impose his demands on us. And we have to be ready to respond. That is why we are voting now, so that our members will have the time they need to prepare.”
Throughout 22 months of talks, the CSU chancellor’s management and union officials have battled over managements demands for concessions from the faculty’s contract, the length of a new contract, increasing class sizes, the escalating shift to a “just in time” teaching force by making more and more faculty positions temporary and short term.
“A three-year contract provides minimal security for our faculty who work on temporary contracts and helps students by providing a greater chance that their faculty will be there to see them through to graduation” Merrifield said.