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.


30 Comments

  1. jimmy_me says:

    Why is any CSU president’s salary higher than the governor’s salary? Isn’t running a state more deserving than running piddly university? There are other administrators on the Cal Poly campus who also make more than the governor; who allowed this to happen? Why is it for the last few years you can barely get around the Cal Poly campus due to construction projects? Where does that money come from? It sure seems like the CSU can find money when they want to, including raising student fees at the slightest whim. Very backwards and corrupt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  2. Structure says:

    Striking in this climate may seem unreasonable, but it sure seems like administrators find plenty of $ for their pet projects:

    Reason #1: Between 2008 and 2009, when CSU employees took pay cuts in the form of furloughs and thousands of faculty and staff lost their jobs, discretionary raises were awarded to hundreds of managers at a cost of almost $7 million.

    Reason #2: The Chancellor wants to give faculty zero raises now and less later, but still pay consultants millions. Since 2006, the Chancellor’s office has paid C. Richard Barnes & Associates $6,586,700 to represent the CSU in bargaining against us. In other words, $6,586,700 to say “No”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  3. Ted Slanders says:

    .
    Hell, all these stories on the CSU negotiations may be a moot issue if Rommey is elected as president because he stated, to wit; “Recognize that college is expensive,” Romney explained. “You don’t want to have huge debts. I know that it would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to make sure you pay for your college (Pell Grants, etc.). But I’m not going to promise that. What I’m going to tell you is shop around, get a good price.” Really? The hell with allowing anyone to go to college, especially the poor?

    Romney is the same person who benefits from special provisions in the tax code which allow him to be taxed at 15% tax rates, instead of 35%, BEFORE deductions due to a provision called the “carried interest rule” which his own company Bain Capital LOBBIED FOR. Cool, huh?
    Furthermore, if the Republican Ryan bill is passed, eliminating 170 billion in student loans, barring the fact of reducing, or eliminating, Medicare, Medical, and Medicaid, then only the wealthy will be able to afford college. Class warfare? Nahhhh.

    The GOP (God’s Own Party) is surely not following the teachings of Jesus. I am sure He is NOT smiling at his now distant party of God.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 7

    • Slowerfaster says:

      Brother Ted, did you not hear what North Carolina representative Virginia Foxx ( R) had to say thusly ?
      She complained that today’s college students are just slackers…that she has “little tolerance” for student loans. Loans that build from $80,000 to $200,000. Why, she went to college and NEVER BORROWED a DIME…and it only took her seven years to graduate !
      I wonder what her secret plan to attend higher education and pay for it is ?

      Well, here’s a little secret … her occupation before becoming a politician and part of the Republican Nitwit Caucus was, you guessed it ! College professer and administrator.

      Now Ms. Foxx has NO qualms about taking out loans on HOUSES close to half-a-million dollars

      BTW, be wary when looking at photo’s of Ms. Foxx. She clearly is no ‘fox’. she looks more like a possum that mated with a poodle !

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

      • Ted Slanders says:

        Brother Slowerfaster,

        I am sad in what my GOP (Gods Own Party) has recently turned into. The Confederates, I mean, the Tea Party, has most certainly stalled even the most liberal of Republicans from doing a damn thing in Congress! And, they have the nerve in blaming Obama in not producing any jobs! LOL! It must be a joke, huh?

        Remember the mantra of Boner in 2010? “Elect us and we’ll produce jobs!” Uh, other than their trying to control the woman’s uterus, and the gays, where are the jobs?

        Anyway, this CSU problem should be nonpartisan and I still say that they should work from the top down! Recently, can you believe the California State University Board of Trustees two CSU presidents raises???!!! At the same time, the student tuition was raised! HELLO?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 6

    • SLOBIRD says:

      Romney is not taxes special, he is taxed on this Capital Gains Tax which is 15% just like Mr. Buffet who also pays 15% and states he doesn’t pay enough and owes IRS over $1 B ion back taxes. I have no problem with ANYONE working hard, taking risk being successful and having money, Wish I could do it. Since when is it a crime to work hard, be successful and have money, Obviously, everyone wants it because on the Mega Lotteries all the trolls buy tickets in hopes of becoming a millionaire, As for the education, the hell with California High Education. I would not vote a dime more after reading this week that the majority of new students will be coming from out of State because they will pay more to attend California schools which our tax dollars support. It is all a scam! Between illegal students, out of state students, minority students all getting priority wiithout consideration of the hard working grade earned student. I will vote for nothing with a $$$ attached – it’s not free, folks!!!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Ted Slanders says:

    .

    It’s those G*&#$*n Unions again! Look what they want to do; get rid of the oversize classes, get rid of the notion that they should be temporary and work with fewer benefits, lower pay, and no job security! How dare the CFA strike on these conditions?! They should significantly lower themselves and be like the private sector with it’s “at will” working conditions where their boss could fire them for ANY reason whatsoever!

    WAIT! If California is broke because of many reasons (Banksters, Wall Street, deregulation, etc.), how about working from the top down at the CSU colleges? Let’s see, how about the plethora of CSU administrators take a 25 percent pay cut right now, and give up some of their perks that they’re asking the CFA UNION to do?

    How about the concept of whenever the student tuition goes up, the cadre of administrators takes an equal percentage amount in pay cuts? After all, it’s their job as administrators to oversee costs, isn’t it? In this way, they too can feel the pain of the ungodly tuition raises to the students and maybe do something about it and get back to what CSU’s are for; higher learning. Isn’t it logical that true leadership sets a good example? Sure it does.

    Tell me if you’ve heard this one before; a very highly paid president of a CSU could be kidnapped by women from Mars, and it would be weeks or even months before his or her absence from campus was noticed? This includes their significant underlings as well. Is anyone asking what do these people do with their time and is their position and pay justified by the workload? In any event, a novel concept would be starting at the top and working down.

    The irony is that who gives these administrators their pay raises? Oh yeah, the California State University Board of Trustees! The fox guarding the chicken coop scenario. In the same vein, the UNIONS are trying to protect their members as well. Get it?

    Screw it, let’s all move to Costa Rica!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 5

    • slocorruptionhater says:

      Pura vida Ted…la vida sin sindicatos

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

      • Ted Slanders says:

        Slocorruptionhater,

        Okay, I’ll take two beef tamales, 1 carne asada taco soft shell, 1 chili rellano, and a Mexican coke, to go. Thanks.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

        • slocorruptionhater says:

          Ted…are you making fun of my heritage?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

          • Ted Slanders says:

            .
            slocorruptionhater,

            Most certainly NOT! If you are not going to speak the accepted language in this forum, then I am going to be facetious with my answer to the Spanish language that you used.

            Conversely, were YOU making fun of my heritage by hiding behind your specified language?

            If you own a Mexican Restaurant or food service, then I will still place that order and you can tell me where and when to pick it up because Brother Ted loves Mexican food!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

            • slocorruptionhater says:

              You said: “Screw it, let’s all move to Costa Rica!”…so, I made a reference to “Pura Vida” which I thought you would get if you are familiar with Costa Rica’s lifestyle/culture. Then, I included a play on words in Spanish about life without unions which I also thought you would get since you seem to be quite handy with the Google search thing ;-) alas I failed miserably…then you came up with the Mexican food order post…and I thought you were making fun of me, you know, as in all Hispanics work in a Mexican food restaurant…but then you made it clear that you are NOT bigoted…thanks Ted, I was worried that you were not who I thought you were. I can sleep well now. Carry on…

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

        • The Gimlet Eye says:

          I’m sorry to correct you there, Ted, but it’s “relleno.” Just got word from the Spanish Dept.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          • Ted Slanders says:

            Gimlet,

            Shhhhh, I realize this fact. I misspelled it on purpose just to see if slocorruptionhater caught this mistake. That’s why I am still suspect upon his “alleged” heritage!

            Mums the word, okay?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

            • slocorruptionhater says:

              Ted…if you are familiar with my infrequent postings, I am not the kind that points out misspelled words, grammar issues, etc. I normally just focus on the idea that is being conveyed. If someone has poor sentence structure, types in all caps, or writes ”R U 4 real?”, I don’t get my panties in a bunch. I am certainly no English language expert. To address your last posting, I did notice your “chilli rellano” order (chilli as bowl of chilli and rellano as TGY pointed out), but if you expected for me to point that out to prove my heritage, that was not going to happen.

              In the past, I offered to meet with you over a cup of coffee (at that mystical place you connect to the internet), but you declined by virtue that you didn’t respond to my post or contacted me via email. I am still disappointed about that. If we ever meet, I will assure you that my heritage will no longer be in question. Peace Ted :-)

              Signed Slocorruptionhater (of alleged Hispanic heritage)

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

              • Ted Slanders says:

                slocorruptionhater,

                In a nutshell, many people are disappointed that Brother Ted won’t meet with them, so you’re not the only one. Unfortunately, I am only one person.

                My many ministries keep me quite busy, and working for the Lord is always more important than proving one’s heritage.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                • slocorruptionhater says:

                  I totally understand Ted, the keyboard is your domain.

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. SLOBIRD says:

    My personal observation is that these administrators and all the assistants have not set up colleges but rather communities. They feel that have to be paid big salaries because they manager performing art centers (how many does Cal Poly have on campus), recreation centers (ten years ago they built state-of-art and now they are redoing, housing, markets, restaurants, stores, sports centers, etc. All of this comes at a high price of hiring staff to manager and maintain all these faculties without even discussing the need for the Taj Mahal’s being built on these campus. Whatever happen to just providing education, hiring the best teachers and support staff and building classrooms. The system has become corrupt just like all forms of government with greed, corruption and unions. This is not the fault of the teachers! We have just loss focus of needs and goals. Just my opinion…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

    • Ted Slanders says:

      SLOBIRD,

      Uh, your opinion states that the unions are at fault, but yet also states that it is not the fault of the CFA members, that are UNION? Huh?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

      • SLOBIRD says:

        Actually, if you gave the option to teachers/staff to join or not join/support their unions most would not support the unions. At least not the unions of today that run our government, select our politicians, create our budgets and laws and control our life. Unions use to be for and supported the employees, now the employees support the unions. Thank you, Jerry Brown!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

        • Ted Slanders says:

          SLOBIRD,

          Where is your emperical evidence to support your notion that the CFA teachers wouldn’t join their unions today? To save you some time, Google it, 90 percent of them voted for this possible strike, whereas only 10 percent didn’t vote or were against the strike. The simple math is that it seems with the CFA, 90 percent are for Union representation.

          The other types of unions that you mention are moot because they’re not of the trade of the CFA, and what has Jerry Brown got to do with it? Furthermore, what did “Arnold” do about this situation with his tenure? This issue just didn’t come up overnight!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  6. bobfromsanluis says:

    I do have to wonder if part of the breakdown in negotiations is in part due to a “lack” of concession by administrators and/or the chancellors themselves; if one wants to find and root out excessive pay, look first at the administrations and those above them. What real “value” do the people in those positions add to the education the students receive?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 3

  7. Downtown Bob says:

    No media or other public official seems to care that education, or more specifically here higher education, has gone up percentage wise as much or even more than gasoline! Where are the calls for investigations and the profits of big education and their profiteers? Lets get some accountability here. Let us stop letting colleges stop being that grooming grounds for big athletics and return to being the training ground for scholars. All we will here is how “it’s for the children, what can me more important that their education”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

    • jimmy_me says:

      Yes, higher education has turned into a giant scam that no one seems to notice. We have a society that swears to the benefits of education and particularly, higher eduation. Higher education responded by becoming an endless money pit for students and a feeding trough for administrators. Costs of education have gone up significantly faster than even medical costs. The reality is that teacher salaries have remained flat while administration size and salaries have been ramping up.

      The CSU tries to convince us that we need to offer administrators high salaries in order to attract top talent. This argument is reserved for administrators only. Last I looked, Cal Poly is a school; money should be spent on attracting top teaching talent, not bean counters. The teachers are asking for a raise much smaller than the salary increases given to administrators. I’m interested in seeing how the CSU justifies their hypocrisy.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3

  8. Bob says:

    The State is Broke and the average Tax Payer has nothing more to give. Student tuition is already very excessive and continuing to escalate well beyond the means of the average family or student.

    I could care less about overpaid professors going on strike who prefer and allow lecturers to do most of the teaching for them.

    Let them strike, close the universities and layoff the staff. A year later and 12 months of income loss. The professors will be begging to return to work, happy to have their former over paid salaries and life time benefits.

    More importantly. In the course of the year the state would save billions allowing them to lower tuition and make CSU more affordable to the average family and students for years to come.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 20

    • Slowerfaster says:

      Like that would really help the local economy. Wonder how those new restaurants in downtown SLO that cater to the college crowd will fare under your plan ?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    • d-babs says:

      Yes, let’s do that and ignore the tens of thousands of students who would be put out of school and have an already likely delayed graduation even more delayed. Sorry buddy, but I like my education. Not to mention those students potentially flooding the already hectic job market. I’m hoping this issue gets resolved ASAP. I realize that there is a messed up system here where athletics are becoming more important than education at a polytechnic university where academics have earned high accolades for many years. Furthermore, the student success fee was more than enough manipulation than I need and frankly I’m not a fan of professors being shafted with their contracts.

      As a student, I would like to point out that I don’t appreciate your comment about lecturers teaching for professors. This is hardly ever the case so don’t go blaming the educators for an issue that is clearly an administration issue.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

      • Ted Slanders says:

        babs,

        In the beginning, there would be rolling strikes of two different CSU’s every two days. Have you seen the president of Cal Poly lately, or his underlings?

        Forgiveth Bob for he knoweth not of whateth he talketh about.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

      • The Gimlet Eye says:

        Oh, on the contrary. Lecturers teaching for professors are common throughout the country.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Ted Slanders says:

      Bob,

      Great concept, praise the Lord! This hypothetical will get rid of the many administrators, presidents, chancellors, etc., and they will be missing their overpaid salaries and perks, and they too will be begging to readjust as well! So, everything comes out in the wash for all!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 3

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