Cal Poly faculty planning walkout

November 7, 2011


Faculty members at Cal Poly are planning to walk out of classes on Tuesday for a brief protest over Chancellor Charles Reed’s decision to cancel scheduled raises.

Faculty from CSU campuses throughout California will protest against the “1 percent” who run the universities. Cal Poly faculty is planning to meet at the quad and march down to the administration building at noon.

“We are doing this to protest the lack of a fair contract from the chancellor’s office,” said Tim O’Keefe, retired Cal Poly faculty and current political action chair for the local California Faculty Association (CFA). “He has refused to bargain in good faith.”

At issue is the dispute over the faculty contract for 2008 to 2010, which promised a five percent raise and the increased salaries of faculty to the level of new hires. The contract also said it would be renegotiated if the state budget crisis continued. [SFGate]

At this time, the faculty union said they are asking only for pay parity for about 3,000 employees – out of about 24,000 – earning less than the more recent hires, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

“Students and faculty feel the same way about Chancellor Reed as the Occupy Wall Street protesters feel about decisions that benefit 1 percent of the population,” said Lillian Taiz, president of the CFA, to the Chronicle. “The chancellor is doing exactly the same to our CSU by hiking student fees, cutting classes and not paying the faculty raises that he agreed to. It is wrong, and we will hold him accountable.”

During the past year, in response to the budget crisis, CSU has reduced enrollment by 10,000 students and increased tuition by 23 percent.

In January, CSU trustees approved a compensation package for Dr. Jeffrey Armstrong, the new president of Cal Poly, for $350,000 with an additional annual supplement of $30,000 to be paid from the campus foundation.

Until then, the university’s published salary range for campus presidents was from $223,584 to $328,212.

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These people need to leave the glamorous surroundings of their campuses and go out and see how the real world is functioning. Are they aware of what happened with measure’s A & B in SLO? Most normal people are agreeing to wage and benefit cuts in order to help stabilize the financial mess that we are in but mostly to also save their jobs.

I guess there really is a difference between being intelligent and smart.

The moral of the story is that these folks need to get smart.


The problem with our Universities and Colleges in California is that we are spending more and more and getting less and less… so where is all this money going? The answer is simply into expanding administrative salaries and departments. It wasn’t all that long ago that faculty and staff outnumbered administration… today we have entire areas that were not in existence only a few years ago.

STUDENT LIFE must go! Does anyone outside the campus know what valuable services ‘Student Life’ provides on campus? They could be gone and no one would miss a thing!

ADMINISTRATIVE Bloat needs to be trimmed with a chain saw! There was a time when there was a President and a few Vice Presidents and a few Deans and not much else… now we have many more titles and many more high salaries. Gosh, we even have a ‘development department’ to do fundraising.

NO MO’ Hidden Banks! The foundations function like little banks for the universities. All the money from various business endeavors go in… and where it goes no body knows… until January when ‘transparency’ becomes effective. If you have questions of them, write them down and hand deliver it to the Foundation. Are they subsidizing mortgages? salaries? goodies? for ‘key employees?’ Curious minds want to know! I hear they are planning to build an entire HOTEL on campus and a new gym… and where do you think all that money is supposed to go?? I guess if you are a foundation then it is okay to compete with the private sector.

Lastly, I think walking out of class is a bad idea… there are other ways to get to the administration… but you have to change the trustees… for starters.

Agree with most of what you say, Roger, but the final comment about walking out of class reflects just one more indication that Karen Velie can’t report facts, but makes them up. Nobody walked out of class. The whole point of this demonstration was NOT to walk out of class. It was at lunch time. Teachers at Cal Poly take their work seriously, and wouldn’t hurt students further than the administrators and politicians have already done by doing that to them. Teachers and students have a common enemy in the overpaid administrators who suck money out of the classroom. Really, now, should the Cal Poly president’s pay and benefit package be as big as the US President’s? His job isn’t THAT difficult.

Just because the planned walkout was at “lunch time” does not mean the instructors didn’t have classes scheduled then.

I cannot remember a quarter while attending CPSU-SLO when I didn’t have at least one class sometime during the hours of 12:00 to 2:00 PM.

ROGER: “…the problem with our Universities and Colleges in California is that we are spending more and more and getting less and less…

“Less and less” WHAT?

…return on our investments?

Well said on all counts, rogerfreberg. However, I might rephrase that, “private banks.” That raises all sorts of ethics questions, doesn’t it? After all, this is a PUBLIC university, isn’t it?

As a retired employee of Cal Poly who had some insight into the workings of pay raises, I believe that Management needs more transparency and public supervision with administrative salaries and particularly annual raises. This should be open information to the community by position at the university. The report should contain the employees years of service, as salaries are often much higher for long-term employees who have been receiving cost of living and merit raises for many years. All salaries that aren’t covered by collective bargaining should be supervised. This includes salaries that are set due to promotions and new hires. The creation of ranges of salaries has caused some abuse in this area. If this were done, it would stop the abuse of top level administrators raising salaries of underlings to justify a higher salary for themselves. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a movement against the high administrative salaries in the CSU. Those salaries are paid by our taxes.

Additionally, there could definitely be a reduction of administrative staff. I’ve seen employees do the work of a full-time employee in half the time. Of course many many employees work very hard. The administrative staff is definitely bloated due to all the reasons mentioned in the referenced report “Administrators Ate My Tuition”

University of California hijack’s our kids’ futures: student loan debt. I love University of California (UC) having been student & lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President Yudof, Chancellor Birgeneau from holding the line on rising costs & tuition increases. Paying more is not a better education.

Californians are reeling from 19% unemployment (includes: those forced to work part time; those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty wages must reflect California’s ability to pay, not what others are paid.

Current pay increases for generously paid University of California Faculty is arrogance. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income!

Paying more is not a better education. UC Berkeley(# 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive public university.

UC President Yudof, Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau($450,000 salary) dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, cutting & freezing pay & benefits for chancellors & reforming pensions & the health benefits.

They said such faculty reforms “would not be healthy for UC”. Exodus of faculty, administrators? Who can afford them and where would they go?

We agree it is far from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university system & the state to stop cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues & individual Californians’ income.

There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that salaries & costs reflect California’s ability to pay. The sky above UC will not fall when Chancellor Birgeneau is ousted.

Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents

Moravec36, good ideas and thanks for the post. However, these reformes will never happen under the current system. All bureacracies engage in this kind of abuse of economic power. The only sure fire way to combat it is to get the government out of the education business and turn it over to the free market. These abuses would stop in a heartbeat, because if the abusers refused to stop, they would soon be out of business, BECAUSE THE CUSTOMERS CAN VOTE WITH THEIR FEET.