Cal Poly faculty agrees to strike

May 2, 2012

California Faculty Association members voted to authorize a strike  following 22 months of unsuccessful negotiations.

The strike vote by California State University professors, counselors and other staff was overwhelmingly approved by 95 percent of union members, with about 70 percent of members voting.

Throughout the 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.

CSU officials  are asking teachers and staff to agree to freeze salaries, which haven’t increased since 2008, to help offset a $970 million loss in state funding.

Union leaders argue that while teachers salaries have been frozen, administrator pay has escalated. In march, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a 10 percent pay hikes for two university presidents.

CSU and association officials are planning to meet Thursday with the hope of reaching a settlement and avoiding a strike. If an agreement is not reached,  the two day strikes are slated to begin in the fall, rolling through each of the system’s 23 campuses.

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Let’s see … the faculty are mad at the admin, so they take it out on the students.

By this logic, I should stop feeding my dog to express my dismay at my wife. Loony.

Let’s not forget Adam Hill’s interview in New Times a couple of weeks ago where he said that his previous job, as a Cal Poly instructor, was easy. That pretty much says it all. These people are doing all they can to disenfranchise themselves from the people who provide the tax money for their salaries.

Let’s complete the analogy. The wife has been increasing her living standards while pretending she gave a sh@# about the dog. All of the wife’s excesses are justified by saying that she was improving the life of the dog. The truth is, all she ever did for the dog was continually raise the rent on the dog because she refused to change her lifestyle when less money was coming into the household. Now, when the husband acts to “stop feeding the dog”, the wife places all the guilt on the husband for something she has been doing all along. It is really loony.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. CA is 40 billion dollars in debt. And it’s currently taking in 75 billion a year and spending 100 billion so the debt is growing 25 billion a year. CA is bankrupt and can’t print money like the federal government.

Again, this is the tip of the iceberg. Get ready for a lot of unraveling the next couple of years.

And let’s hope that the first thing to unravel is the prison industrial complex; their excesses make the CSU look like chump change.

Oh how I wish that Ronald Reagan were governor and treated these lame ducks like the air traffic controllers. But al least the air traffic controllers put in an 8 hour day and actually worked under a lot of stress. But on the other hand I guess teaching 2 or 3 classes a week and taking the summer off does create some stress wondering how you are going to pay for that 3 month vacation.

Maybe they ought to go out and get a 2nd job and see how the rest of the world is dealing with this economy.

Did you know that the University of California Berkeley is more expensive than Harvard or Yale? University of California Berkeley (UCB) Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau is outspoken on why elite public universities, like Cal, should charge Californians more. With Birgeneau’s leadership UCB is more expensive (on an all-in-cost) than private Harvard and Yale. Cal. is the most expensive public higher education in our country!

Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) likes to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar expected. The Chancellor’s ‘charge more’ instate tuition skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011-12 academic year. If Birgeneau had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over the past 10 years they would still be in reach of most middle income students. Increasing funding is not Cal’s solution.

UCB is a public university created to maximize access to the widest number of instate students at a reasonable cost with a mission of diversity and equality of opportunity. Unfortunately Birgeneau’s ‘charge more’ instate tuition diminishes the equality and inclusion principles which underlie our state and country. Birgeneau’s and Provost George Breslauer’s ($306,000 salary) ‘charge more’ instate tuition denies middle income Californians the transformative value of university education.

Chancellor Birgeneau’s tenure is a sad unacceptable legacy. University of California Berkeley is now farther and farther out of reach for the sons and daughters of Californians.

Opinion to: UC Board of Regents and Calif. State Senators and Assembly members

The entire system is a vomit-inducing perverse absurdity paid for by tax payers with zero voice in the matter.

SHR, you are so right. But people need to take back their voice and speak loudly, push hard, and demand to be heard.

It’s unfair and ridiculous to give management a raise and expect others to accept no increase with their wages frozen for the past 3 years. I say a complete walkout throughout the system with picketing, etc., and no classes until a fair settlement is reached. How about cutting 15-20% from current

administrative salaries?


Don’t you understand that the CSU president, and administrators at the top, make the laws and rules that are self serving? This poor one-percent club needs that extra money, even though it’s at the expense of the students, for another Mercedes or vacation home! This is of course barring the fact of their “one-percent club tax loop holes”.

The point is not that the CSU presidents and their underling administration are in line with their pay relative to other State Universities, but the fact that how can they continue to get yearly pay raises when the students tuition is rising, an average of another 12 percent this year! Are they that cold-hearted?

Therefore, isn’t the hierarchy hired to come up with solutions to this problem, while they themselves on average get yearly pay raises, along with their exorbitant salaries to begin with?

scoop: I’m not sure I follow, exactly. What it sounds like you’re saying is that the issue is one of envy, rather than pay. The faculty don’t like that they are not paid like administrators. Is this actually what you mean to say?

The pay and benefits of the faculty are already “fair,” at the least. The pay and benefits of the presidents are excessive. That doesn’t mean the faculty should strike because they are envious. No matter what they do, they’re not getting blood from this turnip. I thought the educational elite (professors) were smarter than this. Guess not.

Okay, let me be the first to say that a strike won’t work. This isn’t some classic labor-management battle where the goods of production will stop and the flow of revenue to the company will slowly bring them to their knees.

The CSU administration gets paid whether or not a strike ever takes place… in fact, the work load goes down if a strike happens, so where is the incentive to cooperate? I am darkly amused that the CSU administration refers to faculty personnel management as being on a ‘just in time’ inventory system. The concept here is that you hire only those needed … and only as they are needed. Although the various administrations like to portray themselves as similar to those in business, this is ingenuous.

So, the union strikes and the administrations hold fast… the unions lose and the administrations get raises. Have you heard that the CSU is already talking about how much more they need to give the CSU presidents?

To solve a bureaucratic problem like this is very simple. The CSU administration needs to be given an ‘incentive’ to cooperate. One can be draconian and say that as long as a strike last then the following can happen (pick your choice): 1) no administrator gets paid or 2) administrators are paid a partial salary payment until resolution.

The time has come the walrus said to talk of many things… like rolling back administrative levels to 1980 levels.

Don’t bother with the Board of Regents, they are political appointees and generally do what they are told. Talk to Jerry Brown, after all, you elected him.

Well said Roger. I don’t always agree with you but you are right on the money with this one. I might add that Gov. Brown is not the only one that needs to be told that enough is enough when it comes to administrative salaries. The legislature has a voice in the process too. Are you listening Katcho?

If the Board of Regents can’t find competent people willing to take these positions for less than the existing bunch, I think that they themselves are either lazy, incompetent or both and should be fired. The current system of relying primarily on hierarchical standing for promotions within the higher education community needs to end and starting at the top would set an excellent example.