The California State University announced today (January 24) that it will begin the process of distributing the salary increases required under the current faculty contract so that faculty can receive retroactive pay checks as soon as possible. Pay checks will begin to be distributed as early as March.
The six percent increase to the faculty salary pool will increase the average salary for full professors -- who comprise nearly 60 percent of the CSU full-time tenure-track faculty -- to more than $80,000, and increase the average salary for all tenure-track faculty to nearly $72,000.
The CSU and the California Faculty Association (CFA) have been bargaining since last February. Earlier this month a fact-finding report on the negotiations between the CSU and CFA was released, exhausting all of the phases in the collective bargaining process.
"California State University faculty have been waiting since July to receive the salary increases they deserve. It is not fair for them to wait any longer. Now that the collective bargaining process has concluded, it is time for faculty to receive their salary increases, and the current contract requires general, service and merit pay salary increases," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. "Once again, the union's resistance to merit pay has brought us to this point. The CSU is committed to merit pay as a way to improve the quality of education for CSU students and reward outstanding faculty performance."
The CFA contract has included a merit pay program since 1995. The current merit pay program was agreed to by the CFA and is in their current contract, which expires at the end of June 2001 and contains the merit pay process and schedule for fiscal year 2000/01. The current program uses 40 percent of the faculty salary increase pool for merit increases and service salary increases and the other 60 percent is allocated to across-the-board increases.
All of the universities with which the CSU compares itself for salary purposes, and most universities in the nation have merit pay systems. In fact, all represented and non-represented CSU employees are compensated in part based on merit.
Throughout the negotiations merit pay has been the main issue that has prevented an agreement. The CSU has proposed revisions to the merit pay system, but the CFA continually insisted on discontinuing it. At one point, the CFA made public allegations that the faculty merit pay program is gender-biased, but that was shown to be absolutely untrue in separate reports by the Legislative Analyst's Office and Resolution Economics, a firm that specializes in labor economics.
Over the past three years, the pool of money for CSU faculty salary increases totaled 18.8 percent, which has reduced the CSU faculty salary gap by nearly half to 3.9 percent. The CSU faculty salary gap refers to studies conducted by the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) and compares CSU faculty salaries to a group of 20 similar institutions nationwide. It is not a simple average comparison, but rather takes in to effect variations in cost of living and the unusually large percentage of full professors in the CSU system.
The non-binding recommendations of the majority fact-finding report released earlier this month were designed to facilitate negotiations between the two parties, but the CSU disagreed strongly with those recommendations. According to the CSU, the majority report represented no compromise on disputed issues, was based in some cases on inaccurate assumptions and factual errors, and included recommendations on issues that were neither in dispute in bargaining nor requested by either the CSU or CFA. A dissenting opinion of the recommendations was also included in the report.
It is not uncommon for one party to disagree with the recommendations of the report. Two years ago, when the CSU and CFA had completed the fact-finding process, the CFA did not agree with those recommendations.
The CSU and CFA will begin bargaining on a new contract in March or April, and will consider alterations to the current merit pay process.
| Public Affairs Offices/Campus News
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