Public Affairs


A report submitted to the California State University Board of Trustees indicates no systemwide gender discrimination against women in the awarding of merit pay. The report included only preliminary information, and was submitted by Resolution Economics, an independent organization that is planning follow-up reports with more details. Merit pay is the main issue in the contract negotiations between the CSU and the California Faculty Association.

The three main results of the Resolution Economics report indicated the following:

  • Women received about 9,400 merit pay awards in 1998 and 1999 combined, a statistically significantly higher total than what would be expected given their proportion of the CSU faculty who asked to be considered for merit increases.

  • Women in 1998 and 1999 combined averaged merit pay increases of 2.67 percent compared to 2.44 percent for men, but the difference is not statistically significant.

  • Men averaged a slightly higher average increase in total dollars (about $70 more per year in 1998 and 1999) -- not a statistically significant difference.

Because most women faculty in general joined the CSU more recently than men, there are fewer women faculty than men overall and fewer in the highest paid ranks due to seniority. While both the percentage of women faculty overall and the percentage in the highest ranks have risen by about 15 percent over the past five years, still nearly two-thirds of the full-time faculty are men and about three-fourths of full professors are men.

Resolution Economics indicated that this distribution rank may be a contributing factor in the difference between total dollars distributed to men and women, and the role it plays should be further studied. Committees of tenured faculty members evaluate and make recommendations to campus deans on the new faculty to be hired on each CSU campus.

It has been the policy of the CSU Trustees for several years that merit pay should be one instrument to help take the CSU to the next level of quality by providing financial rewards to faculty considered outstanding by their peers.

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 in June 2001. The current program uses 40 percent of the entire faculty salary increase pool for merit increases and service salary increases.

A state mediator recently notified the CSU and the California Faculty Association that bargaining could proceed to the fact-finding stage under the impasse resolution procedures of the Higher Education Employer/Employee Relations Act (HEERA). A three-member fact-finding panel will convene a hearing, probably in mid-October, when evidence will be presented on any issues that continue to be in dispute. The panel will then issue a report recommending settlement on the outstanding issues.

Since proceeding to fact finding the CSU has modified its latest offer to include the following: fully honoring the existing contract agreed to by both parties last year; a six percent salary pool with 40 percent designated for merit pay retroactive to July 2000; and salary service awards for about half the faculty on their anniversary dates.

For more information on merit pay at the CSU, go to, and click on "Merit Pay Q&A" dated Sept. 20.

20 September 2000