California State University and California Faculty Union
Fail to Reach Agreement in Negotiations

Certification of impasse, mediation next steps;
CSU does not anticipate
any interruption in classes

Contact: Clara Potes-Fellow cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu, Claudia Keith ckeith@calstate.edu, 562-951-4800

 (September 15, 2006) – California State University administrators expressed disappointment today that after 18 months of negotiations they were unable to reach agreement with the California Faculty Association that represents the system’s campus faculty.  The CSU and the CFA have already reached agreement on many of the economic issues, including healthcare and retirement, but were unable to come to terms on several others including total salary compensation and an incentive and equity pay program for members of the bargaining unit.

CSU has offered the CFA a proposal that includes a 24.87 percent salary increase over four years, beginning in 2006/07, contingent upon funding of the Compact with the Governor and an additional 1 percent augmentation for compensation. The salary offer would bring faculty salaries close to those of faculty at institutions used for comparison by the California Postsecondary Education Commission.  Salaries of CSU faculty currently lag behind those at comparable institutions by approximately 14 percent.  After increases for cost-of-living, the current salary offer would provide an additional 12.5 percent toward closing this lag.  Although this is a four-year agreement, all increases would be effective within 36 months.

We are disappointed that although the CSU has put a generous salary increase on the table, the CSU and CFA have not been able to reach agreement on a new contract through the negotiations process,” said Jackie R. McClain, CSU vice chancellor for human resources.  At a minimum, we feel the faculty should have had an opportunity to evaluate the most recent proposal put on the table by the CSU.  It is a fair proposal and we think that the members of the CFA would agree.”

The proposed salary increases would be in addition to healthcare and other faculty benefits.  The healthcare benefits for faculty will cost the CSU an estimated $120 million per year. 

The CSU is hopeful that it can reach agreement with CFA on the remaining issues with the assistance of a third-party mediator.  It has asked the Public Employee Relations Board to certify a declaration of impasse as the only option to move forward
toward resolution on the remaining issues.  Under the law, any impasse must be certified by PERB.  If impasse is certified, mediation and fact-finding is a lengthy process, which is out of CSU control.     

In addition to the 24.87% salary proposal, CSU has offered the following:

Incentive and equity pay program:

The CSU is proposing to set aside 3 percent of the total salary increase offer of 24.87 percent for incentive pay. The CSU proposal does not require the creation of new procedures to award incentive pay.

Continuation of the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP)

Continuation of the FERP program, reducing the maximum number of years to four and bringing it into line with actual utilization. The average faculty member is enrolled in this program for only three years. 

Health and dental benefits:

CSU Health and dental benefits are above the standard for California and other universities nationwide. The cost to the CSU contributions for health and dental benefits for faculty unit employees is currently $120 million per year, and the cost of CSU contributions for retirement benefits for faculty unit employees is currently an additional $196 million per year.
 
No changes to retirement benefits:

The current proposal makes no change to faculty eligibility for PERS retirement, which includes lifetime medical and dental benefits. 

Maternity and paternity leave:

The CSU is proposing to form a committee to evaluate current policies for maternity/paternity leave.  Currently, faculty members are eligible for 30 days of leave, which must be taken within 60 days of the birth or adoption of a child.   Current CSU policy on this issue is among the best offered by any university.
 
Equal parking fees for all:

The CSU is proposing that by the end of the four-year contract, faculty pay the same parking fees as students.  The CSU faces increasing costs for the operation and maintenance of campus parking facilities and believes that these costs should not be disproportionately borne by our students. 

Lecturer Rights:

The CSU has proposed to maintain current lecturer employment rights.

We are disappointed with the failure to reach agreement,” McClain said. We will be asking the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) to certify a declaration of impasse because we feel it is the only option to move forward. Under the law, any impasse must be certified by PERB.  If impasse is certified, mediation and fact-finding is a lengthy process, which is out of our control.     

We look forward to resolving all issues, as quickly as possible, so that faculty can get the pay raises they deserve. While the impasse and mediation process continues, the CSU does not anticipate any interruption in class instruction,” said McClain.  Our goal is to maintain a creative learning environment for all students in our classes, and continue our mission of providing a quality education.”

The California Faculty Association represents more than 22,000 faculty members and lecturers at 23 CSU campuses.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 405,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 84,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. See www.calstate.edu.


Last Updated: September 15, 2006