CSU Faculty Union Negotiations Proceed to Fact-Finding
A state mediator has notified the California State University and the California Faculty Association that bargaining will now 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 within the next month, 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.
"We're disappointed to have reached this point. The CSU has been working very hard with the CFA to negotiate an agreement," said Jackie McClain, CSU vice chancellor for human resources. "The issue that has brought us to this point is the faculty union's insistence on discontinuing the merit pay program in their current contract. While the CSU remains willing to work with the union to revise the program, the CSU also remains committed to merit pay as an important way to reward outstanding faculty performance.'"
The merit pay program was agreed to by the CFA and is in their current contract, which doesn't expire until July 2001. The program takes 40 percent of the salary increase pool and uses those funds to award outstanding faculty achievement. The CFA's proposal is that all of the funds for merit pay be redirected toward salary increases for all faculty with no awards based on outstanding performance.
The CSU and CFA have been bargaining since February, and since May the CFA has not altered its proposal. In July an impasse was declared, and the CSU and CFA jointly requested and were granted the assistance of a state mediator to facilitate the collective bargaining process. The CFA, CSU and the mediator met three times, but an agreement could not be reached.
In their current contract, the CFA and the CSU agreed to request a six-percent faculty salary increase in the 2000/01 state budget. The CSU secured the funding and offered a total increase of six percent. If the CFA accepted the six- percent increase, the cumulative CSU full-time faculty salary increase over the past three years would be 18.8 percent. The six percent increase would raise the average CSU full-time faculty salary to more than $70,200, and raise the average for full professors, who make up about two-thirds of the full-time CSU faculty, to more than $80,500.
This year's six- percent increase includes a 2.65 percent service salary increase, which about a third of the faculty receive, based on years of service and satisfactory performance. As required by HEERA the CSU has continued with the status quo regarding compensation programs until the impasse concludes. In compliance with HEERA regulations, the CSU on August 15 directed campuses to begin the process for distributing the service salary increases.
The CSU has ratified tentative agreements for 2000/01 compensation with eight of its ten employee bargaining units. The five unions, which together represent about 15,000 CSU employees, are:
- Union of American Physicians and Dentists, Unit 1, about 135 employees.
- Statewide Employees Trades Council, Unit 6, about 450 employees.
- Statewide University Police Association, Unit 8, about 320 employees.
- California State Employees Association (CSEA), Units 2, 5, 7, 9, about 14,000 employees.
- International Union of Operating Engineers (Maritime Academy), Unit 10, 17 employees.
Merit pay is included in the contract of every one of these unions, and is also part of the salary increases for non-represented CSU employees, including executives. In addition, the California Postsecondary Education Commission, an independent organization that studies California Higher Education, uses a group of 20 universities nationwide to compare CSU faculty salaries. Every one of these institutions has a merit pay program.
23 August 2000