Faculty strike is justified, pay increases long overdue

The California Faculty Association decided last Wednesday to move forward with plans to strike. A final decision will be given later this month.

We support the association’s position.

The CFA, which consists of 24,000 faculty members, wanted pay increases in the 2008-09 and 2009-10  school years, but Chancellor Charles B. Reed said they wouldn’t receive a raise due to budget cuts. This year Reed cited the $650 million cut as the reason for delayed pay increases.

But in the last 13 years faculty members have only received a 27 percent increase in wages, while CSU executives raked in the money with a 71 percent raise in the same amount of time.

So that explains where the money is going.

We want more money to go to the men and women who teach us. We support the professors, lecturers, counselors, librarians and coaches who continue to show up for us despite the fact that they get paid significantly less than they deserve.

Let’s trim some of the fat off Chancellor Reed’s $412,500 salary and give it to the faculty. Or what about his provided housing? Maybe we can sell the house and cut the faculty a check.

There are other options.

Let’s not forget about San Diego State President Elliot Hirshman.  His $400,000 salary, which is $100,000 more than his predecessor, was approved in the same meeting students were asked to pay 22 percent more for tuition this year.  He probably won’t starve on $300,000 a year.

The average salary for a faculty member for an academic year in fall 2010 was $78, 916–less than a quarter of what the chancellor makes.

At the same time, faculty is being asked to live off less while working more, with longer hours and more classes to teach, in order to cover for colleagues lost during budget cuts. Nine percent of CSU employees have been laid off since 2008.

Enough is enough.

They have to make a move now or they may never see their raise, with another $100 million cut looming.

CSU administration needs to wise up and put the money where it matters most.

Give the faculty the compensation that has been a long time coming.

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