Tentative CFA contract awaits CSU board of trustees approval

Members of the California Faculty Association are currently voting on a tentative contract agreement with the California State University. The association agreed not to strike if the CSU Board of Trustees ratifies the contract at its meeting in September.

In May, the CFA announced that 95 percent of all CSU faculties were in favor of striking if the contract did not fulfill their requests regarding compensation and workload.

After two years of negotiations and the fear of all 23 CSU campuses participating in a rolling strike, the CFA and the CSU reached a tentative agreement July 31.

The new agreement will run through June 2014 once the CSU and the CFA have ratified it.

“I was so relieved,” SF State lecturer and CFA member Phil Klasky said in regards the tentative agreement. “The last thing we want to do is fight the administration. We should be working together.”

The agreement left out any salary increases for 2010-11 and 2011-12, but will open up the possibility of raises for 2012-13 and 2013-14.

“The tentative agreement acknowledges the time we’re in and recognizes our economic situation,” CSU spokesman Erik Fallis said.

In addition to recognizing the financial status of public education, changes to instructor evaluations will include moving the process from paper to online.

“It’s important for the CSU to catch up with technology and this will allow online evaluations to faculty and courses,” Fallis said.

Other changes to the agreement will affect short-term lecturers to provide them with more job stability. Lecturers who have taught for six years and received positive feedback will receive three-year appointments instead of one-year.  Additionally, lecturers with one-year appointments will be given preference over candidates who don’t have appointments.

“You can’t hire and fire,” Klasky said regarding lecturer job security. “This will ensure higher standards for teaching and for students.”

An issue that has been talked about previously is the difference in pay between instructors with seniority and newly-hired instructors.

The equity pay program allows pay raises and deductions to instructors who have been teaching longer than those recently hired. With the tentative contract, the campus president will have authority over this provision.

SF State President Les Wong agreed the tentative contract agreement was a success for faculty, administration and students.

“I also think that a tentative agreement allows both sides to get behind Prop. 30 with a unified voice to address the public’s concerns about access and affordability and thus pass the initiative to avoid further cuts,” Wong said in an email.

The CFA members are voting on the tentative contract agreement through Aug. 30 and the CSU Board of Trustees will discuss it at the Sept. 18-19 meeting where they take up ratification of the contract.

“SF State should be very proud of itself. We stopped the administration from takeaways that would have degraded public education,” Klasky said.