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March 22 , 2007
DH 07 JH42
Contact: Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
(310) 243-2740/2001


California State University's Committee on Collective Bargaining will Meet Sunday, March 25 at 1 p.m.

(From the California State University Office of the Chancellor)

CONTACTS: Main Line: (562) 951-4800

Clara Potes-Fellow: cell (310) 995-3872, cpotes-fellow@calstate.edu

Claudia Keith: cell (562) 355-4479, ckeith@calstate.edu

Paul Browning: cell (562) 879-1082, pbrowning@calstate.edu

WHAT:

California State University's Committee on Collective Bargaining will meet Sunday,
March 25 at 1 p.m. at the Office of the Chancellor to discuss the university's options and appropriate actions regarding the unresolved bargaining issues between the CSU and the faculty union outlined in the Fact Finding report. The Fact Finding Report will be posted online after the meeting at www.calstate.edu

WHERE:

Office of the Chancellor
401 Golden Shore 1st Floor
Long Beach, Ca. 90802-4210
Dumke Auditorium

CALL IN:

Reporters may hear the open portion of the meeting by calling 866-213-2185, access #1756602.

PRESS AVAILABILITY:

Chancellor Reed and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Roberta Achtenberg will be available to answer media questions following the meeting. Call in is 866-213-2185, access code is 9462614.

Background

The contract between the CSU and the faculty union is scheduled to expire at the end of the fact-finding period on March 25. The CSU has made a fair offer to the faculty union that provides a 24.87 percent compensation package to be paid over the next three years. The CSU employs approximately 23,000 faculty members of which 10,100 are members of the union.

Faculty Union Rhetoric vs. Reality

This document corrects misinformation that has appeared in the press or on public websites about the negotiations between the California State University and the faculty union.

Rhetoric:

"Most CSU faculty members could count on only a 14.87% salary increase spread out over 4 years."
(Source: CFA Q&A for the Public, What's going on with the CSU faculty?)

Reality:

First, the CSU has offered the union a salary package that would provide all faculty members with a minimum increase of 18.87 percent over a four-year period. This salary adjustment is called a General Salary Increase (GSI). The CSU, however, is willing to give the union the option to reduce the GSI pool by 1 percent per year for the four-year period to fund "Service Salary Increases" for eligible junior faculty.

Second, in addition to CSU's offer of 18.87 percent, CSU would pay an additional 1 percent per year for each of the last three years in the form of "merit-based" increases for eligible faculty, which are determined at the campus level. This would bring CSU's salary offer to 21.87 percent.

Third, the CSU is advocating for additional state budget revenues above the Compact, as it has successfully done in previous years, to fund yet an additional 1 percent salary increase for each of the last three years of the contract. This would bring CSU's salary offer to 24.87 percent.

Rhetoric:

"If they would provide a real 24 percent increase over four years, I do believe our bargaining team would accept it" (Source: San Francisco Chronicle, CSU faculty rejects offer, plans informational picket, January 30, 2007)

Reality:

The union has demanded in bargaining a four-year contract that includes salary increases amounting to 30.12 percent, which would come at a cost of approximately $472 million to taxpayers and students.

Rhetoric:

"In fact, over half of our faculty earn less than $43,000 a year."(Source: Ventura County Star, CSU is mulling major strike, February 22, 2007)

Reality:

What the union is not saying is that an average salary of $43,913 is paid to part-time lecturers, who account for about 11,700 out of the 23,300 faculty members employed throughout CSU. Many of these part-time lecturers earn additional income outside of CSU. The average salary for a full-time faculty member is $74,142 for nine months of work.

Rhetoric:

"Student fees are not used to pay CSU employee salaries. Our pay comes from allocations from the state legislature."
(Source: CFA Q&A for the Public, What's going on with the CSU faculty?)

Reality:

This statement is false. No such revenue "earmarking" exists as a part of CSU's budget and operations and has not existed since the Legislature repealed a statute 12 years ago that prohibited student fee revenue from being used to pay for CSU employee salaries. (See AB 446, Chapter 758, Statutes of 1995) The CSU has two sources of revenue - state general funds and student fees - that are used to support all of CSU's operations, including faculty compensation.

Rhetoric:

"CSU faculty salaries lag far behind other similar universities - about 18% overall." (Source: CFA Q&A for the Public, What's going on with the CSU faculty?)

Reality:

What the union is not saying is that there is a "salary lag" for nearly all CSU employee classifications. The "lag" for campus police, for example, is more than 20 percent and the lag for presidents and system executives is 42 percent, based on the methodology used by the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) to compare salaries. According to a report by Mercer Human Resources, "total compensation" for CSU faculty, which includes health and retirement benefits, is actually 5 percent above the median of CPEC's comparison institutions.

In addition, the CSU Board of Trustees adopted a multi-year plan in 2005 to address employee salary lags and is advocating for a state budget augmentation of 1 percent per year dedicated to closing these lags.

Rhetoric:

"Health benefits have nothing to do with this contract negotiations and are not on the bargaining table." (Source: CFA Q&A for the Public, What's going on with the CSU faculty?)

Reality:

Health benefits are a part of every contract between CSU and its bargaining units, including how these costs will be shared between the university and its employees. In this instance, CSU has offered to pay for 100 percent of the increase in medical insurance premiums over the life of the contract. Under CSU's offer, total cost for faculty health benefits will increase from $120 million to $145 million by 2009-2010 - an additional $2,879 per faculty member per year.

Rhetoric:

"Since 2002, faculty salaries have remained stagnant - just one 3.5% raise - while the administration . . . has bulked up its own salaries by 23%." (Source: CFA Headlines, March 6, 2007)

Reality:

All CSU employees, including faculty and "executives" (i.e., campus presidents, the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors) received pay increases in 2005, which was the first salary increase for any classification since 2002. The raises provided to faculty and executives were proportional to the "salary lags" identified by the California Postsecondary Education Commission - 12.6 percent for faculty and 49.5 percent for executives. That is, the raises of 3.5 percent for faculty and 13.7 percent for executives each represented 27 percent of their "lags."

For the 2006-2007 academic year, executives received a 4 percent salary increase, which is the same salary increase offered to the faculty union and the same average salary increase ratified by all other CSU bargaining units. The total salary increase for executives over this two-year period is 17.5 percent. The union is including non- salaried compensation (housing and car allowances) to inflate the salary increase figure for executives.

Rhetoric:

"In order for job actions to be approved, a majority of the faculty must vote in favor (51%)." (Source: CFA, Announcement of decision to take a strike vote)

Reality:

The strike authorization vote is only being conducted among the approximately 10,000 dues-paying union members, which represent about 43 percent of CSU's 23,300 faculty members. In other words, a strike could be authorized by
approximately 5,000 faculty members, representing less than a quarter of CSU faculty.

Rhetoric:

"They walked out of negotiations last July before we could get down to serious bargaining." (Source: CFA Q&A for the Public, What's going on with the CSU faculty?)

Reality:

CSU continued to bargain with the faculty union until mid-September. Seeing impasse as the only option to moving forward toward a resolution on the issues in disagreement, CSU requested that the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) grant a certification of state of impasse in the negotiations. On September 28, PERB certified that the parties had reached impasse. Mediation sessions then ensued; they ended on December 15, after the parties had decided they could not come to agreement on a number of issues.

Rhetoric:

"Fees do not have to be raised for our salaries. In a $4 billion budget, the university has the money to address the union's proposals, which by the way, are far less than the amount they will extract from students with this heavy fee hike." (Source: CFA Press Release, March 8, 2007)

Reality:

First, the CSU is inadequately funded and expenditures for the 2007-2008 academic year, such as health premiums, are already over budgeted amounts by millions of dollars. Between 2002 and 2004, CSU's total budget was reduced by
a net of $522 million, even after accounting for revenue generated by necessary student fee increases. Even though the CSU received 3 percent increases in its base state budget funding in 2005 and 2006 and a 4 percent increase has been proposed for this year, CSU's current state budget and student fee revenue is still insufficient to fully fund its budget. In fact, CSU is currently advocating for $71 million in additional state budget revenue to pay for faculty salary increases, outreach programs and enhanced student services.

Second, the faculty union is demanding in bargaining salary increases totaling $472 million. The student fee increase approved by the Board of Trustees on March 14 will generate $97.7 million, of which $38 million will be set aside as student financial aid.

Rhetoric:

"CSU wants to increase parking fees for faculty-on some campuses by hundreds of dollars per year." (Source: CFA Headlines, March 13, 2007)

Reality:

CSU has proposed increasing faculty parking fees during the last three years of the contract to the same level as those paid by students. This provision is similar to an agreement recently reached with the only other CSU union where parking fees are less than those paid by students.

Rhetoric:

"The CSU's administrators have access to large discretionary cash flows . . . these flows are on a much larger scale than any of the amounts contemplated in the CFA salary proposal that is disputed in bargaining." (Source: California State University's Off-Budget Cash Flows: An Initial Analysis of CSU's Budgetary Discretion and Cash Flow Flexibility, CFA, March 20, 2006)

Reality:

This assertion is inaccurate and misleading. The faculty union is referencing a net asset number in CSU's most recent financial statements. The dollars referenced are funds associated with dollars that cannot be used for salary purposes for CSU's general employees and faculty. These funds are collected as part of payments for parking, student housing, student unions and are used to secure $2.6 billion in debt associated with construction projects and operating costs. These funds are not part of CSU's overall budget for instructional and institutional support, which is supported by revenue from student fees and the state's general fund.

Dominguez Hills - University Communications & Public Affairs
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747


 

 





 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 



Media Contact:

Joanie Harmon-Whetmore
(310) 243-2740

jharmon@csudh.edu


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Last updated March 22, 5:05 p.m.
by Joanie Harmon-Whetmore