After arguing for months that its members are underpaid and need a significant salary bump to make up for years of stagnation, the California State University faculty union and CSU management failed to reach an agreement last week on a new contract.
While the university offered 2 percent raises to all employees this year, the California Faculty Association wants a 5 percent compensation hike for its members, with additional 2.65 percent boosts for those at the lower end of their pay ranks. The CSU administration rejected that plan, which would cost about $102 million, for taking up too much of the budget increase it just secured from the state.
The negotiation is now set to enter a fact-finding phase, but the faculty may be gearing up for something bigger: Today marks the start of a 10-day union vote on potential actions, including a strike, should the contract talks continue to falter. Faculty on two campuses held a one-day strike in 2011 to protest recession-era cuts, and the faculty authorized a strike during its 2007 contract negotiations, but ultimately settled.
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