Update: SDSU faculty respond to CSU-wide salary increase

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by Adam Burkhart

The California State University system has reached agreements with two unions representing faculty and student services employees to provide salary increases for the 2013-14 academic year.

CSU and the California Faculty Association which represents the university’s professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches, agreed on a 1.34 percent compensation pool that will be paid out evenly to full-time faculty and proportionally to part-time faculty based on their rate of employment.

The annual compensation pool for faculty will be increased by $19.2 million and shall retroactively apply to faculty salaries from July 1 and be paid in full by Dec. 1, according to a memorandum signed by the CSU system and CFA on Aug. 26.

CSU reached a separate agreement with Academic Professionals of California, an organization representing many student services employees in the university — to provide a 1.34 percent salary increase to individual members based on their current salary, according to a memorandum signed by both parties Aug. 27.

The salary increase is budgeted to cost $1.4 million, according to the memorandum.

Chief Steward of the APC at San Diego State Imperial Valley campus Aracely Bojorquez said the increase is the first her union has seen in six years. In that time, union members have lost more 12 percent in buying power because of inflation, she said.

CSU was willing to provide a salary increase for faculty since the appropriation from this year’s state budget was projected to be greater than in recent years, CSU Director of Media Relations and New Media Mike Uhlenkamp said.

The CFA estimates the pay increase will result in about $960 added to full-time faculty paychecks this year, Associate Professor in the SDSU Department of Africana Studies and CFA chapter president for SDSU Charles Toombs said.

“The ($960) is more symbolic,” Toombs said. He added the salary increase is a show of good faith by CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, who took the position late last year.

One of White’s first actions as chancellor designee was to request a 10 percent pay cut to his own salary.

That and the recent agreement between the CSU and faculty union show relations between the two parties have calmed down since the union considered striking last year and held statewide demonstrations in protest of budget cuts the year before that.

Salary negotiations will still be on the table as the faculty union prepares to renegotiate its contract with the university, which expires next June.

The union will be sending a survey out to its members in the upcoming weeks to get an idea of what things they want in the new contract, Toombs said.

CSU expects budget increases of 4 or 5 percent in each of the next few years and will look to increase salaries again if its projections prove correct, Uhlenkamp said.

CSU still has to negotiate with 11 parties representing other employees of the university, Uhlenkamp said.

Read more about the CSU faculty salary increase.