CFA celebrates the end of furloughs at the Orange Grove Bistro

Faculty members gather at the Orange Grove Bistro to celebrate the end of furloughs. David Bradfield, CFA associate vice president, engaged in conversations with other staff while answering questions. Photo Credit: Misael Virgen / Assistant Photo Editor

Faculty celebrated the end of furloughs with a champagne toast Friday at the Orange Grove Bistro.

California Faculty Association (CFA) vice president Alan Martin said this was a good time to celebrate because it was their payday.

A group of about ten faculty members gathered for the celebration where they ate foods including tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, vegetarian and turkey chili, and fruit.

Faculty members were given two drink tickets, which they could redeem for beer, wine, or a margarita.

“I’m glad furloughs are over but I am thankful that they happened because it saved jobs,” said English professor Lisa Riccomini.

The celebration was paid for by the CFA and the faculty union dues, said Martin, who is also the chair of family and consumer sciences.

David Klein, mathematics professor, said he thinks it’s nice the union organized the event.

“I appreciate what the union has done,” Klein said. “It’s nice we have a union with some muscle.”

After guests mingled and enjoyed some appetizers and drinks, they sat down to a short presentation about the process of how the payroll works after the furloughs.

Martin introduced the payroll staff and gave a short speech about the event. He said the furloughs came as a surprise and that he has seen negative things come from them.

Despite what many others believe, he said he is not convinced the furloughs saved lecture positions.

Martin said he believes there will not be furloughs again because now that everyone knows what they entail they probably will not get voted in again.

Martin said faculty have been asking him about the processes that the state controller went through to remove the furlough code from faculty’s accounts. He asked people from payroll to come and explain the process so it was a little bit clearer.

Jill Smith, Human Resources (HR) director of systems and services, gave a short presentation about the process of implementing the furlough pay cuts and now reinstating the pay to what it should have been before.

The checks go through the state controller office in Sacramento, she said. The work was double checked up there.

Smith said it’s important to look at the base salary when doing comparisons.

She added that a code that calculated the deduction automatically was added to everyone’s accounts. It was put in manually for those who are in different situations, including the factors such as a reappointment, leave or promotion.

The state controller made sure all the furlough codes were taken off and they ran a report and checked it many times, until it was absolutely clean, she said.

“We audit the heck out of everything we do,” Smith said.

There were forms that were passed out after the presentation. If individuals have questions about their checks, HR is more than willing to help out, she said. The payroll staff usually gets back to the faculty in about 48 hours but they are busy right now, Smith added.

Also in attendance was David Bradfield, CFA associate vice president, who was there answering questions from faculty.

Questions ranged from the stimulus money for schools to furloughs.

Audrena Redmond, lead regional services representative for the CFA, said each school gets to decide what to do with the money.

Redmond said CSUN took a gamble knowing the money was coming and that’s why classes, mostly general education, were added right before the beginning of the semester.