A state mediator will preside over ongoing contract talks between officials from the State University Police Association and California State University system on Nov. 17 in hopes the two sides can reach a deal on a new contract.
“They’re not going well at all,” said Jim Procida, president of the State University Police Association, regarding negotiations. “We’ve been going for a year and a half.”
Anne Glavin, CSUN chief of police, declined to comment on the general course of the negotiations at the Long Beach central headquarters.
CSUN is one of 23 universities affected by the SUPA and CSU negotiations.
“It’s been a while since the police have had a raise,” Glavin said. “Naturally, they all would like to get this settled sooner rather than later, because they’re looking forward to a raise. The police job market is highly competitive.”
Robert Foldesi, assistant vice president of human resource services at CSUN, said police officers in the CSU system are not being denied, and a significant offer was proposed for CSU police officers’ salaries, but that specific agreements have not been finalized.
Procida said there were pay and benefit issues in the most recent offer, as well as problems, like some lack of clarity, in the proposed contract’s language.
He said he believes the propsed contract does not adequately address the needs of the police officers.
Glavin said she believes contractual issues need to be settled, adding that the CSU feels the same way.
Glavin said in her three years with CSUN police, officers have not received a raise, adding that they deserve one.
Officers last received a raise four-and-a-half years ago, Procida said. Officers within the CSU system make about $3,500 per month.
Procida said officers are paid 30 percent less than police officers at local police stations in neighboring jurisdictions. He said he predicts that within two or three years, officers at CSUN could make 50 percent less than local police officers.
Due to the length of negotiations, officers have left the CSU to work for the UC system, specifically UC Irvine and UC Riverside, Procida said.
He said these officers still want to work at the university level, but the officers receive better pay and benefits working in the UC system.
Glavin said she believes her officers are professionals who do a great job.
“As far as our department goes, our officers are out there,” Glavin said. “I think that’s a good comment to the professionals that we have here. Even though they haven’t had a raise in three years, they are going out each day and getting the job done.”
The CSU recently reached an agreement with the California Faculty Association for a general pay increase of 3.5 percent retroactive to July 1. The CSU also announced an agreement of its contract with the CSU Employees Union for a 3.5 percent average salary increase, also retroactive to July 1.
The CSU recently completed negotiations with the Academic Student Employees, International Union of Operating Engineers, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, and the State Employees Trades Council. Each of these organizations received their raises retroactive to July 1.
CSU executives and university presidents recently received a salary increase as part of the CSU system’s 2006-07 approved budget. The salary increases will average 13.7 percent.
The SUPA is one of the last unions to finish its negotiations with CSU. Although it is one of the last unions to finish raise talks, Procida said he feels the deal that was originally offered was not worth agreeing to.
“A bad deal is a bad deal,” Procida said. “We will not accept a bad deal for our membership.”
Foldesi said he hopes the negotiations will wrap up soon.
It will be difficult to predict the length of the negotiations, Glavin said.
Like Glavin and Foldesi, Procida said he is hopeful the negotiations will not continue much longer.
“It had to be done with the spirit of a win-win,” he said. “We need to see movement with the CSU.”
John Barundia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.