CFA and CSU to return to the bargaining tables in May

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CFA and CSU to return to the bargaining tables in May

Professor Ramon Garcia of Chicano studies department drops his ballot at the California Faculty Association voting booth on Tuesday. Photo credit: Michael Cheng / Daily Sundial

Professor Ramon Garcia of Chicano studies department drops his ballot at the California Faculty Association voting booth on Tuesday. Photo credit: Michael Cheng / Daily Sundial

Professor Ramon Garcia of Chicano studies department drops his ballot at the California Faculty Association voting booth on Tuesday. Photo credit: Michael Cheng / Daily Sundial

Professor Ramon Garcia of Chicano studies department drops his ballot at the California Faculty Association voting booth on Tuesday. Photo credit: Michael Cheng / Daily Sundial

Tanya Ramirez

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Professor Ramon Garcia of Chicano studies department drops his ballot at the California Faculty Association voting booth on Tuesday. Photo credit: Michael Cheng / Daily Sundial

The California Faculty Association and the CSU will return to the bargaining table in early May.

CFA faculty members across all 23 CSU campuses are engaging in online and in-person voting this week to give authorization for a CSU-wide faculty strike.

The strike vote was a response to 20 months of failed negotiations between the CFA and CSU over a fair contract and labor agreements, according to a CFA report.

CFA spokesman Brian Ferguson said the Chancellor’s Office scheduled the bargaining session immediately following the first day of strike votes.

Ferguson said topics of discussion for the bargaining session have yet to be announced.

“We (CFA) don’t know what the May session will entail,” Ferguson said. “But we are hopeful the Chancellor’s Office will come to their senses and not put a price tag on quality education.”

In a release sent to CSU faculty, Gail Brooks, CSU vice chancellor of Human Resources, said CFA demands and proposals will cost the CSU system about $504.1 million.

“These demands come at a time when the CSU has had its budget cut by $750 million, with an additional $200 million cut possible at some point in the next fiscal year,” wrote Brooks.

Ferguson said the CFA is not demanding hundreds of millions, but rather “a modest 1 percent increase.”

“I don’t know how the CSU came up with this figure,” Ferguson said. “I don’t understand where these numbers came from.”

Ferguson said among CFA demands are quality education, student fee priorities and extended education.

The CFA is also concerned with the CSU “limiting academic freedom,” according to the CFA website.

CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said this claim refers to the renewal process for three-year faculty contracts.

“Every time we (CSU) renew a contract, we want to review whether that particular faculty member is an effective educator,” Uhlenkamp said. “We don’t want to limit them, we just want to make sure they are effective in their teaching.”

Ferguson said despite May negotiations, a strike is still a possibility.

“We don’t want to strike,” Ferguson said. “But we will if reasonable negotiations aren’t made.”