CSU Board of Trustees ratifies budget contract

Jonathan R. Diaz

Faculty at CSUN will receive an immediate raise following the decision of the California State University Board of Trustees to ratify the collective bargaining contract put before them.

The decision came during the Board of Trustees’ meeting on Wednesday in which they heard statements on why the contract was needed as well as presentations on efforts in the CSU system to address issues of community college transfers, graduation initiatives, student success  and common core standards.

The decision to adopt the collective bargaining contract granted faculty members at the various CSU campuses a 1.6-3 percent raise depending on their employment status.

“There is great support for what we’ve accomplished” Andy Marielfield committee member of the CFA bargain team, said “But there is at the same time a certain level of caution is still needed.”

Marielfield said that although ratification of the contract was a step foward for faculty on the CSU campuses it was still only one step in fixing the system.

“Among the thing beyond the salary which is after all just starting to fix a broken system but there are other accomplishments.” Marielfield said.

The motion was adopted without any opposition and raises stipulated in the contract are retroactively effective starting July 1.

“I want to thank everyone for their excellent work” Roberta Achtenberg, Chair of the collective bargaining committee said. “I want to express again my appreciation for the leadership of the bargaining units and for the leadership from the chancellor’s office team.

The approval comes two years after the last bargaining agreement, which did not end successfully. Faculty nearly went on strike the last time their budget recommendation was not approved.

The Board also had several informative sessions about associate degrees for transfer, graduation and the student success initiative.

Senate Bill 1440, which the state passed in 2010, allowed students who earned associate degrees at one of the California Community Colleges to transfer with more of their credit units and to transfer more easily into the CSU system. Members of the board discussed the different effects that the bill has had on the CSUs thus far.

“The intention of the legislation was to help those students by providing them with a better set of pathways so they could begin at the community college and finish at the CSU in a reasonable amount of time with a lot of clarity” Ken O’Donnell, senior director for student engagement and academic initiatives. “The expectation is we would create degree pathways so a student could take student units of credit at the community college and get a certificate or degree, then transfer to the CSU, and get those hours after transfer.”

O’Donnell said that while the program has gone well so far it there have been challenges in implementing the program.

“The challenge at the beginning of the implementation is California has 113 community colleges and 23 state universities and if you think about it addressing those students with the top 25 or 30-degree programs you would end up with a high number of possible combination of colleges and universities and majors into the tens of thousands,” O’Donnell said. “And that’s a problem for something intended to create clarity.”

Items on Wednesday’s agenda were postponed for a later date. Tomorrows meeting which will focus on sexual assault efforts across the CSU campuses will start at 8 am tomorrow and will give a new sexual assault compliance update.