Cal State University faculty authorize spring strike

By: MICHELLE LOCKE, AP Writer
By: MICHELLE LOCKE, AP Writer

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Faculty of the nation's largest
four-year public university system have set the stage for a labor
strike that could start as early as next month.
The strike authorization vote announced Wednesday comes after
nearly two years of bargaining have failed to produce an agreement.
"We are a faculty that is fed up and we're a faculty that's
ready to walk off the job," California Faculty Association
President John Travis said as he announced results of the vote at
the Southern California campus of CSU Dominguez Hills.
Union leaders said if a strike is called it would be limited to
two-day actions held sequentially at the system's 23 campuses to
lessen the impact on CSU's more than 400,000 students.
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed issued a statement saying
administrators were doing everything they could to reach a
settlement, but if faculty do go on strike the system has plans in
place to minimize disruptions.
In Sacramento, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement
saying he was optimistic talks would resume.
"Faculty and administrators must work together in good faith so
that our students, who are bettering themselves through receiving a
quality college education, do not become the unintended victims of
a looming strike," he said.
Both sides agree CSU's professors and lecturers are paid less
than peers at comparable institutions. But administrators said they
made an offer to increase wages by nearly 25 percent over the next
three years.
Union leaders dispute that most faculty would receive that much,
questioning the mechanics of how the raises would be structured.
A fact-finder's report was completed March 16 and sent to both
sides, who have 10 days to decide what to do next. The report will
not be made public until then.
Union officials said about 80 percent of the 11,000 dues-paying
faculty eligible to vote on a strike did so and of those, 94
percent endorsed the action. The system has about 23,000 faculty in
all.
"We do not want to strike. We want to achieve a settlement, but
the administration of the CSU has proven extremely obstinate for
the past six months," Travis said.
In the statement, CSU said the fact-finder's report would make
clear the administration has "gone to great lengths" to try to
reach a settlement.
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On the Net: http://www.calstate.edu
http://www.calfac.org

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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