May 07, 2012
_The following was provided by the California State University Chancellor's Office_ The California Faculty Association (CFA) walked out of negotiations with the California State University (CSU) on Saturday, May 5 after the two sides had resumed bargaining on May 3.
CFA rejected CSU’s proposal without offering any counter-proposals. CSU Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Gail Brooks said the university is baffled by the union’s behavior.
“We are very disappointed that CFA chose to walk out and we were not able to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion,” said Brooks. “It appears to us that the only issue left on the table is the amount of taxpayer dollars that is paid for union leave time for the CFA President and Political Action Committee positions. We have said all along that we want a new contract, and CSU remains willing to continue the negotiation process at any time to resolve these differences.”
Both CSU and the faculty union had agreed to resume negotiations on a number of issues remaining including the appointment and evaluation of temporary faculty; fee waivers for employees and the amount of leave time paid by CSU for union officials.
In their April 6 settlement proposal, (prior to CFA’s strike vote), the CFA – contrary to its statements to the media – proposed to accept maintaining salaries at their current levels, with subsequent re-opening opportunities in the remaining two years of the contract if CSU added a provision to suspend restrictions on concerted activities.
On May 5, CSU presented the faculty union with a settlement proposal that included a negotiated agreement on temporary faculty, evaluations, discipline, as well as extending fee waivers for dependents up to age 25. By making this proposal, CSU believed it had addressed all of the five issues left on the table at the start of the May 3 negotiations. The only exception was that CSU said it would no longer continue to pay for the leave time used by the CFA President and Political Action committee positions to conduct union business.
The CSU had also expressed a willingness to meet CFA’s request to revisit changes on coach fee waivers; providing preferences to faculty whose sabbatical was denied due to budget reasons, and improvement to parental leave. Finally, CFA informed the CSU bargaining team that it had decided to remove academic freedom from any list of remaining issues.
The next step in the bargaining process is the appointment of a fact-finding panel headed by an outside neutral party who will hear arguments from both sides and then make a recommendation as to the merits of each proposal.