Faculty to Vote on Strike
February 23, 2007 5:40 PM
The largest higher-education strike in the history of the United States may become possible when the 23,000 members of the California Faculty Association vote in March whether to allow their Board of Directors to call a strike, according to CFA President John Travis.
The CFA Board of Directors unanimously approved sending the strike vote to its members, the first such vote in CFA history, Travis said in a conference call Wednesday.
An affirmative vote would authorize the Board to take “job actions,” which could include rolling statewide one and two-day strikes or a full walk out, Travis said.
A full strike is not certain, even if the vote passes. Travis said the Board’s first move would likely be to call rolling strikes in late March and early April.
“We want to minimize the negative impact on students,” Travis said. “Hopefully they won’t miss any more than one meeting of each of their classes, though this situation requires extraordinary steps.”
If CFA doesn’t see the results it wants from the California State University administration after the suggested rolling strikes, the board may then call a full strike without taking a second vote, Travis said.
CFA’s current demands include a 30 percent increase in faculty salaries over the next four years and controlled class sizes. Negotiations have been going on for 22 months.
Negotiations between CFA and the CSU administration are currently in a fact-finding stage. A three-person panel, composed of one representative each from the CFA and CSU and a neutral third representative appointed by both organizations, began work on January 29. They are expected to produce a new proposal in early March.
CFA has repeatedly emphasized that the boost in faculty salaries it demands must not come from increased student fees.
“We are convinced there are sufficient funds in the CSU budget,” Travis said. “It is a four billion dollar budget, after all. We don’t think it’ll take any additional money.”
The strike vote will take place in two stages, the first from March 5 through March 8, and the second from March 12 through March 15. SF State voting would likely take place in the latter round, Travis said.
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