SF State Faculty Votes on Strike
March 16, 2007 4:44 PM
Faculty members at SF State cast their final ballots Thursday to authorize the first-ever faculty strike in the Cal State system, the largest four-year public university system in the country.
If bargaining differences between the faculty union and the administration are not resolved soon, CSU instructors and lecturers are prepared to go on a two-day campus-by-campus work stoppage, most likely near the end of April.
Faculty in 16 of the CSU's 23 campuses voted last week but returns won't be released until March 20.
The tally coming out of SF State will be particularly significant because the school boasts the largest group of unionized faculty in any CSU campus with 900.
A poll previously taken by the California Faculty Association, the union representing Cal State faculty, indicated that a majority of members will vote yes for the strike, according to Linda Ellis, president of the SF State chapter of the union.
The task of counting the votes is being left to the League of Women Voters, not the union, in order to avoid any potential conflict of interests.
Only union members, which accounts for about half of the CSU’s 23,000 faculty are allowed to vote. However, same-day voter registration was permitted for all faculty and lecturers who wanted to join the union.
Voting has been done online and at a booth in the Cesar Chavez Student Center since Monday. A table was also set up specifically to inform students about the issues that led up to the strike vote.
Geno Genasci, a graduate Biology student, stopped by and said, "I wouldn't say I'd condone the strike but I do support this decision if (the faculty) feels it's necessary."
The campus administration is hopeful that, with the fact-finding process still ongoing, that a resolution can be achieved, said SF State Public Affairs Director Ellen Griffin.
"We are eager for faculty to receive the monies that they are due and to begin to close the salary gap," she said.
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