M E M O R A N D U M

 

March 17, 1999

 

TO: California State University, Sacramento Faculty

  

FROM: Donald R. Gerth

 

This is the third opportunity in as many months for me to share information with you regarding issues associated with collective bargaining. As you know, there has been over a year of negotiations between the CSU and the California Faculty Association (CFA). A Tentative Agreement, based in large part on a neutral Fact Finder’s report, was rejected two weeks ago by the members of CFA. I was disappointed that this Tentative Agreement was not ratified. Discussions with CFA after the vote failed to lead to a new agreement.

I promised in my e-mail of March 3, 1999, to keep faculty informed of further developments. Today the CSU Board of Trustees voted to implement a faculty pay raise for 1998-99 as well as other terms and conditions of employment that were part of the CSU’s last, best offer to CFA. A full copy of the terms and conditions will be posted on the campus web site once I receive them. The salary package includes a 2.5% General Salary Increase retroactive to October 1, 1998; a 1.5% Service Salary Increase retroactive to October 1, 1998, for eligible faculty; and approximately $16 million systemwide for Faculty Merit Increases retroactive to July 1, 1998. As I noted in earlier correspondence with you, absent an agreement with CFA, action by the Board of Trustees was the only way a faculty salary increase could be implemented this year. I have attached a letter to CSU faculty from Chancellor Charles Reed which addresses more fully the Board action and notes, in part, that the Board of Trustees’ budget request for 1999-2000 still contains a 6% salary increase for faculty.

At California State University, Sacramento we share an individual and collective commitment to educating our students and supporting the full mission of the University. I appreciate all you do in teaching, scholarship, and service to make this University a "people’s university." This is a campus where students from all segments of society are welcomed and receive a quality education.

Over the weeks ahead, I expect a full and vigorous discussion of the Board of Trustees’ action. I am confident that our shared values will guide these discussions.

Attachment

 


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March17, 1999

Dear CSU Colleague:

A year ago I came to California with a vision of working with you to maintain the CSU’s reputation as one of the best university systems in the nation. To succeed in achieving that vision, all of us recognize it is essential that we invest in the faculty the people most directly responsible for the success of our universities and our students.

The Board of Trustees and I know that attracting and retaining outstanding teachers and scholars must lie at the heart of our efforts to improve the CSU, and we have a common goal with you of increasing faculty salaries. Our plan: a 5% increase in salaries in the first year, and an additional 6% in increases for fiscal year 1999/2000.

When I assumed my duties, I inherited a budget in my first year that included only a 4% salary increase for faculty. Immediately, the Board and I requested an additional 1% for our employees. We are gratified that the Governor and Legislature concurred and that we succeeded in securing those additional funds in our appropriations for the current 1998/99 fiscal year. Our next step was to request that the Governor and Legislature provide an additional 6% increase in faculty compensation for 1999/2000. This is all in keeping with our common goal of dosing the faculty salary gap. Now we all need to work together to win final approval of the additional 6%.

For more than a year we have been in contract negotiations with the faculty union. I had hoped I could report to you that the tentative contract agreement had been ratified that would allow for the distribution of the 5% increase provided by the state last year. Unfortunately, I cannot announce such a contract ratification. I am truly disappointed, and the members of the Board of Trustees share in my disappointment. They very much wanted to have a ratified negotiated contract.

The CSU made many compromises during bargaining. We accepted each and every external recommendation made to resolve the points of dispute by signing the fact-finding report when the union refused to also do the same. We signed the tentative agreement which incorporated not just all of the report’s recommendations, but also included additional concessions by the CSU. As you know, this tentative agreement was also signed by representatives of the CFA.

The CSU Board of Trustees next voted to ratify the tentative agreement, subject to a ratification vote by CFA members. I was greatly disappointed when the CFA statewide leadership refused to endorse the tentative agreement that its own negotiators had signed, thereby

enabling CFA campus officials to openly advocate the rejection of the agreement reached by their negotiators. The result of the vote, as we all know, is that the tentative agreement was not ratified.

I hope you concur that your salary increase can no longer be delayed. Now that we have exhausted all the steps in the bargaining process under HEERA (Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act), we have reached a point where the CSU needs to promptly raise faculty salaries. Without a ratified agreement with the union, and at this stage of the bargaining process, action by the CSU is the only way that faculty salaries can be increased at the current time. Therefore, upon my recommendation, the Board passed a resolution today to provide for the immediate processing of pay raises for you and every other member of our faculty.

Under the law, this resolution must be consistent with the CSU’s last offer prior to the tentative agreement. Here are some of the specifics of the Board’s action. Like the tentative agreement, the Board resolution puts into place a 5% average faculty salary increase package. The components of the resolution are a bit different than the tentative agreement m that the resolution includes a guaranteed 1.5% service increase for eligible faculty, and a 2.5% general salary increase for all faculty, both retroactive to October 1, 1998. It also provides for a merit pay pool of $16.2 million (40% of the total salary pool) for all faculty, and $925,000 in additional merit compensation for department chairs, both retroactive to July 1, 1998. Faculty will receive the general and service increases as soon as the State Controller’s Office can generate your new paychecks.

The resolution also makes some changes in employment rules for faculty, such as the increase in paid maternity/paternity leave for tenured and probationary faculty, and a reduction in the duration of the FERP program. We will be distributing the additional specific changes to the campuses shortly.

It is also important to inform you of the position that the Board of Trustees, the presidents, and I share on the important issue of merit pay for faculty. It has been our policy for several years that merit pay should be one component in the CSU’s compensation program so that we can provide financial rewards to faculty considered outstanding by their peers and by campus administration.

As we continue our efforts to reach our common goal of closing the salary gap, we must all recognize that merit pay is the standard at all of the 20 other institutions with which CSU faculty compensation is compared. More than half of those universities base all of their salary increases on performance not just the 40% that the CSU has advocated. All salary increases, including merit increases, go toward increasing average faculty salaries and reducing the salary gap. The increased merit pool funding could provide merit increases to three times as many faculty as under the old, discontinued program. We are adopting a more inclusive program as a result of faculty feedback about the old system. The new program includes many of the recommendations of the statewide Academic Senate regarding the criteria for merit pay awards.

So where do we go from here? Now that faculty salary increases are being generated, we are, of course, still committed to continue bargaining with the CFA to reach agreement on a new contract. I have instructed our bargaining team to immediately begin preparing proposals for faculty pay raises for fiscal year 1999/2000, and to meet with the CFA in order to explore all possible scenarios for reaching a new contract.

But while bargaining must go on, you should know that the members of the Board of Trustees, the presidents, and I do not define our relationship with our outstanding faculty solely in terms of our collective bargaining with the union. While we continue to bargain in good faith with the CFA, I also will work tirelessly both with the statewide Academic Senate and in Sacramento to advance the collective interests of the CSU.

It is extremely important that none of the parties involved allow disagreements on some issues to jeopardize our larger goals to have CSU faculty salaries at nationally competitive levels and to continue on the road to making the California State University the best system in the nation. This agenda is in the best interests of our faculty, our students and the public. The people of California expect and deserve no less from the CSU.

Thank you for your patience in this matter. I look forward to our working together to advance the mission of the CSU in the coming years.

With kind regards,

Sincerely,

Charles B. Reed
Chancellor