Resolution sought in faculty strike

Louis LaVenture,

To strike or not to strike, that has become the question.

On Tuesday the California Faculty Association and California State University system announced there would be a two-day “blackout period” in order to, “develop an agreement that not only settles this contract reopener but also can lead to an improved relationship between the faculty and the CSU administration,” according to CFA President and Cal State East Bay instructor Jennifer Eagan. The CFA and the CSU will not speak to the media for 48 hours in an effort to resolve the dispute and diffuse the strike.

Eagan said the talks to resolve the dispute between the two parties picked up on Monday and for the first time included CSU Chancellor Timothy White, who expressed concerns about the negative impact the strike would have on the CSU system as well as the relationship between faculty, staff and the CSU administration.

CSU included a two percent raise across the board for faculty and staff in their 2015-2016 budget, however, the CFA has asked for a five percent raise as well as additional raises for adjunct and part-time staff members. When the CSU was unwilling to meet the five percent increase, the CFA decided to proceed with the strike process.

“At the conclusion of the 48 hours we will either have a tentative agreement or it will be full speed ahead towards the strike,” Eagan said. “For now, CFA is asking the faculty to put strike preparations on hold to give both parties breathing room while we attempt to craft an agreement.”

The strike dates are tentatively set for April 13 to 15, 18 and 19. The fact-finding report done by Bonnie Castrey and released on March 28, was the final step the CFA needed to officially go on strike. In order to strike, a union must wait for an independent third party to review the situation, according to the CFA.