CFA strike explained at ASI meeting

By Javier Valdes Assistant News Editor As the CSU Bakersfield faculty prepares for possibly the largest strike in the history of higher education, the Associated Students Inc. board invited...

By Javier Valdes
Assistant News Editor

As the CSU Bakersfield faculty prepares for possibly the largest strike in the history of higher education, the Associated Students Inc. board invited CSUB’s California Faculty Association chapter president Doreen Anderson-Facile to inform the board about the five-day-strike.

Anderson-Facile explained why it’s happening, what students can expect throughout its duration and addressed the memorandum sent out last week by CSUB president Horace Mitchell.

In the memorandum sent out last week, Mitchell notes that “classroom time cannot and should not be used by faculty to discuss issues related to the strike.”

Anderson-Facile said that students have the right to ask and right to talk.

Academic Senate member and CSUB counselor Janet Millar pointed to the academic freedom of speech and encourages students to ask questions about the issues affecting both faculty and students.

“In the letter that came out there was a suggestion…that faculty are not supposed to talk about the strike during their classes,” said Millar. “We have academic freedom and we can speak in there, and if you have questions for your faculty, please ask.”

Since the CFA announced its proposed five-day strike, many questions as to how this will affect CSU students have been raised.

Anderson-Facile dismissed rumors that the strike would cause a delay in graduation for students.

“It’s not going to change your graduation date. It’s not going to affect your grade,” said Anderson-Facile. “You might miss a chapter, or you may be told to read a chapter on your own.”

Anderson-Facile noted that CSUB has been down this road before when faculty furloughed and reduced their classes by 10 percent, “It did not affect the students then, just as this will not affect you at this point,” said Anderson-Facile.

Anderson-Facile continued stating that the reason for the strike dates back to the faculty’s 2007 contract. “The economy dropped and we did not get a raise for 2007, 2008, 2009,” said Anderson-Facile. “Then in 2010…we furloughed…we took a 10 percent pay cut because we need to hang on to professors…because the governor wasn’t giving us enough money.”

In order to not lose professors, the faculty decided to take the 10 percent decrease.

Although the faculty’s pay went back up the following year, it did so without a raise.

It wasn’t until 2014 that the faculty received a 1.6 percent raise across the board, said Anderson-Facile.

However, this raise made little to no difference for the faculty.

“Do you know that there’s faculty on this campus, that have Ph.D.’s, that are making $39,000 a year?” asked Anderson-Facile. “Think about your student loans and add that up through a Ph.D.”

Anderson-Facile mentioned how there are faculty at CSUB that have lost their homes over the last five years and some that are filing for bankruptcy.

“Don’t get me wrong,” said Anderson-Facile. “There are faculty on this campus that are paid well and the reason why is because they’ve been here forever.”

According to Anderson-Facile these professors got all the raises offered in the 1990s and early 2000s.

“We have voted for a strike because it’s a matter of principle at this point,” said Anderson-Facile. “The administrations are getting raises, the community colleges are getting raises, the UCs are getting raises. We are not, and we work hard.”

Anderson-Facile is optimistic that the CFA will make an agreement with the Chancellor’s Office, and be done with this.

But notes that they are ready to strike if no agreement is reached.

The support for the strike is strong said Anderson-Facile, stating that there’s been an email indicating that there is not a real strong following for the strike, but she notes that this is “painfully inaccurate.”

“We have only ran into three faculty so far that aren’t willing to strike,” said Anderson-Facile

As for the strike, the CFA faculty is prepared to strike April 13-15, 18 and 19, if an agreement is not reached.
It will go on from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., where participating faculty will block all five gates, but will let every student through the proposed “peaceful strike.”

The faculty is currently working with the University Police Department to make sure everything is as safe as possible during the five-day-protest.

As for what faculty can do to inform students on the situation, Academic Senate member and CSUB counselor Janet Millar said that the senate would be sending information out reaffirming the academic freedom of speech.

As for the parking fee increase, the ASI board motioned to table the issue and is expected to be voted on during next weeks meeting.

ASI meets every Friday for its weekly board of directors meeting from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m.at the ITV Studio Center C.

 

To read up on Mitchell’s email, click on this link: http://therunneronline.com/?p=10820

To read our editorial on the email, click on this link: http://therunneronline.com/?p=10841

To look at how students feel about a possible parking fee increase, check out our poll: http://therunneronline.com/?p=10850

No Comment

RELATED BY

This Week’s Issue