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 CSUBâ€™s California Faculty Association chapter president Doreen Anderson-Facile to inform the board about the five-day-strike.
Anderson-Facile explained why itâ€™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 â€śclassroom time cannot and should not be used by faculty to discuss issues related to the strike.â€ť
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.
â€śIn the letter that came out there was a suggestionâ€¦that faculty are not supposed to talk about the strike during their classes,â€ť said Millar. â€śWe have academic freedom and we can speak in there, and if you have questions for your faculty, please ask.â€ť
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.
â€śItâ€™s not going to change your graduation date. Itâ€™s not going to affect your grade,â€ť said Anderson-Facile. â€śYou might miss a chapter, or you may be told to read a chapter on your own.â€ť
Anderson-Facile noted that CSUB has been down this road before when faculty furloughed and reduced their classes by 10 percent, â€śIt did not affect the students then, just as this will not affect you at this point,â€ť said Anderson-Facile.
Anderson-Facile continued stating that the reason for the strike dates back to the facultyâ€™s 2007 contract. â€śThe economy dropped and we did not get a raise for 2007, 2008, 2009,â€ť said Anderson-Facile. â€śThen in 2010â€¦we furloughedâ€¦we took a 10 percent pay cut because we need to hang on to professorsâ€¦because the governor wasnâ€™t giving us enough money.â€ť
In order to not lose professors, the faculty decided to take the 10 percent decrease.
Although the facultyâ€™s pay went back up the following year, it did so without a raise.
It wasnâ€™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.
â€śDo you know that thereâ€™s faculty on this campus, that have Ph.D.â€™s, that are making $39,000 a year?â€ť asked Anderson-Facile. â€śThink about your student loans and add that up through a Ph.D.â€ť
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.
â€śDonâ€™t get me wrong,â€ť said Anderson-Facile. â€śThere are faculty on this campus that are paid well and the reason why is because theyâ€™ve been here forever.â€ť
According to Anderson-Facile these professors got all the raises offered in the 1990s and early 2000s.
â€śWe have voted for a strike because itâ€™s a matter of principle at this point,â€ť said Anderson-Facile. â€śThe administrations are getting raises, the community colleges are getting raises, the UCs are getting raises. We are not, and we work hard.â€ť
Anderson-Facile is optimistic that the CFA will make an agreement with the Chancellorâ€™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 thereâ€™s been an email indicating that there is not a real strong following for the strike, but she notes that this is â€śpainfully inaccurate.â€ť
â€śWe have only ran into three faculty so far that arenâ€™t willing to strike,â€ť 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 â€śpeaceful strike.â€ť
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:Â http://therunneronline.com/?p=10820
To read our editorial on the email, click on this link:Â http://therunneronline.com/?p=10841
To look at how students feel about a possible parking fee increase, check out our poll:Â http://therunneronline.com/?p=10850