Reach a deal with campus staff

Regardless of one’s feelings toward unionization and collective bargaining, the stories told in the California Faculty Association’s third Race to the Bottom publication cannot be characterized as anything but saddening.

In the report, a number of professors throughout the California State University system, some anonymously and others with their names attached, provide tales of financial hardship they are currently experiencing as employees of the CSU system. For example, one teacher from Cal Poly Pomona said he must occasionally rely on food stamps and federal aid; another professor expressed concerns she would never retire.

We at The Runner recognize that teachers are exceptionally hard-working individuals – and it was with delight that we received on Apr. 21 that CSUB President Horace Mitchell is implementing a campus-based equity program regarding faculty salaries.

Effective in June, the program is intended to provide raises for tenure and tenure-track faculty who are making below the CSU median at their positions. However, while we applaud the university for addressing salary inversion and compression here at CSUB, we are disappointed that a similar agreement has not yet been reached for our campus staff.

Bar none, CSUB’s staff workers are among the hardest working people at this university. It is they who work to construct props and backdrops for our quarterly plays in the Dore Theater. It is they who, without complaint, clean the stains and sugar residue left by untreated soda spills, who clean our classrooms and bathrooms and exterminate ants left by forgotten food. For a university to operate smoothly, both within the classroom and a lot of other departments and services provided by a college, there must be an extensive team of hard-working individuals collaborating to tackle a lot of issues both big and small, public and unpublicized. It is our university staff – our health center staff, our janitors, our assistants – that resolve these issues and do the work many would shirk from.

We urge the university to thus reward them for their valuable labor. Reach an agreement with campus staff soon.