California State University faculty members began voting Monday on a proposed four-year contract.
Members of the California Faculty Association will weigh in on the proposal between today and Aug. 30, with results of the voting expected to be announced on about Sept. 4. The proposed contract must also be approved by the CSU Board of Trustees, which is expected to consider the pact at its two-day meeting on Sept. 18-19.
The proposed deal was reached after about two years of negotiations, and came in the face of threatened strike that was supported by 95 percent of union members. The tentative contract would cover 23,000 faculty, coaches, counselors and librarians at campuses across the state.
The agreement -- which if ratified will run through June 30, 2014 -- calls for no salary increases for 2010-11 and 2011-12 but leaves open the possibility of renegotiating salary and benefits for the following two years. CSU also has the ability to reopen talks, as early as October, if state funding fails to improve or gets worse.
The CFA characterized the agreement as including "modest gains" but focused on having fought back more severe concessions proposed by CSU.
"We know that other public employee unions are taking pay cuts, losing benefits and enduring many other painful losses," according to a CFA statement. "While this agreement doesn't solve everything that we believe is needed, we did fight off management's attempt to impose pay and benefits cuts during the contract."
The agreement would change the evaluation and appointment process for temporary faculty and increase reimbursements to faculty who take leave to handle union duties.
The agreement would also establish a joint committee to review the effects of burgeoning class sizes, a key issue for teachers, and reinstate an equity pay program which attempts to balance pay for long-time faculty with new teachers being hired at higher rates. The equity pay program would be implemented at each campus' discretion.