CSU Faculty Planning Statewide Strike Vote, Day of Action

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Mon, 16 Apr 2012 13:32:49 -0800

REGIONAL (BCN)--California State University faculty members are holding a  statewide vote starting Monday on whether to authorize a strike in response to  the recent breakdown of contract negotiations with the university.
     
Members of the California Faculty Association, which represents  educators at the 23 CSU campuses, will vote on whether to grant their board  of directors the authority to call a strike if the bargaining process fails.
     
The vote will be carried out from Monday through April 27. 
     
The next step in the bargaining process involves a neutral third  party who will be brought in to examine the dispute and try to help the two  sides reach a settlement, according to the union. 
     
Union officials are marking the start of the vote Monday with actions at several CSU campuses, including San Francisco State University,  where members will gather for a noon rally.
     
The rally will include performance artists dressed as vampires to  signify that "the state is sucking the blood out of public education," said  Phil Klasky, member of the executive board for SFSU's chapter of the union.
     
Klasky said university administrators are refusing to negotiate in  good faith, have increased executives' salaries while not bumping up faculty  pay, and are seeking to increase class sizes.
     
"We don't want to strike," he said. "I need every single minute in  my classes, but at what point do you decide you have to take a stand?"
     
Actions are also planned at Sonoma State University, Sacramento State University and Fresno State University.
     
Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the CSU chancellor's office, said,  "We are still committed to the negotiation process." 
     
Uhlenkamp said it would be "premature to talk about a potential  strike."
 
(Copyright 2012, Bay City News. All Rights Reserved.)  
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