Faculty school CSU Trustees on salary, workload issues

Faculty helped put a face on issues that have yet to be resolved in negotiations between CFA and CSU management during the Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

“These four people who are speaking are not unique and they are not rare,” Andy Merrifield, chair of the CFA Bargaining Team, told the trustees. “They explain some of the problems we have. We need to come to an agreement on how to mitigate these problems. They deserve a fair contract.”

On Service Salary Increases (SSIs) — “I was promoted to full professor in 2009. In the six years since, I have been frozen in place. I have never received a step increase … Sonoma State is the worst of all the CSUs in this respect. Sixty-four percent of our tenure-track faculty are still eligible for an SSI. This is the highest in the CSU. If you are eligible for an SSI, you aren’t being paid very much. To put this in perspective, the percentage of faculty system-wide who are still eligible for an SSI is 41% and 10 years ago it was 29.8%. So why is Sonoma State so bad off? Part of the problem is we were low-balled at the time of hire. After six years at the rank of professor, I am in the 15th percentile of salaries for mathematics and statistics professors.”

Elaine Newman, professor of mathematics and statistics, Somona State University

On Salary Inequity — “I was hired in 2007 at a very low salary of $52,500. I did not receive step increases and received my only increase when promoted to the rank of associate professor. I was shocked to learn that my salary was significantly lower than my two male colleagues, who were receiving $68,000, or over $10,000 more than me. Compounding the inequity, last year a new male colleague came in at a lower rank of assistant professor but at a higher salary of $68,000. He is making $10,000 more than me, even though I’m at a higher rank of associate professor and have more than six years of experience in the CSU.”

Laura Newcomb, associate professor of biology, CSU San Bernardino

On Cultural Taxation — “Cultural taxation is the price that faculty pay for the extra service work they do. It’s deemed cultural when faculty do this extra work with students of color. Which also means they have less time to complete their professional development work or research. Faculty in small departments are also taxed because they too must complete department, college and university committee work, even though in some of these small departments there are only two, three or four faculty members… In the CSU, we know all faculty work with students beyond the classroom. But for faculty who work with students of color and underrepresented students, the amount of work is extraordinary… But we are eager to do it because we see the results of our work when students graduate.”

Charles Toombs, chair of Africana Studies, San Diego State

On Misclassification — “It was clear from my resume and it was clear from our discussion that I had a PhD. I was hired that fall to teach composition courses – only one or two. After the meeting … I casually asked what would be the pay for someone full time and was told ‘around $5,000 a month.’ My first paychecks were rather low but I didn’t give it much thought. When I finally had a five-course commitment or 15 units of full time, I noticed that my total salary per month before deductions was $3,258. That struck me as somewhat less than $5,000 … Some six years later, when a number of other adjuncts began to protest the amount of money they were being paid, I had discovered that I had been misclassified — I was stuck in the range that had a criteria of a Master’s degree, whereas in fact I have a PhD … In the spring of 2013, I felt, by the difference of calculating the numbers in those two ranges, that I had lost $40,251. I had been agitating for a change in my range over the last three semesters and summers and in that interval had apparently lost $12,336, for a total of $52,587.”

Herbert Long, lecturer, English, CSU Dominguez Hills

To watch video of CFA members speaking to the Board of Trustees, click here and play video from Sept. 10, Part 2. Faculty begin speaking at 00:13:10.