CSU faculty strikes in East Bay campus

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(KTSF by Sean Au)

Faculty with the CSU system held strikes today at 2 campuses including the East Bay campus in Hayward.  The California Faculty Association is the union that represents faculty members in the CSU system. Faculty members on strike were picketing since 8 in the morning, blocking the road leading to  campus. However, there were non-union faculty members who continued going to their classes.

Meiling Wu has been teaching Chinese and Japanese in the Foreign Language Studies Department for ten years. She has witnessed tuition fees increasing over the years but she hasn’t had a raise for five years. Wu adds, “Besides a pay freeze for the past five years, we voluntarily cut our pay by 10% when the state faced financial strain two years ago. However, when it’s time for a pay raise, only the top 1% gets it.”

Zhulan Wang has been teaching Social Work for seven years at CSU and says she has only received one pay raise throughout her tenure  when she was promoted. Her pay has never been adjusted despite her contract providing for it. Wang says, “If you don’t have money, why do you only increase the pay for the executives and not us, and yet ask students to pay more. Where has the money gone to  ”

Those on strike claim that in the 13 years that Chancellor Charles Reed has been leading CSU, tuition fees have gone up by more than 2.5 times and Reeds’ pay has increased by 66%. And, despite the California Price Index rising by 43%, the general salary of faculty has only gone up by 27%.

CSU Board of Trustees voted to raise tuition fees by 9%  yesterday (Nov 16), so students also joined their professors in the strike. One student says, “University fees that don’t make any sense and they keep rising, rising, and rising. The reduction of classes  are offered in the university, as well as an increase in class sizes. They can’t give individual attention to students, so I do support the teachers.”

The other campus affected by today’s strike is Dominguez Hills State University.

(Copyright 2011  KTSF.  All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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