Pay delays prompt CFA open letter to CSU

By Hannah Smith, Apr. 26, 2022

On April 6 the Pomona Chapter of the California Faculty Association sent an email to Cal Poly Pomona faculty members inviting them to sign an open letter addressed to the California State University Board of Trustees. The letter addressed the delay in salary increases and COVID Service pay that were stipulated in bargaining between the CFA and the CSU in October 2021.

Over the past two years, the California Faculty Association has been working on a collective bargaining agreement with the CSU which led to a tentative agreement in December. Since this tentative agreement, there has been no communication from the CSU regarding the disbursement delays of the agreed upon raises.

“We have received assurances that these things are underway, which is, you know, fine, but it is a little discouraging that they knew this was going to happen and they could have been making preparations for it well ahead of time,” said Johnathan Puthoff, vice president of the CFA Pomona Chapter. “And so, I suspect a lack of planning is also an issue which once again, gets back to some kind of administrative disfunction.”

Recently, the CSU has gone through administrative changes with the resignation of Chancellor Castro and the appointment of an interim chancellor. These internal shifts may be a the reason behind raise delays; however, the CFA argued in its open letter that their raises and COVID-19 pay should be a higher priority as they are the ones who allow the CSU campuses to function and run.

The recent scandals were also cited as increasing the distrust between the CFA and the CSU Board of Trustees along with the slow response time to the agreed upon salary increases.

“I think there was just a sense that they were dragging their feet too much and it also sparked a lack of confidence in their capacity to handle some basic arithmetic,” said Gwen Urey, the elections committee chair for the Pomona CFA chapter.

Nicolas Hernandez | The Poly Post

The CFA was told faculty would be receiving their earned 4% general salary increase by April 8, with no time frame given for when they would receive their 2.65% service salary increase, and $3,500 COVID-19 bonus. There has been no official response or action from the CSU regarding this deadline, but some faculty members have received a portion of their owed pay on April 12.

“My only personal complaint about the raises was not the delay per se, but the communication from the administration and payroll on when we would receive the raises was not clear as it could have been,” said Nicholas Von Glahn, president of the CPP CFA chapter. “For instance, some have received most, or all, of their raises while others have not yet. It has been unclear why some have received their raises and retroactive pay and others have not.”

With only a handful of CPP faculty members receiving parts or all their raises, the CFA Pomona Chapter is left wondering where the communication has been. There has also been no update on how much certain faculty members will receive of the COVID-19 bonus. At least on the CPP level, negotiations on raise disbursement have been occurring with no indication of similar occurrences happening across all the CSUs.

“We’re in constant consultation here on our campus now, with administrators who nominally oversee the process,” said Puthoff. “So, we have just been reiterating our concerns at every available opportunity that this should be a priority for them because this is a priority for our members, so this is how we represent the interests of our membership.”

Currently there has been no official number of signatures on the open letter but based on the estimates of Puthoff and the gradual reaction of the CSU, a significant number of CFA members across the state support the message of the open letter. There is hope among the faculty members that as more raises are applied to faculty paychecks, an official statement from the CSU will be made.

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