California State University faculty is in the process of voting on whether or not they will authorize a strike. If the vote is approved, the strike will take place if the California Faculty Association does not come to an agreement with the CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees.
San Diego State faculty express different improvements they would like to see within the CSU system.
Joseph Thomas, a tenured professor within the Department of English and Comparative Literature, expressed his concern about professors’ salaries. Thomas currently lives in a one-bedroom apartment in Hillcrest. One-third of his monthly salary goes toward rent.
“I would hope that the CSU system would try to honor faculty members by paying us competitive wages, that take into account cost of living, but I’m really not that optimistic,” Thomas said.
Thomas has voted yes on his ballot to authorize the strike, if it becomes a necessity.
To criminal justice professor Paul Kaplan, money is not the biggest concern: it is the working conditions. He advocates SDSU needs more faculty. In 2007, he had 70 students in one class. Now, according to Kaplan, his class sizes have almost tripled.
Kaplan stressed the fact the students’ educational experiences are being impacted. He has noticed throughout the years professors are bogged down and tired because of the amount of students and sections they have to teach. Kaplan has noticed even he is feeling the strain of his workload.
“I love my job, I love the students, I’m not sitting here whining about my job, but at the same time, to allow administrators to make unilateral decisions about how we are supposed to do things is wrong,” Kaplan said. He voted to authorize the strike.
Africana studies professor Charles Toombs realizes professors do not necessarily want to go on strike.
“We are mostly doing this to take this action to the governor or legislature to put pressure on the CSU to compromise and not go on strike,” he said.
According to Toombs, only CFA members can vote and a majority is needed. Of the 900 members, almost 600 have confirmed they would vote yes.
Voting will continue until April 27. After voting is complete, CFA and CSU will return to bargaining a contract until an agreement is reached.