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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Dismissal Of 5% Wage Increase Could Lead To Cal State Faculty Strikes

California State University of Dominguez Hills holds rally and threatens to strike. 

Students and faculty alike gathered around a stage set up in front of the Loker Student Union at California State University Dominguez Hills at 11 a.m. Wednesday to demand a five percent wage increase from the California State Board of Trustees. 

“It’s about power. They want unrestrained freedom to spend their budgets as they want even though the California Faculty Association actually won a $97 million increase to our state budget,” said Kirty Celly, a professor of Business Administration at CSUDH. "We fought for that. We won that. We’re not getting a penny of it,” she said about CSU management. 

Vivian Price, also a professor at the university, dressed up in an oversized suit and tie and mimicked Timothy P. White, the Cal State chancellor, in efforts to ridicule his response to the demands. 

Professor Vivian Price dresses like Chancellor Timothy P. White during the rally.
Professor Vivian Price dresses like Chancellor Timothy P. White during the rally.

“I was offered $420,000 as my salary when I came here, and you know what? I took a pay cut,” said Price in her White voice. “I’m only making $380,000. Of course the CSU decided to give me a $30,000 raise on the side, but since I make so much money I don’t know if there’s much money left for you," she said. 

The CFA reported that the average annual income for a CSU faculty member is $45,000, with 50 percent of the faculty making less than $38,000, said Celly.

To see a breakdown of salaries across the California Higher Education system, click here.

“The understanding in my family was that if you went to school, especially if you went to college, and did well that you would have a fighting chance of being better off than your parents,” said Miguel Gutierrez, professor of Chicano Studies at CSUDH. “That was the lie that I was always fed as a child,” Gutierrez said. His income is now less than that of his father’s. 

Faculty members post notes on a chalkboard explaining why they need a raise.
Faculty members post notes on a chalkboard explaining why they need a raise.

The two parties held a mediation session on Oct. 8 in which CSU management did not accept the 5% increase proposal, the CFA website stated.

“The last time we had a strike was 2011. We were one of two of the Cal State campuses that went on strike and we secured an excellent contract for our faculty,” said Celly. 

The Association will begin voting on Oct. 29, 2015 for ten days to decide whether or not they will strike. If the vote goes through, members will pick a day in the Spring to go on strike. 

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