CSU, Academic Student Employees Reach Tentative Agreement
The California State University announced October 21 that it has tentatively reached a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the academic student employees who are represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW). The UAW represents approximately 5,400 employees who are teaching associates, graduate assistants and instructional student assistants.
The agreement, which will become effective upon ratification by both parties, preserves the status quo with respect to wages and fee waivers but does provide an opportunity for the UAW to request reopener bargaining over these two issues in the third year of the agreement. The agreement will be submitted for ratification to the CSU Board of Trustees at its November meeting.
The parties have been at an impasse over student fee waivers and the duration of the UAW’s second collective bargaining agreement since November 2008. The impasse was broken and an agreement was reached when a neutral fact-finder recommended that the CSU provide no fee waiver, rollback or freeze at this time. In addition, the fact-finder recommended a three-year contract agreement.
In its report, the fact-finder wrote, “In the face of the reductions and ongoing fiscal uncertainty, and the fact that CSU fees are still the lowest among 16 comparative universities, I am reluctant to recommend a new monetary benefit which will significantly impact one of two key revenue sources for CSU. Like most public sector entities, the CSU is in the midst of a severe budget crisis.”
Over the past two years, the CSU’s general fund support has been cut by $625 million, or 21 percent, and the university was forced to drastically reduce enrollment, implement employee furloughs, increase student fees and make other budget reductions.
Restoration of Funding Will Ease Winter and Spring 2011 Enrollment
The partial restoration of funding to the CSU’s 2010-2011 budget from the state will allow most campuses to continue accepting applications for the winter and spring 2011 terms, the California State University has announced. Qualified applicants will be accepted as the system works to rebuild its enrollment levels.
“For the past several years, due to severe budget cuts, our message to students has been that we are drastically cutting enrollment,” said Ephraim P. Smith, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer for the CSU. “While our state funding is still well below that of previous years, this new budget will allow us to begin to restore our enrollment levels. We want to let students know that we will have more space available in both spring and fall 2011 terms, and encourage them to apply to our campuses.”
For winter and spring 2011, Cal Poly Pomona, Channel Islands, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sonoma and Stanislaus are all accepting upper division transfer applications, while Bakersfield, East Bay, Humboldt, Monterey Bay, Sacramento and San Bernardino continue to accept applications from both transfers and freshmen. Other campuses may also be accepting applications for specific programs. Students intending to apply should check www.csumentor.edu to complete the online application as soon as possible as deadlines vary by campus.
The recently approved 2010-11 state budget restored $199 million to the CSU and allocated an additional $60.6 million for enrollment growth. This partial restoration of funding will support enrollment growth of up to approximately 30,000 new students across the system and will allow the CSU to restore classes and course sections to service current and future students.
Over the past two years, the CSU was forced to reduce enrollment after its budget was cut $625 million, or 21 percent. The CSU is now able to begin to reverse those enrollment cuts with the partial restoration of funding included in the 2010-2011budget. However, the level of state support for the CSU remains at 2005-2006 levels.
The CSU will also receive $106 million in one-time American Recovery and Reinvestment Act federal stimulus funding, which will be used to help meet the payroll. In turn, the CSU will use monies from state support and student fee revenues previously set aside for payroll to admit new students for the spring 2011 term and restore courses that were previously cut.
The fall 2011 application cycle is also open at all CSU campuses and will continue to run through November 30. Prospective students interested in applying for admission to that term are strongly encouraged to apply early, be proactive in the application process and be aware of campus requirements and deadlines.